I spell-checked this post with Grammarly because sleep deprivation causes spelling errors!
I've been promising you to go a bit more in depth about environmentally friendly renovating, but I have been dreading it, to be quite frank. It is such a vast and confusing topic and I have spent hours researching, feeling like I'd been going in circles...
Here goes: Flooring!
|Solid wood flooring; image: mark Hilary|
|Bamboo floor, image: jfies|
|cork oak tree, wallygrom|
Not only are cement floors gorgeously design, they're also easy to clean. Seamless, they can be swiped or cleaned with water, as you desire.
Cement is extremely porous, so in order to have a durable floor they need to be cured. Make sure you get a company who can apply an environmentally friendly curing agent, because most companies apply a petroleum derived substance, which is not very healthy and would obviously break with your desire for eco flooring.
A little side note: there's a difference between concrete and cement flooring, and even in cement floors, there are different techniques and substances currently in use.
So why is cement green? Depending on the company you work with, concrete floors can be applied as a very thin layer, so very little product is needed (obviously this depends on the surface you want to apply it to). Cement is basically lime (which is a natural substance), mixed together with various ground waste products. So there's a touch of recycling in there too. Most countries make their own cement, so there's very little shipping and handling involved.
- Concrete flooring can be very expensive.
- You have to investigate what products your contractor will be using, because most will use toxic products in the curing process
- Untreated, terracotta is extremely porous
- Some terracotta tiles are glazed with toxic glazes, so you'd have to get natural, unglazed tiles
- Terracotta can prove to be a little more maintenance heavy then other floors. For your terracotta tile to stay gorgeous, you will have to use a curing product regularly. Aside from this, you can clean it normally, with water and an adapted cleaning product.
- You do need adapted cleaning products to not damage the curing agent (you could make your own though)
Ceramics are one of the easiest flooring options when it comes to placing, they are relatively inexpensive (though the certified ones tend to be on the higher range where it comes to ceramics) and they can be applied to nearly every surface, including on top of old tile.
So what did we choose for our renovation project?On the top floor we are refinishing the existing wood floors by waxing them, old fashioned style.
For the bathroom and ground level, we have chosen certified tile (the brands of the tile are Italgraniti and Marca Corona), since they had to be placed on existing tile for the ground floor and on top of wood for the bathroom and we had little depth to play with and cement floors did not fit our budget.