Posts Tagged ‘Paints’

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Eco Building Resource Offers Unique Green Building Products

February 11th, 2010

I went to Aurora yesterday to have a look at Eco Building Resource, a green building supplies store that carries a unique assortment of building materials. I’d been curious about this place ever since I met Kevin Royce a year ago and he gave me a little sample of fluffy insulation made from denim. I wondered what other cool products he carried.

He specializes in products which are good for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), a disorder that can cause symptoms such as skin rashes, respiratory problems and migraines. Many of the products selected are solvent-free, natural and non-toxic. When possible, preference is also given to products that are manufactured close to home. Below is a very brief description of some of the product lines the store carries:


Ultratouch cotton insulation

Ultra Touch Natural Fiber Insulation is made from 85% off-cuttings of denim that would otherwise end up in landfill. The last 15% comes from off-cuts from towel and sheet manufacturing and a few denim drives for old jeans. It has an R-value of 3.7/inch, and comes in batts just like fiberglass. It’s pest resistant and fire retardant. (Approximate Cost: $.85-$.90/square foot for R-13 batts).

Reflectix Radiant Barrier Insulation

Reflectix reflective panel insulation. Reflectix is a radiant barrier and acts to keep heat in by repelling it when it hits the barrier. Combined with Ultra touch R13 batts it can increase your building envelope’s R value to R22.  It’s great for insulating hot water heaters as well.

Durafoam: a low-expansion insulator to be used to filled holes left after window and door installation, or wherever there are any cracks or small openings. This is a zero-VOC product. (Cost: $13.95/spray can).

Sealants and Adhesives:

Adbond is an all-purpose adhesive and sealer that lets you caulk, seal and bond with one product. It has received Canada’s environmental choice logo and is made in Quebec. ($7/310ml tube).

Safecoat sealers: Safecoat is a unique company that develops products that are non-toxic and low or zero-VOC.

Safe Seal is used to seal porous surfaces such as particleboard and plywood, thereby preventing off-gassing of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde ($70/gallon).

Hard Seal: is used to seal both porous and non-porous products, but it has a gloss finish to it, so it adds a sheen that Safe Seal doesn’t.

Seal Once Waterproofer

Seal Once Waterproofer: This is a great product to seal outdoor decking and it’s perfect for cottage docks because it is completely non-toxic and won’t harm watershed systems. On vertical fencing it has a lifespan of 10 years, and on horizontal areas it has a lifespan of 6 years. (Cost: starts at $52/gallon. Tinting, extra).

Ozone Paints by Totem Coatings: This is a new line of paints that are produced just north of Toronto. The line is zero-VOC, including the tints. It is a soy-based product, (which is also grown in Ontario), so this is a very local product. This paint is medical grade (which means it can be used to paint the interior of medical facilities), and comes in interior and exterior versions, in all finishes (gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat and primer). Cost: $45/gallon.

Murco M-100 drywall mud

Murco M100 Hypo-allergenic drywall mud: hypo-allergenic dry wall mud appeals to people with MCS. This is an all-natural product with zero-VOC off-gassing. ($50/25lb bag).

Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Company: Furniture makers and cabinet makers alike swear that this is the best quality tung oil on the market. It is a natural method for finishing or restoring floors, wood furniture and cabinetry  (Cost: $60/gallon).




Log’s End pine flooring: Log’s End recovers old pine logs from the riverbed of the Ottawa River. These are trees that never made it down the river for milling, but instead have sunk and remained on the river floor until now. (Cost depends on plank width but starts at around $5/square foot)

Jelinek Cork Flooring

Jelinek Cork Flooring

Cork Flooring by Jelinek: Cork is a renewable resource as it is only the bark that is harvested off the trees once every nine years. Cork is quiet and soft, water resistant, anti-static and is a great option for kitchens and playrooms. Eco Building Resouce carries the “click” line of cork flooring which can be used over top of concrete. Cork expands and contracts when concrete heaves with temperature changes so there are no gaps (Cost: starting at $4.50/square foot).

Eco Building Resource:

136 Wellington Street East
Aurora, ON L4G 1J1
(905) 841-3535

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American Clay: A natural alternative to paint

February 7th, 2010


American Clay

American Clay

American Clay is an all natural, mineral based clay that replaces paint. While I was in The Zero Point on Queen Street, I asked Maura Coulter, the green building specialist who manages the store, to explain the advantages of  using clay over paint. After all, putting up this clay is no easy task so there should be some serious benefits from such an involved process. In fact, unless you’re a fairly skilled DIYer in the plaster department, this is just one of those jobs that’s better left to professionals.

The benefits of clay:

  • Because clay is a natural mineral product, rooms with clay walls tend to have cleaner air than painted walls because the negative ions in the clay actually repel dirt particles.
  • Clay’s negative ions help neutralize the static electricity associated with electronic gear from TVs to computers.
  • Because clay is a porous material it is mould and mildew resistant.
  • It has no off-gassing of any kind (zero VOC).
  • It is incredibly durable and will last the life of the building where it’s used.

This product is very popular for babies’ rooms and playrooms, or any rooms where children spend most of the time.

