Green Story

Barb-Lin Carpet One supports efforts to promote environmentally friendly products.

Mohawk/Karastan has developed a renewably sourced polymer know as SmartStrand which is produced from corn sugar. 37% of Sorona, the key ingredient in SmartStrand carpet is made from renewable resources instead of petroleum-based ingredients used in most other carpets. Every 7 yards of SmartStrand carpet saves enough energy and resources to equal one gallon of gasoline. Production of Sorona requires 30% less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 63%.

Carpeting made from recycled plastic is a growing industry that uses three billion plastic bottles a year. Advantages of recycled plastic carpeting include: stain resistance, no static buildup, looks and feels natural and is competitively priced. PET(Polyester) is the only manmade fiber that provides eco-friendly carpet. PET bottles are sorted, ground into fine chips and cleaned. The chips are then melted, extruded and spun into carpet yarn.

Wool is naturally durable. Its layered composition pushes dirt to the top and makes it resistant to abrasive wear. Wool repels water naturally, doesn’t conduct static electricity and is an ecologically sound renewable resource. Since it cannot be machine-produced, it is by far the most expensive material for carpet. While it is one of the most stain-resistant fibers, it requires special care as carpet cleaners designed for other materials can damage wool.

Bamboo


Bamboo first made its appearance as a floor covering on the international market in the early 1990s. The perception of bamboo as a viable flooring option with a hardness rating comparable to most hardwoods and a sustainability factor that makes it a green choice was a slow process, but bamboo has become a very popular choice in flooring today. Beauty and durability makes it aesthetically pleasing and practical, while fast-growing sustainability makes it a satisfying substitute for old-growth hardwoods that can take 30 or more years to mature.

Bamboo flooring has strength and durability along with the aesthetics many people are looking for when choosing flooring for their homes or businesses. After the installation process, it is important to take proper care of the bamboo flooring to ensure it lasts a long time and maintains its beauty with age. Understanding proper cleaning, care, and maintenance of a bamboo floor before installing it is one way to make sure this happens.

Care and Maintenance

Again, the type and frequency of maintenance will depend on the type and amount of traffic on your floor. Sweep, vacuum or clean with a damp mop or cloth on a regular basis. Never pour water directly on your bamboo floor. Remove liquids and spills immediately. On a “need to” basis, it is recommended that a cork floor be cleaned with a recommended floor cleaning solution. (A hardwood floor cleaner or any neutral floor cleaner). Protect your bamboo floor by using felt protectors on chairs and other pieces of furniture. Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels. Spike or stiletto high-heel shoes may cause denting and related damage to the hardwood floors due to the extremely high compressive force they generate. As added protection, use dirt trapping walk-off mats at all exterior doors to keep sand, dirt, grit, grease and oil off your bamboo floor.

Protection in High Traffic Areas

Though bamboo flooring is highly durable and well suited for high traffic areas of a home or business, to prevent early signs of wear and tear, it is a good idea to use rugs in high traffic areas to protect the surface of the floor. Just as with mats and shoes, these rugs should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the transfer of debris onto the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?

A: Bamboo flooring is ideal for people with allergies as it does not promote dust or harbor dust mites making it an excellent choice for healthy homes. Bamboo is an environmentally friendly product. It only takes a few years for a bamboo plant to grow to maturity. When bamboo is harvested, the root is not disturbed and continues to produce new bamboo stems that grow to full length in a few months. There are some varieties of bamboo flooring that are harder than hardwood.

Q: Is strand-woven bamboo the same product as traditional bamboo flooring?

A: No. Strand-woven bamboo is manufactured differently than traditional bamboo flooring. In the strand-woven process, strips of bamboo are coated with resins and then compressed with heat to form timbers. These timbers are then milled into flooring. This process produces bamboo flooring that is twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring.

Q: What is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring?

A: A natural bamboo stock is hollow and the walls of the plant are fairly thin. Strips of bamboo are laminated together to make flooring. The terms “horizontal” and “vertical” refer to the manner in which bamboo strips are laminated together. In the horizontal style, the strips are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings, or “knuckles.” In the vertical style, the strips are turned on their sides and laminated together in long, slender rows creating a different appearance.

