Sustainable Flooring Options

Sustainable Flooring Options

Author: GMI Engineered Products March 30, 2017

Durable floors are not very common among the vast array of flooring options on the market. If choosing a floor that is environmentally friendly is a priority for you, and you have done some research, then you are aware that your options are even more limited.

Environmentally conscious

Long-lasting, eco-friendly, natural flooring material is a huge concern for many who want to continue down the path to sustainability. But they also know that their options are very limited.

Concrete is environmentally friendly throughout its life span, from the raw material to production and all the way to demolition. It is an excellent natural choice when building a new sustainable home or business, or when making changes to your current home. Here are a few of its greatest characteristics:

  • Durability – Concrete creates long-lasting, durable flooring that will not rot, rust or burn. The lifespan of a concrete floor is triple (or longer) that of other flooring options.
  • Minimal waste – Concrete can be produced in the specific quantities needed for a particular project, which reduces the waste of excess materials. Beyond that, once concrete has run its course, it can be crushed and recycled into aggregate for new concrete pavement, road use or backfill.
  • Energy efficiency – Homes with foundations, floors and even walls are highly energy efficient because concrete has an inherent thermal mass that enables it to absorb and retain heat. Your heating and cooling bills will be lower, and you will have the option to smaller-capacity HVAC systems.
  • Resource efficiency – Limestone is the predominant raw material in cement, and it’s the most abundant mineral on the earth. Additionally, concrete can be made from slag cement and fly ash, which are waste by-products of manufacturing facilities like steel mills and power plants.
  • Ability to retain stormwater – Paved surfaces can block natural water infiltration into the soil, which creates an imbalance in the ecosystem. It can lead to other problems such as flash floods, water table depletion, pollution, and erosion. Pervious concrete with a sponge-like quality allows water to pass through quickly. That’s why it’s used for sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other pavements. Additionally, it can help retain stormwater runoff and replenish water supplies.

When correctly installed and sealed, concrete flooring can last a lifetime – which is something few floor materials can do. Wood, carpet, and tile need to be replaced eventually, and the resources used to create those materials create a waste disposal problem.

In addition, using a neutral palette when you create your concrete floor will easily accommodate any future changes to your decor. You can also decorate concrete flooring using recycled elements such as plastic, marble chips, crushed glass and metal shavings. There are many ways to achieve the unique design you desire.

GMI offers a variety of concrete and sealing options to assist you in all of your interior, exterior, residential and commercial needs. Give us a call today to learn your options and find a contractor who can best serve you.