Here are just a few material considerations to research before getting started on your kitchen or bath renovation.
Bamboo is a very sustainable material. It reaches maturity within five years, and regenerates from its original root system, never needing replanting.
Wood is a wonderful material for butcher-block counter tops and flooring.
Concrete countertops are increasingly popular in contemporary settings. They are considered greenest when locally fabricated and when mixed with cement alternatives and recycled aggregates.
Quartz surfaces are easily maintained and have an endless lifecycle. Additionally, they are available in a wide variety of colors.
Hardwoods and Bamboos are a favorite flooring choice for the eco- conscious homeowner. If the material is FSC certified or reclaimed then it is considered to be an environmentally responsible product.
Marmoleum or Linoleum tile is constructed of Linseed oil, jute, limestone and other natural components that collectively provide for an incredibly strong and durable flooring product.
Cork is not only sustainable and renewable (like bamboo), but is extremely soft and comfortable under foot.
Wool carpeting is naturally stain-resistant, highly durable and free of any chemical additives – only the natural oils in the sheep’s wool. With regular maintenance, it can last up to 50 years and, once discarded, is biodegradable.
Kitchen cabinetry can easily be refaced or repainted with low or zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints and products. If however they no longer fit into your renovation plans, then consider re-using them somewhere else in your home or donate them to your local Habitat For Humanity Re-Store.
FSC and sustainable woods that are formaldehyde free – and finished with a low VOC sealant – are a green alternative to recycling your old cabinets. Another wonderful material to consider is a veneered wheat board composite. The straw fibers are combined with a formaldehyde free resin and then painted with low or zero VOC paints.
Solid core passage doors are also available in wheat straw and FSC certified woods. They, too, are formaldehyde free.
Finally, when it comes to the finishing touches and furnishing your home, look for environmentally sustainable and eco-chic pieces. Do some online research and you’ll find the resources are endless.