Thinking about new flooring and sick of the same old carpets and tile? If so you are far from alone. A growing number of homeowners are thinking “outside the box” and opting for more unusual (and eco friendly) options instead. Here is a little about some of the hottest and greenest flooring trends in 2012

– Cork flooring has been used in hospitals and libraries for decades but it is only in the past few years that it has come into its own as a residential flooring material. From a green point of view cork is supremely eco friendly – tress are not felled for cork flooring to be made (or the corks for wine bottles its the same stuff) Instead the bark is peeled away but that grows back within 5 years or so.

In terms of looks natural cork flooring can be found in many different hues from the lightest of orange browns to much darker mahoganies. Its texture is spongy but once cork flooring is properly finished it is as resilient as any other flooring material and the natural sponginess that remains is a wonderful treat for the backs and feet of hardworking cooks if you install cork flooring in the kitchen. Add to that its natural anti bacterial and anti fungal properties and you might have one of the best flooring options available today.

Recycled Carpet – Recycled carpet has been causing quite a buzz in the decorating world over the last year or so. The carpet is made from all

kinds of discarded materials – old carpets, plastic bottles and recycled clothing to name just a few. The end result can be a unique and colourful flooring that is durable, super green and beautiful.

– This is not your Grandmother’s linoleum. Marmoleum is made from all natural materials, is hugely durable, comes in dozens of different colours, maintains an even temperature in cold weather and is great for allergy sufferers. So great that over in the US the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America just awarded it certification as an asthma friendly product, the first flooring material to ever receive such a designation.

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