In the October 2019 Newsletter, we continued the ’Sustainable Surfaces’ series, the second part focusing on cork flooring and the pros and cons of using it in a commercial or residential space.
In the third part of ‘Sustainable Surfaces,’ we will talk about different eco-friendly options for carpeting. Natural fiber carpet has grown in popularity in recent years as an environmentally friendly alternative to hardwoods. These materials include wool, jute, seagrass, and others!
Due to fiber’s natural make-up, most eco-friendly carpet choices are biodegradable and carbon-dioxide neutral. This means that it won’t sit in a landfill after it’s been replaced, as all carpet must be eventually.
- Resilience & Durability
Some natural fiber carpets, like wool and sisal, can last decades because they hold their shape, even after being matted down over time. Others, like jute, can become brittle in high traffic areas but provide great sound and heat insulation.
- Low Maintenance
Seagrass, another natural carpeting option, has hard fibers making it difficult for dirt and debris to cling to it. Thicker selections, like wool and jute, are similar to most carpet and can be easily vacuumed in offices or homes.
- Light Sensitivity
Seagrass, sisal, wool, and jute are all prone to discoloration in constant sunlight. These materials should only be used in areas that do not receive direct sunlight all day.
- Moisture Damage
While seagrass is often advertised as water-resistant, wool, jute, and sisal can be easily damaged if exposed to water spills. This also means that many natural fiber carpets cannot be steam cleaned or wet shampooed.
- Starting Costs
Many eco-friendly carpeting options are quite a bit more expensive than traditional carpet. Wool, for example, can be very costly when used for an entire office space or a large residential room.
With the current level of environmental awareness around the world, many homeowners and businesses are choosing sustainable options for flooring. Natural fiber carpets pose a softer alternative to bamboo and cork and look similar to many other types of commercial carpet. Stay tuned for the December newsletter, where we’ll explore another sustainable surface option!