No matter the type of flooring material used, most homeowners and remodelers now consider the environmental effects of their building projects.
There is little disagreement that stone is a natural element, notes StoneWorld.com. Not only does natural stone have the characteristics that enhance its environmental profile (natural, durable, recyclable, reusable) but the environmental practices of the companies that produce it impact the overall environmental footprint as well. Lets take a look at what makes natural stone flooring eco-friendly:
Return on Investment
Your natural stone floor will last longer than most other materials because of its natural durability. This will negate the need to constantly replace and repair your flooring material. Natural stone, if maintained and cleaned regularly, can last more than 50 years. The quality of the installation job also affects the overall lifetime of the natural stone floor, so if you are a DIYer make sure you educate yourself on the installation process or you hire an accredited natural stone installer. Natural stone installation is more difficult than other flooring materials like rubber, vinyl, and linoleum, so keep that in mind as you decide what route to go.
No Chemical Components
Stone is naturally antimicrobial and is free of toxic chemical emission. If your family suffers from allergens or you just want to diminish the amount of synthetic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are harmful toxins found in many household products and synthetic flooring materials, then natural stone is a solid choice. Also, stone can be easily cleaned with warm water and a chemical-free soap. The lack of need for harsh chemical cleaners for your stone floor can also maintain a healthy air quality.
Reclamation of Stone
Reclamation and recycling of stone material is equally as important as its lifetime and VOC emissions. More and more stone distributors and manufacturers are developing reclamation and recycling programs for their natural stone - so those who purchase the stone can one day return it to eventually be reused for other uses. Intact stone can be reclaimed for use in other home or business applications or can be crushed and used for roads even!
Increased Regulations in the Stone Industry
Many argue that using natural stone for floors and other home remodeling projects depletes the earth’s natural resources. There is no arguing that this is the case, so it’s important to find a reputable natural stone distributor that adheres to sustainable harvesting of the stone. Some companies will fill depleted quarries with water in order to create a natural habitat for fish and other animals. Other companies ensure minimizing waste when transporting and processing natural stone flooring.
Weigh the pros and cons of using stone on your floors, and how using this material will affect the environment. Make an educated decision to enjoy the aesthetics with an environmentally friendly natural stone flooring purchase.