These days, status quo options are no longer good enough to impress buyers. If you really want to get their attention, you have to step it up. And offering your buyers cool, sustainable flooring is one way to do it.
Green flooring production saves trees and is better for the environment, but the products are also attractive, so there is no need to sacrifice aesthetics. Take the new recycled leather flooring from EcoDomo in Rockville, Md. Instead of virgin hides, the company reconstitutes leather scraps from furniture, shoe, and other factories to make tiles of varying sizes and colors.
Salvaged teak flooring from McCloud, Calif.–based TerraMai is another product that saves resources. Made from lumber that was previously used in buildings and railroad tracks, the reclaimed flooring originally came from old-growth trees so the grains are tight and durable. Reclaimed flooring, the company says, is a better option than the over-harvesting of new teak that is occurring in some countries.
“Within the global marketplace there is a growing understanding that new teak products are generally a poor choice for the environment,” says Richard McFarland, co-founder of TerraMai. “We are just trying to give people a good choice once they come to that realization.”
One sustainable flooring option that continues to be a popular choice among home buyers is bamboo. Essentially a grass, the product is attractive to greenies because it's rapidly renewable. Teragren in Bainbridge Island, Wash., for example, says its bamboo is harvested in five-and-a-half to six years. But people also like the performance.
Teragren says that bamboo can be harder than maple depending on when it is harvested and what species it is. Its products, the company says, are about 25 percent harder than red oak and 12 percent harder than North American maple. Its new Synergy strand bamboo flooring is twice as hard as oak due to a patented manufacturing process.