These five earth-friendly flooring options are not only good for the environment, but also durable, stylish, and good for your home.
What it is: Bark from cork oak trees makes warm, resilient, sound-absorbing flooring. Appropriate for most rooms, including bathrooms (where installed tiles are coated with polyurethane or silicone). Many patterns, natural browns, and applied colors. Compatible sealants are recommended.
What makes it green: Cork oak bark is sustainably harvested every 10 years, and the trees, native to the Mediterranean region, often live 100 years. The cork sheets used for flooring often are made from the salvaged by-products of wine cork manufacturing.
Cost: $6 to $8 per square foot (12- x 12-inch tiles) or $7 to $9 per square foot (1- x 3-foot snap-together planks).
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