Demand for plant-based oil finish grows, along with regional and reclaimed hardwood flooring options
But today, Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors seems to be using its zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) plant- based oil finish every week. And interestingly, many applications are in large commercial projects like the new Boca Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.
The project features regionally manufactured Cherry and reclaimed oak flooring. While the people and planet-friendly attributes of the products are a given, there is another reason contractors are opting for the natural oil finish, says Roy Young, Schumacher’s quality control manager. Continue reading…
Specifiers and consumers increasingly look for people- and planet-friendly verification
But architects, designers and an increasing number of homeowners clearly want verification that these products are people- and planet-friendly. The recent introduction of Aventis – a new line of porcelain tile from Florida Tile — is among the daily examples: “Aventis is composed of 40 percent post-industrial recycled content, and it is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality-certified,” the announcement stresses.
“It’s clear that knowing a product’s people- and planet-friendly attributes is becoming an important part of our business,” says Ben Lanich, regional manager for Carpetland Carpet One Floor & Home in Cincinnati, OH. “So we are making this information available for our customers, and not just for flooring products traditionally considered ‘green,’ but rather, for all of the products we carry.” Continue reading…
2013 National Kitchen and Bath Association finalists have this in common
You can see all the finalists’ designs here.
Like the looks, but not sure how to get started? Continue reading…
Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors achieves Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certification
Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors in Milford, OH, has become the only flooring retailer in southwestern Ohio to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) to supply hardwood flooring that qualifies as certified wood under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
FSC is the only certification accepted for sustainably certified wood under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rules. Meeting these rules governs whether a commercial or residential building project achieves LEED certification, which can qualify the owner for tax abatements.
In order for FSC wood to qualify for LEED credit, the retailer who sells the wood also must be certified, said Bobby Ammerman, Chain-of-Custody (CoC) administrator for the Center for Forest and Wood Certification, based in Lexington, KY.
“FSC certification ensures that the chain of custody, from the forest to the jobsite, is not broken,” Ammerman said. “Schumacher’s certification means it has procedures in place to order and receive FSC-certified goods, and get them to the jobsite and installed, in a manner that guarantees the goods have not been altered or mixed with non-FSC products.” Continue reading…
Water-based stains offer better indoor-air quality and a different aesthetic, but applying them requires an experienced professional
The question is easily overlooked. Most of us would assume this knowledge is a given.
But applying water-based stain requires a completely different technique than what is used with traditional oil-based products. And so can applying a water-based polyurethane over the water-based stain.
“If you try to use these stains like traditional products, you most likely will not be happy with the final appearance of your floor,” says Roy Young, quality control manager at Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors. “And you will face the costs of refinishing in order to fix it.” Continue reading…
Product information and room scenes now available by snapping the barcode on Wicander’s Cork Flooring display
If you are shopping for cork flooring, you might want to check out the new Wicanders mobile app from Amorim Cork flooring.
“It lets you snap the barcode on our display and get instant access to product collections, room scenes, references, warranties and cleaning products,” says Tim Tompkins, marketing director for Amorim Flooring North America. “It also eliminates the need for you to make calls and other efforts to track down the information.”
The barcodes are now being placed on displays in dealer showrooms, including the one pictured here at Carpetland Carpet One in Woodlawn, OH. Continue reading…
Are you relying on retailers who are “being green,” or screaming green?
Each time a regional publication distributes its annual “Green Issue,” loaded with “green” business advertising, I am naturally reminded that some retailers still don’t get it. Particularly when it comes to environmental flooring and interior products.
Their advertising messages scream that they are “green” because of such things as selling recyclable nylon carpet, other products from manufacturers who meet their own “environmental stewardship standards,” or they sell cork, bamboo and linoleum.
Much like 10 years ago when the “green” interior product market started getting attention, these businesses still view “green” as a specialty market that is of interest to a small percentage of customers and, therefore, requires occasional advertising but little in-depth knowledge or understanding. This theory ignores market research that shows more consumers are seeking healthful products, in addition to an increase in the U.S. green building market from $10 billion in 2005 to an estimated $85 billion in 2012, with expectations that it will exceed $200 billion by 2016. Continue reading…
Demand will mean more product selection, but can your retailer tell you what standards a product meets?
