Old Flooring is Green Flooring

The most eco-friendly option is obviously using the flooring you already have. Go ahead — take a peek to see if you have original wood or parquet flooring concealed below your carpet that can be sanded and refinished.

In old houses, there are sometimes hidden gems like original stone or tiled floors that haven’t been seen for years. They may need a little TLC, but they make a great feature, and restoring what’s already there is a lot more eco-friendly than buying new flooring.

If you don’t have old flooring to be restored, the next best thing is buying reclaimed wood. Putting period features back into an old property is a good way to add value and increase its appeal when you come to sell. Although reclaimed flooring sometimes costs more than new, it is reusing at its best.

If you’d prefer a new wooden floor, bamboo is an eco choice, despite the fact that it’s mainly grown in Asia. While it’s similar to hardwood in many ways, bamboo has one big advantage – the plant takes just three to five years to reach maturity, a lot less than a typical tree. When shopping for any new wooden flooring, look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, which shows that the wood has been sustainably sourced – all B&Q wood is FSC certifie

One of the most environmentally friendly types of flooring (and the cosiest) is a wool carpet – making a wool carpet uses only about 10 per cent of the energy used to produce a nylon one. Wool couldn’t be more sustainable, as sheep obviously regrow their fleeces once sheared, and while there are plenty of great British wool carpets (70 per cent of British wool goes into them at least), you may be surprised to learn that New Zealand ones also have excellent eco credentials.

New Zealand may be thousands of miles away, but every kilogram of wool produced there is said to equate to 0.315kg of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas, which is less than driving an average-sized petrol car for a mile. The main impact of getting wool to market is from land and water use, but Wools of New Zealand (a premium brand of carpets and rugs manufactured to quality standards) works with its producers to minimise that impact. What’s more, a single fleece from a New Zealand sheep will make about 4m sq of carpet, which is double the amount from wool from other regions.

In kitchens and bathrooms, stone floors are a popular choice, but the provenance of the stone is something to be aware of, as it’s often mined abroad. Brazilian slate may be cheaper than Welsh slate, for example, but you may be paying a high price in environmental terms. Cork tiles are actually a green alternative.