Undertaking a remodel of your home in 2016 goes beyond planning for style and comfort upgrades. At Modernize, we strive to take better care of the world we inhabit. By considering eco-friendly flooring, walls, and roof additions, you can devise a plan for a green home without losing any flair.
When choosing flooring materials, think beyond traditional and stain-attracting carpet. Reclaimed hardwood, cork, stained concrete, linoleum and bamboo are all chic earth friendly choices that can last for generations, making them a much more sustainable choice. Hardwood floors are usually associated with deforestation, but savvy homeowners are opting for hardwoods that have been reclaimed from old barns and other rural structures. Also, wood floorings certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have been deemed to have not taken part in excessive harm to the environment.
Concrete can be stained an array of colors, and it never needs to be replaced. Linoleum has a long life as well. Though it fell out of style in the 40’s when vinyl became popular, linoleum is made from more natural materials than vinyl, so it’s seeing a resurgence in popularity.
Cork and bamboo are even newer trends that have taken off due to their durability and unique grain that can be finished in many colors. Cork oak trees do not have to be completely cut down to harvest their bark, and fast-growing bamboo makes for long-lasting flooring that’s not only beautiful, but naturally water-resistant and anti-bacterial, too.
Beautiful Wall Colors
Scientists have discovered that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. This is partially due to the ongoing toxins released in house paint years after application. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, used to be a crucial part of high quality paints. Luckily, low- and zero-VOCs are now widely manufactured, so smart homeowners can choose an environmentally friendly option.
Zero-VOC paints have 5 grams/liter or less of harmful pollutants. Sometimes adding a colorant can up this count to 10 grams/liter, but that’s still considered very low. Low-VOCs contain 200 grams/liter or less of the unwanted chemicals. These still may emit an odor for a short amount of time. A list of compliant paints can be found here.
Add On Solar
Now that we’ve added “green” flooring and walls, why not extend the environmental awareness to the roof? By using solar panels, homeowners become more aware of the energy they use while generating their own power for their small place in the world. This essentially remodels one’s electricity source and mindset. Adding solar panels can be financially beneficial, too. In many forward-thinking cities, like Austin, Texas, residents get a rebate for going solar, which can oftentimes recoup your up-front investment. And recent developments have made for sleeker solar systems, with no-grid panels, new color choices, and thinner designs. Best of all, they show an awareness of modern and ecologically friendly living.
2016 and Beyond
Following environmentally thoughtful trends feels is a safe step in the right direction while maintaining one’s individuality. Choosing zero-VOC paints and sustainable flooring still leaves open countless color and texture options. Remodeling is a long process, but the earth and your senses will thank you.