Many environmentally–conscious people today are turning toward an all green home. This includes eco–friendly,
green flooring. Such floors are made of sustainable material that can renew itself within a reasonable time frame. Other
eco–friendly flooring types are those made of recycled materials. An example of this is recycled rubber flooring, which
the primary raw material is recycled discarded tires. Another example is a laminate using wood chips, an unwanted byproduct
from furniture factories.
But purists believe that merely using eco–friendly flooring does not fully meet the requirement of a green floor.
Their philosophy is that all the other hidden components that go to make up the finished floor should be equally
eco-friendly. Such components are the underlayment, adhesives and finish sealers.
Underlayment is a sandwich layer of material between the sub–floor and the final flooring. Its purpose is to
compensate for imperfections in the sub–floor; to provide a proper surface on which the flooring can be installed and
to an extent to absorb noise and moisture. In certain types of flooring the underlayment has a cushioning effect that adds to
Cork is an underlayment that meets most green requirements. Cork is renewable, provides cushion, effectively protects the
top flooring and is one of the best acoustic-absorbent flooring materials.
Recycled rubber is another type of green underlayment for certain flooring applications. Care must be taken to ensure it
does not release any gases which may have an adverse effect on air quality.
Underlayment made from natural rubber is also considered a green product by many people. Natural rubber is made from the
sap which is tapped off the rubber tree and is renewable.
Many manufacturers have now come up with innovative methods in using 100% recycled textile discards for underlayment,
which qualifies as eco–friendly.