Even if you are not consciously seeking people- or planet- friendly products, it’s more likely in 2013 that the product you buy will have some environmental advantage — particularly if it’s a building or interior finishing product.
The U.S. green building market has grown from $10 billion in 2005 to an estimated $85 billion in 2012, with expectations that it will exceed $200 billion by 2016, according to a recently published analysis by Environmental Building News.
The top motivators behind this movement? Health-related factors including indoor-air quality, in addition to energy use reduction, according to U.S. and global surveys. Not building a new home? These findings still affect you. Continue reading…
Our top posts focused on reducing indoor chemicals, sustainable renovation, lighting and health, controversy over Forest Steward Council (FSC) certification, and consumer demand for health and environmental product information
Distinct trends were evident this year toward natural and less-toxic hardwood floor finishes, a reduction of toxins in traditional products like vinyl, and increased demand for sustainable and reclaimed hardwoods and other natural flooring. We also saw new health information emerge about indoor lighting.
There was a huge push by architects and designers to reuse materials and implement sustainable designs — even when their projects were not seeking tax abatements through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
To answer the growing demand from consumers for third-party documentation of a product’s health and environmental benefits, we also saw four flooring stores in southwest Ohio launch Natural Interiors® Scorecard programs. And controversy began when flooring retailers and distributors learned the must by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified to sell certified wood the counts for credit under the U.S. Green Building Council’s rules. Continue reading…
Painstaking remake of historic Rauh home in Cincinnati means authentic replication, along with new, environmental features
The squares within the new parquet floor had to be just so. They were the design foundation in restoring the former home of Frederick and Harriet Rauh in Wyoming, Ohio – one of the oldest Modernist residences in the state, built in 1938.
All you have to do to understand this is to look at all the squares and rectangles in the flat-roofed, International Style home designed by architect John Becker. A grand landmark in its day, the home eventually fell victim to deterioration and vandalism.
But with funds donated by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, and the expertise of noted Cincinnati architects and contractors, the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) oversaw a two-year renovation, completed this year, and returned the building to its original glory. With some new, modern efficiency improvements, the project is setting new standards for historical preservation. Continue reading…
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Buddy’s Flooring America plans to end unsightly grout with PH-neutralizing technology With all of the grout and tile sealers available today, you would think soiled grout and tile would be a thing of the past. But too often, homeowners complain that their tile floors and walls are becoming eyesores. “They want a cleaner that lets [...]
Natural and planet-friendly practices are trending, even when environmental certification is not the goal The best designers are always on the front end of a trend. And this trend is not motivated by trying to meet requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) rating system. Human and planet health are at the core of [...]
Designer gives critical input in selecting best look for backsplash in bathroom makeover In a perfect world, you would remodel your master bathroom all at once, making every selection in advance to ensure all components of the finished product complement each other. In reality, remodeling in stages is sometimes forced upon us. In this case, [...]
Repurposed wood, certified dimensional tile and natural, zero-VOC finishes position new Cincinnati bar for lasting attention Architects and designers know that designing the perfect bar means creating a unique atmosphere for respite and escape. It must invite, perhaps with warm, dimly lit nooks perfectly suited for comfortable conversation. It must have an attention-getting focal point, [...]
Planet-friendly traits are a deciding factor for more than half of ProSource Cincinnati customers Price is always a driving concern in selecting new carpet. But a product’s People- and Planet- friendliness also is a top requirement for about 65 percent of people who buy products from ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings in Cincinnati, says account manager Jennifer [...]
New cork products from Wicanders look like ceramic, stone and wood Why make cork flooring that looks like ceramic tile or wood? “Obviously to expand the uses for cork, which unlike tile, is warm and comfortable to walk on,” says Ben Lanich, manager of Carpetland Carpet One Floor & Home in Cincinnati, OH. “And the [...]
Exclusive online prices now available on products with Natural Interiors® Scorecards Have you been considering a cork floor that has a third-party indoor-air quality certification, but the price is just a little higher than you want to go? Or maybe you’re more inclined toward chemical-free carpet, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified hardwood finished with natural oil, [...]
