This story started at my kitchen table, over a cup of coffee with my eldest brother, Norm Grignon, certified flooring installer by profession; musician and counsellor to mentally challenged adults by passion.
“When you decide what you want to do with your floors, let me know and we’ll get at ’er,” he promised. Knowing my propensity for piggybacking reno projects with writing profits, he added: “If you decide to do a story, I’ll get you the background on the latest options. You wouldn’t believe the environmentally safer stuff out there.”
I’m not talking about your regular hardwood, although it is beautiful. From leather to linseed, flooring options now allow environmentalists something solid and stylish to stand on while sticking to what they stand for.
Homeowners’ green consumerism eventually leads them to discover naturally renewable resources, including cork and bamboo and traditional hardwoods such as oak and maple, harvested from responsibly managed forests.
Consumers are now less likely to simply walk into the local flooring store and be sold PVC vinyl flooring or carpet that will end up off-gassing in their home.
Here’s a closer look at some of those envirofriendlier flooring options:
Nor is anything likely to harm it once it becomes your flooring. Bamboo is 33 per cent more dentresistant than white oak. Need something stronger still? Consider strand bamboo, a high-density flooring made by fusing bamboo fibres under extreme pressure. It’s 100 per cent harder and more dent-resistant than oak.
It’s ideal for high-traffic areas such as hallways and foyers.
And because bamboo resists expansion or contraction, it’s a good antidote to humid basements.
Above: Flooring choices are becoming exotic, starting with leather, which offers a whole new set of textures underfoot, while not emitting any volatile compounds. Top right: Cork inlays in the floor of the finished basement are eco-friendly and colourful. Bottom: Cork is inlaid into this open
kitchen, providing soft cushioning.