Here in Oahu and Honolulu, there are plenty of people who are interested in going green. Living in a state so surrounded by beautiful nature, it makes sense that we should want to take care of it and be stewards to our surroundings. At Floor Coverings International of Oahu, we believe that sustainability starts from the ground up, with your floors being the first place to start. One of the most popular flooring options on the market is vinyl flooring. Vinyl is cheap, durable, and low maintenance, so it makes sense that people want to use it in their homes. Unfortunately though, vinyl is a synthetic material and is far from green. That’s why we’re here to offer a greener alternative, by reviving and old standby: linoleum flooring.
What’s So Bad About Vinyl?
So you may be wondering, why do we even need an alternative to vinyl? Is vinyl really that bad? Unfortunately, vinyl is one of the least green flooring options available. Vinyl is a synthetic flooring material that was first used for flooring in the 1930’s, when the earliest Vinyl Composition Tile was shown at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. These vinyl floor tiles were made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips that were compressed at high temperatures and pressures. This meant that until the 1980’s, vinyl flooring often contained asbestos. These days, vinyl doesn’t contain chemicals that are as harmful as asbestos, but modern vinyl still off-gases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to people with certain sensitivities, such as young children, pregnant women, or people with allergies and asthma. The side affects of this lowered air quality can include eye irritation, respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, nosebleeds, fatigue, and dizziness. Not only is vinyl bad for your health, it’s also bad for the earth. Vinyl isn’t biodegradable, so once it’s used up, if it isn’t recycled it will spend the rest of its existence taking up space in a landfill. The manufacture of vinyl flooring also consumes non-renewable resources like natural gas and petroleum, because it is a synthetic material.
So Why Choose Linoleum
A lot of people lump vinyl and linoleum together because they are such similar materials, and linoleum also gets a bad reputation for its association with fifties tackiness. But linoleum is actually a very different material from vinyl. Linoleum is a natural and sustainable material. It is made from solidified linseed oil, and linseed oil is made from flax. Linoleum was invented in the 1800’s as a potential alternative to rubber, and has many of the same positive characteristics as vinyl, but without the harmful environmental drawbacks. Linoleum is only slightly more expensive than vinyl, but linoleum floors can last up to twice as long.
If you want to make the green switch to sustainability, have Floor Coverings International of Oahu install your new linoleum floors today!
Photo Credit: Lilyana Vynogradova