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Floor Coverings

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285carpetThe first question you need to ask is do you need a floor covering at all? Polished concrete, wooden and bamboo floors can not only help with the environmental performance of a house - concrete floors are excellent for trapping and releasing heat - they can also look spectacular.


Secondhand and recycled products are also an option. Some companies supply heavy-duty wool carpets that are reclaimed from office renovations, cleaned and their condition graded. There is also a range of carpet underlays made from old carpets, textile off-cuts or even recycled plastic bottles.


Natural fabric fibre carpets

Carpets made from natural fibres such as wool, silk, cotton, coir, sisal or seagrass can look great and bring warmth to a room. They offer a renewable and non-toxic alternative to synthetic carpets and are more likely to be recyclable or biodegradable. However, as with all carpets, care needs to be taken to ensure that they are well-maintained so they do not collect dust and dirt. They consume large amounts of water and energy during steam cleaning and toxic chemicals may be used to treat the carpet against moisture and insects.


Natural linoleum

Natural lino products are made of mostly linseed oil in conjunction with natural pigments, rosin from pine trees and wood floors. Lino is a durable, long-lasting floor covering made from a renewable resource that is biodegradable. It can be swept, which reduces the need for water, power or chemicals for cleaning. Lino can be dried easily and is great for wet areas, preventing the build-up of mould and mildew.


Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are another tough and easy-to-clean option. Like concrete floors they have very good thermal qualities and the base product can be locally sourced, is easily recycled, and contains no VOCs. However, as they are produced from clay fired at high temperatures they use a lot of energy during the manufacturing process.


Backings and underlays

One of the main sources of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that is often overlooked is carpet backings and underlays. Make sure that what you have underneath your natural flooring option is also non-toxic and comes from a sustainable, renewable source.


Floorspace -
Ph. 03 9882 2477

Forbo Flooring -
Ph. 1800 331 170

InterfaceFlor -
Ph. 1800 008 101

International Floorcoverings -
Ph. 1800 339 379

Just Old Flooring -
Ph. 03 9460 1477

McMats Recycled Carpets -
Ph. 03 9761 4451

Natural Floor Coverings -
Ph. 02 9516 5726

Style Plantation -

Listed suppliers are a guide and are not endorsed by Green Cross Australia or the Alternative Technology Association.

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