One of the results of a growing environmental consciousness among the public is that tile manufacturers and designers have started taking the ideas of green, eco-friendly flooring to heart. Given that most types of tiles are artificially manufactured and processed, the idea of "green flooring" can seem like an oxymoron, but this is not actually the case. Environmental flooring options are now available in numerous styles and makes so that homeowners can add a green touch to their home improvement projects. Generally speaking, three factors influence how green a type of tile is: durability, non-toxicity, and how the tile is sourced and made. Although there are several types of eco-friendly tiles, the way they approach each of these elements will vary. How do they differ? Read on.
Given that rubber is made from petroleum and chemicals, the idea of an "eco-friendly" rubber tile can raise a few eyebrows, but the truth is that it's all about material sourcing. Recycled tires are being saved from landfills by getting turned into tiles capable of coming in numerous colour and patterning options. Since rubber tile is shock- and water-resistant plus comfy and easy on the soles, recycled rubber can make an excellent green flooring option. The average rubber tile has a lifespan of about 20 years.
Glass is an interesting type of tile. The material doesn't retain allergens, mildew, or water, and it is simple to maintain without any special techniques or chemical products. It is also quite pretty, comes in unique visual styles, can reflect light to brighten a room (saving energy on lighting), and can last a lifetime. Glass tiles can also be environmentally sound thanks to your friendly neighborhood blue bin. The bottles you recycle today can become the glass tiles of tomorrow!
Stone tiles are more of a mixed bag compared to the recycled options. On the downside, stone needs to be quarried and transported, which has its own environmental footprint to consider. On the upside, stone tile can last a lifetime if properly maintained and is one of the easier tiles to locally source. If kept free of pits and cracks, stone tile can also prove to be impervious to water.
Vinyl and linoleum share many of the same properties with the exception that vinyl is more heavily processed. This makes it generally cheaper but also raises more environmental concerns due to chemicals and air-quality influences. However, depending on the type of vinyl involved these concerns can be assuaged. A "green" flooring option in vinyl means that the tile is made without phthalates, PVC, halogens, plasticizers, or chlorines, and will promote indoor air quality since it is treated to prevent VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.
Many lines of porcelain tile are composed of a significant portion of recycled material, and recent developments in manufacturing processes have enabled the production of porcelain tile as thin as three millimetres. The reduced thickness means it is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly tile that requires less raw materials and less energy for production, resulting in an extremely environmentally friendly porcelain tile, with the same mechanical properties as traditional tile.
Get Top Eco-Friendly Flooring at Centura Tile
Centura Tile has been a leader in tiling since 1933 and this is reflected in the large variety flooring options on offer that can work great in any home interior. At any one of our stores across Toronto, the GTA, and beyond, you can expect to find beautiful green tile options such as:
To learn more about environmentally friendly flooring options, different tile types, or to ask other tiling queries, feel free to contact us or visit a Centura Tile dealer near you.