Posts Tagged ‘Carpet’

Flor — A progressive “green” carpet brand

April 15th, 2010

If there is one carpet company that saw the sustainability writing on the wall, it has to be Interface and its family of companies. Way back in 1994, Ray Anderson, Interface’s visionary leader, realized that the way most companies do business was not sustainable in the long run. In fact, Ray was so convinced that he wrote a book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose — Doing Business by Respecting the Earth and put into practice what he preached. The idea he put forward is that by working with nature, instead of depleting natural resources faster than they can be replenished, you can make money and maintain the earth’s natural resources at the same time.

Interface is now the largest carpet tile manufacturer in the world. Carpet tiles alone are more environmentally friendly than broadloom because of the ability to replace a few tiles instead of an entire carpet if specific spots are worn from high traffic, or one spot is irreversibly stained.

Up until 2003, Interface targeted the corporate and commercial industry from malls to corporate offices. In 2003 Interface launched a new residential line of carpet tiles called Flor.

Flor carpet tiles are available in two different materials: recycled nylon or 100% wool (a blend of New Zealand and British wools).

Indoor air quality benefits of Flor:

  • anti-bacterial
  • mould resistant
  • stain resistant
  • low VOC content in carpet layer and backing
  • formaldehyde free
  • cleans with soap and water

Manufacturing process:

Interface takes its environmental commitment seriously. In addition to creating a product that’s good for your health, it also is aiming to make carpets made exclusively from renewable and recycled products that is 100% recyclable. While it isn’t there yet, it’s well on its way. Right now Flor is made from 100% New Zealand and British wool, old pop bottles (polyester carpet tiles), and recycled nylon.

Further in its manufacturing process, Interface aims to have all of its manufacturing facilities run on renewable energy from solar, wind and landfill gas. Right now they have a pilot program in place in the LaGrange, GA plant whereby methane gas from the local landfill site is piped to the factory and converted into energy.

End of Useful Life:

At the carpet’s end of life Interface will take it back through its “Return and Recycle Program,” deconstruct it into its backing and top material to recycle it into new carpet tiles. This process means that carpets avoid landfill completely.

If you check out the Flor website you’ll see that you can design your own carpet pattern. It can be shipped directly to you, or you can check out the dealers listed below if you’d like to see what carpet tiles look like before ordering.

Meredith Heron Design
(416) 698-7627
354 Davenport Rd, Suite 201
Building 1, Designers Walk
Toronto, ON M5R 1K6





carries 32 different styles

628 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1E4

121 Old Highway #26
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
N4L 1W7

Various locations in Ontario

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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:




  • 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 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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