Posts Tagged ‘Hardwood flooring’

EcoInhabit — Earth Inspired Living in Meaford, Ontario

April 6th, 2010

During March Break our family was skiing in Collingwood, ON in the most spectacular weather I’ve ever skied in in my life, even if it was a bit weird and scary being in Collingwood in March in almost 20 degree weather — the same as it was in Florida, according to the weather map.

Ecoinhabit

In any event, one day instead of skiing I decided to visit Ecoinhabit, a green products supplier, which lies just off Highway 26 between Meaford and Thornbury — a fun field trip for me, apparently an excruciatingly boring one for my 14 year old son — go figure.

Showroom

Ecoinhabit is occupied in an old barn with exposed rafters as well as the metal roof peeking through the wood. It’s a beautiful environment and the store itself is worth a visit. EcoInhabit can help you with many of your green building and lifestyle needs. In addition to building materials, it also carries organic sheets, towels, mattresses, futons, etc. If you’re in the Georgian Triangle area, drop in to take a look. Kara, the store manager, is very knowledgeable and passionate about the products the carry, and like me, cares about whether or not a product is really as green as the manufacturer wants you to believe it is.

Ecoinhabit Store Entrance

Below is a list of some of the products Ecoinhabit carries.

Sealants, Adhesives, and Caulking.

AFM Safecoat products. This is a California-based company that specializes producing low and zero-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives that are considered the safest and least toxic on the market today. Many of its products have received the Scientific Certification Systems’ Indoor Advantage Gold Certification, meaning that they are excellent for indoor air quality.

Ecoinhabit carries the following products:

  • Transitional Primer, $54.99 per gallon,
  • Zero VOC wallpaint. Available in flat (no sheen, $57.99/gallon), eggshell (low-gloss, easy to clean, $59.99/gallon), semi-gloss ($59.99/gallon) and exterior ($59.99/gallon).
  • Carpet Cleaners and Sealers: SafeChoice Shampoo ($30.99/gallon, $11.99/quart), SafeChoice Carpet Seal ($39.99/gallon, $14.99/quart), SafeChoice Lock Out ($32.99/gallon, $13.99/quart).
  • Caulking: $14.50/ten ounce tube.
  • SafeCoat Almighty Adhesive $14.50/10 ounce tube.
  • Safe Seal, $61.99/gallon, $19.99/quart
  • Hard Seal,$57.99/gallon.
  • MexeSeal,$62.99/gallon.
  • Grout Sealer, $23.99/quart. Coverage: 100 linear feet.

For a more detailed description of the benefits of these products, read the post on AFM Safecoat products.

Flooring:

Interface Flooring’s Flor carpet tiles: The residential line of Interface’s carpet selection is called Flor. It offers the ability to mix and match carpet tiles to create unique and interesting patterns similar to linoleum tiles, only with carpet. Carpet tiles made from recycled carpet: $8.99/19″x19″ tile. 100% wool carpet tile: $19.99/19″x19″ tile. Note: prices are approximate only. Please call Ecoinhabit for up-to-date pricing.

Eco-Timber: Engineered and reclaimed hardwood flooring products manufactured by Eco-Timber are made exclusively from Forest Stewardship Council Certified US managed forests. Milling and processing is done in Denver, CO. $10.25/ft sq. Bamboo flooring comes from FSC-certified forests in Asia. $5/ft. sq.

Ontario Reclaimed Flooring: Local reclaimed flooring made out of barnboard from barns that need to come down from around Ontario. $7 – 10/ft sq. Unfinished.

Plaster:

American Clay: An all natural clay product with natural pigments. Applied as plaster, zero VOC, it actually works to purify the air. For more information on American Clay, see my post on its benefits. 50lb bag of: Loma, $80; Meritimo,$120; Porcelina: $145.

Countertop Surfaces:

IceStone: A surface material made of recycled glass and concrete. Available in many different colours and thicknesses. $46-102/ft. sq. For more information on IceStone, see my post on its benefits.

PaperStone: A surface material made of compressed recycled paper and eco-resins. Looks a bit like laminate, the darker ones have a stone-like appearance to them. $42.75-48.50/ft sq. For more information on PaperStone, see my post on its benefits.

