Eco-Friendly Vinyl Flooring

Jim Williams
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Buying Guides

Eco-friendly building materials are becoming more popular to environmentally conscious homeowners. Not only are people becoming more conscious of their environmental footprint, but they are also considering the harmful emissions factory-made materials can produce. The materials, production process, transportation, installation, recyclability, lifespan, and toxicity all contribute to eco-friendliness of flooring material.

Many home or business owners splurge on more expensive materials to fabricate their floors like bamboo and cork that are both environmentally friendly. However, other homeowners are now shifting to more affordable and eco-friendly materials like vinyl. You may not think of vinyl as a sustainable product, but in the last decade manufacturers have shifted their practices to source material from recycled material. Because of its durability, the lack of need for finishing products (caulk, paint, glue), low emissions, and recycability, vinyl flooring may meet the sustainability requirements set by the U.S. Green Building Council, when used in a building project, can help to qualify the project for green certification. Here’s the scoop:

A Recycled Material

Millions of pounds of post-consumer vinyl are recycled each year and some one billion pounds are recycled at the post-industrial level. This brings the opportunity for vinyl floor manufacturers to use scrap vinyl. In fact, 99 percent of scrap vinyl is recycled and used in products like flooring material.

Promotes Healthy Air Quality

If you’re like most people, around 90 percent of your day-to-day activity is spent indoors. Breathing toxic air, can lead to a higher risk of health problems including headaches, eye irritation, dizziness, and serious long-term ailments like nasal tumors.

Vinyl flooring performs better than many other flooring materials in regards to indoor air quality. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that vinyl emits 10 times less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aldehydes than other linoleum, and half as much undesirable air emissions as rubber flooring. More, vinyl maintains a longer lifecycle than other flooring products, making them a long-term and sustainable option for both personal and commercial space.

Mills Reducing Environmental Impacts

Manufacturers of vinyl flooring are forward-thinking innovators and have invested significant resources to drive resilient flooring to higher levels of sustainability. Many vinyl manufacturers not only consider the environment with its products, but also its day-to-day operations.

Other Considerations

Keep in mind that vinyl flooring installed before 1970 could contain asbestos, so if you have older vinyl flooring assume it is not eco-friendly.

Installing new vinyl flooring will allow you to take advantage of recycled materials that emit fewer toxins than most flooring options. Make the eco-friendly choice that is also friendly on your budget with vinyl flooring material.