Cork


Cork trees are stripped of their bark every 9 – 14 years. The trees are never cut and the natural habitat remains undisturbed. Differences In the structure and shades of planks occur naturally. The properties of cork are derived naturally from the structure and chemical composition of the inner cells. Because of corks honeycomb structure cork provides wonderful insulating properties both thermally and acoustically. Cork does not absorb dust and therefore does not cause allergies. A natural fire retardant, cork does not spread flames and does not release toxic gases during combustion. Cork flooring parquets and floating floors are quiet, warm, comfortable and easy to maintain. Cork flooring has been used around the world and in this country for over a century. Like all products, technology has advanced giving us more durability along with modern colors and patterns for today’s homes.

Cleaning and maintenance of cork

The type and frequency of maintenance will depend on the type and amount of traffic on your floor. Sweep, vacuum or clean with a damp mop or cloth on a regular basis. Never pour water directly on your cork floor. Remove liquids and spills immediately. On a “need to” basis, it is recommended that a cork floor be cleaned with a recommended floor cleaning solution. (A hardwood floor cleaner or any neutral floor cleaner). Protect your cork floor by using felt protectors on chairs and other pieces of furniture. Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels. Spike or stiletto high-heel shoes may cause denting and related damage to the hardwood floors due to the extremely high compressive force they generate. As added protection, use dirt trapping walk-off mats at all exterior doors to keep sand, dirt, grit, grease and oil off your hardwood floor.

Cork contains many organic pigments. Just like other wood products, cork will fade and should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Cork will yellow when fading. Where possible, drapes or other light filtering systems should be used to protect the floor from excessive light.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What changes will I see in my cork floor over the years?

A: Cork is a natural product and will react to changes in its environment. Direct sunlight can affect color so it’s a good idea to move furniture and area rugs periodically to allow for even color change. Cork will yellow when fading.

Q: Are cork floors effected by moisture and temperature changes?

A: Just like wood, cork floors are subject to expansion and contraction due to climate. During hot seasons, moisture is lost and tiles may contract slightly showing seam lines. When moisture levels increase, the tiles will expand. As a rule, cork flooring is more stable than wood flooring because when wood expands it does so in the direction of the grain. With cork, the expansion and contraction process is dispersed in all directions. With proper acclimation, installation and maintenance, any expansion and contraction are not noticeable.

Q: Is cork flooring a healthier alternative to other flooring?

A: Cork flooring is a great alternative for allergy sufferers since dust, mold and insects are not able to take hold as they do in carpeting. People with knee and joint problems will find the combination of cork flooring and cork underlayment a great alternative to standing on cold hard tile. For parents with small children or the elderly, falling on cork flooring versus tile may make the difference between a small bump and a serious injury.

Linoleum


Remember your grandmother’s linoleum floor? Well what is old is new again and it’s back better than ever. With beautiful and innovative design linoleum not only looks good but is good for the environment. Because Linoleum is a natural product like wood, it makes your house warm and comfortable. It reaches room temperature quickly and can be used with under-floor heating systems. Nature provides the renewable raw materials used to make linoleum. Raw materials are harvested or extracted with very little energy consumption. Rosin, is tapped from pine trees without affecting growth, wood flour (from lumber industry waste) is used to bind the color pigments and ensure colorfastness, linseed oil, pressed from the seeds of the flax plant, is the most important element used to make linoleum, and the jute for the flooring’s backing is spun from jute plants. Linoleum helps create a healthier home. Naturally occurring anti-microbial properties inhibit the growth of micro-organisms including dust mites. Linoleum also has natural anti-static properties that repel dust and dirt making it easy to maintain a clean home. Dust and damp mopping is usually all that is needed. If there is a spill, simply wipe it up. One thing to remember is that during the manufacturing process oxidation may result in a yellowish cast known as ambering and is most noticeable on blue and gray shades. This discoloration in only temporary and when exposed to light, the ambering disappears. This process may take only a few hours in bright sunlight or longer in artificial light.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I clean my floor?


A: This will depend on the size and lifestyle of your family. Sweeping/dust mopping or vacuuming should be all you need. If the floor gets muddy, it can be cleaned with a damp mop making sure the dirt is rinsed out of the mop and not spread back onto the floor. Do not flood the floor. Linoleum is made from natural raw materials and cleaning products with harsh alkalis and high Ph such as ammonia should be avoided. Protect your floor by using felt protectors on chairs and other pieces of furniture. Entrance mats will help protect the floor from dirt.