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Natural floor coverings for a healthy home

We all love the smell of new carpet, but how many realise that the odour is actually chock full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to our health. We take a look at natural flooring options.

 

Made from the husks of coconuts, coir flooring is hard-wearing, tough and ideal for high traffic areas in a home. Similar in nature to timber, coir expands and contracts in tune with the ambient temperature and humidity and this results in a flooring option that is warm underfoot in winter and cool in summer.

Coir can be used throughout a home and installed as wall-to-wall carpets, or as rugs and mats. The finished product is strong and tightly woven. While not as soft as synthetic carpet flooring, coir is extremely durable

GOOD TO KNOW:
When having coir flooring laid it is important that the expansion and contraction process be taken into consideration.

◊ Benefits of coir flooring:

- Coir is resistant to mould and insect infestation.

- Coir offers a level of soundproofing, especially when installed over underlay.

- Coir is easy to maintain and only requires a regular vacuuming. Any spills can be treated by using soda water and a cloth to blot and remove.

- Due to the fact that coir expands and contracts with the ambient conditions in a setting, this natural flooring option is warm underfoot in winter and cool in summer.

- Coir is a natural, sustainable product. The manufacturing process ensures that finished products are VOC-free and eco-friendly.

Sisal is also a natural, sustainable and eco-friendly flooring option, and one made from plants of the Agave species. This organic flooring is extremely hard-wearing and excellent for the home where family members suffer from allergies, since it is resistant to dust mites. It is also tough and resists pressure dents from furniture.

One of the most renewable flooring materials, sisal absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. And sisal fibres are one of the toughest natural fibres available for carpets, mats or rugs. Using modern technology, sisal and wood blend carpets are increasing in popularity for a softer feel underfoot.

Sisal has antistatic properties that make it an excellent flooring choice of a home office, as well as being a natural sound absorbing flooring material.

◊ Benefits of coir flooring:

- The natural fibres in sisal flooring assist in controlling humidity in a home

- Sisal flooring is antistatic, making them idea for a home office

- Add natural sound insulation using sisal flooring

- The natural tannin in sisal discourages dust mites and thus sisal is the perfect choice for asthma sufferers

Seagrass is found in shallow paddy fields and is hand woven into a variety of flooring options. More commonly used for rugs and mats due to the fact that the product can be washed, seagrass is also available as a wall-to-wall flooring option. While options discussed above are hard-wearing, seagrass is not recommended for high traffic areas, but can be placed outdoors on open patios.

Seagrass comes in a variety of designs and is probably the most versatile natural flooring for a home due to its moisture resistant properties. It is also resistant to mould and mildew, as well as being a suitable floor covering for allergy sufferers.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Natural flooring options expand and contract according to ambient conditions, so it is recommended that you contact a specialist fitter.

Suppliers of natural flooring products:

Rebtex

Coirtex

Brightfields

Rowley and Hughes

Intercarpets

And other suppliers countrywide

 

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