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What Makes a Flooring Product “Green”?

Green flooring has never looked so good!

At San Jose Hardwood Floors, we put a premium on protecting the environment. We’re proud to offer a wide variety of eco-friendly flooring products in countless colors, shapes, sizes and designs. We’ve seen first-hand how interior flooring products can become a seamless extension to your overall green design strategy, and we think it’s important each of us makes a contribution to protecting the Earth’s natural resources by selecting eco-friendly choices, such as reclaimed hardwood floors or bamboo.

How is eco-friendly flooring defined?

Green flooring uses materials and manufacturing practices that minimize waste and environmental impact. They’re often made from materials that replenish themselves quickly, or from recycled resources.

Why choose eco-friendly flooring?

When you play an active role in protecting resources, you can help slow down global warming, climate change, deforestation and air pollution. As a convenient bonus, eco-friendly flooring options are much healthier options for your family as they provide a higher quality of indoor air quality.

You May Have More Eco-Friendly Flooring Choices Than You Think…

There are dozens of eco-friendly flooring options for your home! Here are some of the most popular materials we see homeowners choose.

Reclaimed/Recycled Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is an option that has stood the test of time. They’re naturally eco-friendly as they emit less CO2 into the atmosphere than manufactured materials like plastics. One way to make your floors even more sustainable is to opt for reclaimed or recycled hardwood.

Reclaimed and recycled hardwood flooring beautifies any space with a magical, historical touch. These materials include salvaged lumber products from old barns or local sources like trimmers or developers. Wide planks and uniquely sized wood pieces lend themselves to remarkable flooring patterns and designs, while saving materials from use as firewood, mulch or landfill waste.

What if you want engineered flooring? Good news – it’s possible to purchase reclaimed engineered floors! This option is even more eco-friendly than solid reclaimed flooring; because the harvested wood is only used for the top layer, a single harvest salvaged from an old barn or river bottom can be used for more planks than their solid counterparts.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Hardwood Flooring

If you want to pick out new hardwood flooring for your home, look for products bearing the FSC logo. The FSC’s mission is to promote and enhance well-managed forests through credible certification that is environmentally responsible, socially acceptable and economically viable.

The FSC’s standards guide forest management toward sustainability around the world, with reach in more than 57 countries around the world. Their principles address indigenous and labor rights, environmental impact and much, much more.

San Jose Hardwood Floors is proud to offer products bearing the FSC logo, guaranteeing that the wood is from a certified well-managed forest.


Bamboo flooring is a durable, high-quality alternative to wood because it replenishes itself quickly on its own. Bamboo stalks are easily harvested, with the root system remaining to continually protect against runoff.

Bamboo grows as much as a foot each day, reaching peak height within just six months and harvest strength within four years. A tree, by contrast, must be replanted, requiring 20 to 120 years to attain harvest-ready maturity.


Cork is believed to be the most environmentally friendly material in the world. It grows on the outer surface of trees, easily peeled away with hand tools for up to 10 years without ever damaging the tree. In fact, each layer yields hundreds of kilograms of cork, so it can go a long way inside a home.

This completely renewable resource also replenishes itself quickly so the tree stays intact, absorbing much of the carbon emissions said to worsen global warming. This material also provides a loving home to dozens of species of plants and wildlife.


Do you really want a soft, plush option that’s also eco-friendly? You’re in luck! To select eco-friendly carpets, ask what material the carpet is made from, if it contains and toxins or VOCs, if it’s recyclable and if it was manufactured responsibly. One easy tip is to look for certifications like Cradle to Cradle, CRI Green Label Plus or The Sustainable Carpet Standard (NSF 140).

At San Jose Hardwood Floors, we are proud to work with a wide variety of eco-friendly carpet manufacturers including Royalty Carpet Mills, Mohawk, Shaw and Camelot.


A blend of wood flour, jute, rosin and linseed oil, Marmoleum is a sustainable material that’s made from 97% recycled materials and is 100% biodegradable. Because it’s incredibly low maintenance and naturally antibacterial, you also don’t need to use as many cleaning products on it, keeping your home free from toxic VOCs as well.

Selecting Eco-Friendly Flooring for Your Home

Want to know more about eco-friendly flooring options for your home? Come visit our showroom and talk to our experts! They’re happy to tell you all about the sustainable materials available and provide recommendations based on your home and your family’s lifestyle. Don’t forget to contact us for a free in-home estimate, too!

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