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Different Types of Eco-Friendly Flooring

February 14th, 2010

Lily and Aaron at eFloor took time out of their incredibly busy schedule to show me around the eco-friendly flooring options they carry. While eFloor isn’t a “green” store per se, they do carry several options in green flooring in addition to their other flooring products. Lily also educated me on the difference between high and low quality carpets. The bottom line is, like almost anything, spending more means you’re going to get a carpet that lasts for years and years, and therefore needs replacing less often which in and of itself is a “green” choice.

What to look for when purchasing a carpet: Buying a cheap, 100% polyester carpet usually has a lifespan of 2 to 5 years. Heavily trafficked areas will shows signs of  flattening, pilling and stain retention very early. You’ll have to spend more money on carpet replacement, and most likely that carpet will end up in landfill (although we’ll talk about alternatives to landfill for carpets in another post). Any fiber with resilience, such as wool, will have a much longer lifespan than a 100% polyester carpet. Plus, the tighter and closer together the weave, the longer lasting the carpet will be. Finally, a woven carpet will wear much longer than a tufted carpet, but woven carpets are considerably more expensive. Note: you can tell if a carpet is woven by looking at the backside. A tufted carpet needs a backing and will usually be backed in synthetic or natural latex.

Below are a few of the eco-friendly flooring options eFloor offers:

Hardwood:

 

 

  • Ecotimber: This company, based in Denver, CO, is one of the first companies to offer exclusively all its products from Forest Stewardship Council certified managed forests. The company researches every forest that supplies its products from the Brazilian Cherry to Hickory and Bamboo. All wood is sourced from sustainably managed plantations. Approx. Cost: Hardwood: $9.39-14.32/square foot, Reclaimed Hardwood: $11.65/sq. ft., Bamboo: $5.19-9.39/sq. ft. (all prices are for product only. Exclude installation, prep work and sub-floor).

Bamboo, Cork, Linoleum and Sisal:

US Floors Ecofloors Collection:

Natural Floor Bamboo

  • Natural Bamboo: Bamboo flooring harvested from plantations after 6 years of growth. A thicker stalk means it will be more durable. Flooring is prefinished with several coats of solvent and formaldehyde free aluminum oxide for a low-VOC product. Flooring can be installed “floating” or glued into place. 25 year residential warranty for wear. Approx. cost: $4.90-6.85/sq. ft. plus installation.
  • Natural Floor cork Vinho Matte

  • Natural Cork: Cork is a renewable resource that is the bark of the cork tree. Harvested by hand from trees in Portugal, harvesting can occur every 9-11 years. Cork trees trees live for well over 100 years. Natural cork tiles and planks come in a wide variety of colours and styles and can be installed by clicking the tiles together without glues. Floors can also be dissassembled and resused. They can be installed directly over concrete. Finish is water-based, low VOC, and has a lifetime residential warranty. Approx. cost: $8.45-9.09/sq. ft. plus installation.Forbo:

Marmoleum Click

  • Marmoleum Click: The first flooring that has been certified by the American Allergy and AsthmaFoundation as being “asthma and allergy friendly” meaning it’s a good flooring option for people with asthma or allergies (not, as the term implies, that it  promotes asthma and allergies!). Marmoleum is known to be one of the best choices for flooring from an ecological point of view. It’s all natural, made from rapidly renewable resources, and manufactured in ecologically sensitive way. It’s also extremely durable and has been around for over 100 years. Marmoleum Click is a floating floor option that snaps together without use of glues. Approx. cost: $5.50-6.50/sq. ft. (excluding installation).

Fibreworks:

  • Fibreworks Sisal “Coastal Classic” Collection

    Sisal, Seagrass and Jute Carpets labelled “Grown Green” by the company — meaning they are grown sustainably, without fertilizers and pesticides and are also completely biodegradable (backings are either natural rubber or latex). There are many different styles and colours available. Approx. cost: $5-13/sq. ft.

Wool Carpet:

  • Earth Weave Dolomite Tussock

    Earthweave: is a premium carpet line developed for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. All carpets are 100% wool with natural backings of jute, latex or rubber. Carpets are untreated and undyed and completely non-toxic. Carpet weight ranges from 30 oz. to 44 oz. At end of life it can be put shredded and put in your composter. approx. cost: $13-14/sq. ft.

eFloor is located at 687 Caledonia Road, Toronto, ON, Phone: 416-630-8855.

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