Health benefits of clay’s negative ions: According to American Clay’s website:

Negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. Normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube). At Yosemite Falls, you’ll experience over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 600 negative ions per cubic centimeter in an office with computers. Earth Plasters can increase negative ions by 10 – 20 times more in the indoor air environment.

American Clay Colour Swatches

Finally, the clay comes in a variety of soft pastel colours and, from a design perspective, add a rustic look to a room. There are three available finishes: Loma, Porcelina, Marittimo and Enjarra.

The Zero Point can recommend a certified American Clay Applicator to apply the product and if you really are a DIYer, the American Clay website has a good tutorial video on how the product is used. Maura also told me that preparation before product application is key to success. There is a special primer that needs to applied first in order for the clay to adhere to the walls properly. Although American Clay can be applied to many different surfaces application over ceramic tile, tongue and groove wood paneling, oriented strand board and other surfaces prone to expansion and contraction is NOT recommended.

Cost (prices are from The Zero Point and may differ depending on retailer):

Primer: 1 gallon $80, 5 gallons $295. Coverage: 1 gallon covers 200 square feet of fresh drywall or 300 square feet of painted drywall.

50lb bag of clay (to be mixed with water according to instructions): costs $80-145 depending on finish. Coverage: 180-300 square feet depending on finish.

Colour pack: $30-$61 per pack. Colour added to final coat.

Standard application of product includes: a layer of primer, a layer of uncoloured Loma, and a top coat of any finish with a colour pack.



Jelinek Cork Group

2260 Spears Road,

Oakville ON, L6L 2X8,

Phone: 905-827-4666


The Zero Point Eco Home Store

February 5th, 2010
The Zero Point

The Zero Point

Today I decided to visit The Zero Point — a store that sells a lot of different merchandise for personal and home needs. There are two sections to the store — the front holds everyday products such as cleaning supplies, baby and children’s clothes, some reuseable BPA free #5 plastic recycled and recyclable plastic plates and cups, while the back of the store is dedicated to building supplies. The different areas of focus might seem a little unusual until you realize that everything in the store is easier on the environment than its traditional counterpart (I’d say “green” or “eco-friendly” but I think we’re all getting a little numb to those terms). And many of the products are generally hard to find.

Being an eco-building material enthusiast, I went right past the olive oils, stainless steel containers, natural soaps and natural cleaning supplies and headed straight for the flooring and countertop section. The great thing about this store is that you can do a lot of your green building shopping in one place. Below is a brief description of some of the products this store carries.

Flooring: The Zero Point carries a line of flooring products called Eco-timber. Eco Timber was one of the first flooring companies to be FSC-certified, way back in 1993. All of its wood comes from managed forests in North America, while its bamboo comes from one plantation and isn’t harvested until it is 5-7 years old — which means it is much more durable than many bamboo flooring products on the market.

Reclaimed Barnboard Flooring

Reclaimed Barnboard Flooring

Another flooring product is reclaimed hardwood flooring sourced from old barns and other buildings no longer in use in Ontario. This is beautiful, rustic looking flooring available in Antique Hemlock and Elm, in different stains (price: $8.75/square foot).

Countertops: IceStone is a composite of 80% post-consumer glass and 20% concrete. It comes in 29 different colours and is stunning to look at.

PaperStone looks like a laminate countertop but it’s actually made of compressed paper. It’s durable and longlasting and comes in several different colours.

Yolo Colorhouse Paint

Yolo Colorhouse Paint

American Clay products

American Clay products

Paints and finishes: American Clay products are a natural plaster that is tinted into tranquil pastel colours. Because clay is derived from a natural mineral it allows your walls to breathe, and is a natural moisture inhibitor. There are no VOCs emitted from clay, and the air in rooms with this plaster is cleaner than in painted rooms. This product is very popular for babies’ rooms and playrooms (primer: $80 per gallon, $295 per 5 gallons; $80-$160 per 50lb bag — coverage approximately 200 square feet).

Yolo Colourhouse paint is a high quality, low odour acrylic paint with  no harmful chemicals and no added solvents. Yolo Colorhouse paint is zero VOC, even when colour pigments are added.  (1 quart: $21.06, 1 gallon: $64.14).

LED lighting: While not very popular yet, LED lighting offers a lot of advantages to CFLs: longer lifespan, no added mercury, and even lower wattage while producing stronger light than CFLs. While the cost of each bulb isn’t cheap, the fact that their lifespan is 40,000 to 100,000 hours. That’s a long time! There are bulbs available to replace 60Watt incandescent, 100 Watt spot lights, 75 Watt spot lights and 50 Watt halogen lights. I plan on replacing my 50 Watt halogen lights one bulb at a time, as they burn out.

Kitchen cabinetry: The Zero Point will also arrange for cabinetry quotes from a local kitchen company that works with formaldehyde free, FSC certified MDF board.

Furniture: Around the store are beautiful pieces of hand-painted wooden furniture that is available for sale. The pieces are made from local reclaimed wood.

Please note The Zero Point appears to be closed — March 1, 2016


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