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Environmentalist recommends green kitchen floor coverings

The design editor of green resource TreeHugger, Lloyd Alter has published advice on the greenest kitchen floor coverings.

Alter says that the essential qualities of kitchen flooring are waterproof, durable, shock absorbent and attractive. He also explains that these should not be achieved at the expense of harming the environment.

Good quality vinyl meets these criteria but Alter accuses vinyl manufactures of using fossil fuels and chlorine. There are green vinyl floorings available which are eco-friendly, with some manufacturers choosing to use recycled materials.

Wood flooring made from sustainable timber is environmentally friendly but can be damaged from excessive water, so may not be suitable for kitchen use. Engineered wood is more water-resistant, making a better alternative. Natural stone tile flooring is good, but if fragile items are dropped, they will probably break on the hard surface.

Rubber is a good choice as it is a natural product and is easy to clean, but rubber flooring can be expensive. Cork is a good choice and is from a renewable resource from carefully regulated forests. It has anti-bacterial qualities and looks good. This is Lloyd Alter’s top choice of kitchen floor covering.

Another issue is adhesive and floor sealing products, as not all of them are environmentally friendly. This is changing. For example, PUGreen Polyurethane has just been launched which is derived from renewable vegetable oils.

Floor manufacturers are aware of environmental concerns and are researching ways to make the available solid flooring choices in Cheshire have the minimum impact on the environment.

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