Research indicates LED day-time health benefit, but possible nighttime risk It’s not yet cost-effective for residential use. But Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology is improving every day and ultimately slated to replace most other artificial light forms. Will it yield, I ask hopefully, a more natural and healthful light than the compact fluorescent light bulbs [...]
Environmental Product Declaration movement is too new to benefit everyday consumers We’ve heard a good deal since January about “product transparency.” This movement is accompanied by terms that include Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Health Product Declaration (HPD). Simply put, these are more certification programs aimed at listing all ingredients in building materials, determining the [...]
Flooring retailers and distributors see roadblock in FSC certification requirement Flooring retailers and distributors — who have learned they must have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in order to sell FSC-certified products that count as certified wood under the U.S. Green Building Council’s rules — are questioning whether FSC rules have gone too far. FSC [...]
DuChateau strives for vinyl flooring that is better for people and planet More mainstream flooring manufacturers are paying attention to the growing controversy over phthalates – a plasticizer – in vinyl flooring, even though studies suggesting a link between phthalates and lowered IQ, endocrine problems and respiratory ailments have been dismissed as independent and fringe. [...]
Why didn’t you mention reclaimed trees in your reclaimed wood article? Q. Your article, The Truth about Reclaimed Wood, did a good job demonstrating that a number of mainstream companies make reclaimed flooring from deconstructed barns and other buildings. But you didn’t mention flooring made from trees that are removed to make way for development. [...]
Demand is growing, and it’s readily available at a flooring store near you It’s a fact: Reclaimed hardwood is now mainstream. You don’t have to search it out through a specialty retailer. Just ask Ben Cochran, whose northwest Virginia company has been making floors from deconstructed buildings since 1978. “Everything we use in our reclaimed [...]
Southwest Ohio Natural Interiors® Design Centers celebrate kick-off with Nature’s Carpet discount Today through Labor Day, you can get a 10 percent discount on Nature’s Carpet — the leading brand of chemical-free New Zealand Wool carpet. Contact Natural Interiors at 513-984-9472 or email@example.com to receive the discount and have a representative bring samples to your [...]
Top southwest Ohio flooring retailers end confusion over conflicting “green” claims with Natural Interiors® Scorecards Forty-nine percent of the hardwood flooring lines sold at Carpetland Carpet One Floor & Home in Milford, OH, have been tested and independently certified to meet healthy indoor-air quality standards. Seventy-four percent are from companies that have Forest Stewardship Council [...]
Flooring industry takes steps that recognize green consumers want products that are Better for People “I don’t really think most flooring customers really care about green,” a rep for a large hardwood manufacturer tells me. “The planet just isn’t a priority to them, particularly if an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) -certified label on the product [...]
Plastic shopping bags and many other items do not belong in your recycling bin Recycling household waste is second nature to me. But, I still find myself questioning what I can and cannot put into the recycle bin. Here’s the skinny on the products that I find confusing. You should always consult with your local [...]
As Green Squared joins a long list of “green” certifications in the marketplace, some flooring companies are planning to make product certifications readily available We once said what could be more natural and less toxic than a tile floor? It is baked dirt, after all, fired at temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Surely, this heat [...]
2012 Natural Housewife Contest winners say they seek natural products because they are Better for People We have named three winners who were the first contestants to submit answers to all six questions in this year’s Natural Housewife Contest. Each will receive an organic comforter from Vivetique Sleep Systems. We will bring you a post [...]
Most contestants only answered one question Were the questions too hard? We hope not. The whole point of this year’s contest was to learn how to easily spot products that are proven to be Better for People, Better for the Planet, or both. The winners, who will be announced tomorrow, were the first three people [...]
Organic comforters have been claimed, but there’s still time to win some low-VOC paint There are two days left to answer questions in the Natural Housewife 2012 Contest. The top three winners – those who will receive organic comforters from Vivetique Sleep Systems – have been selected and will be announced next week in a [...]
FSC is the top indicator of sustainable harvesting, but it’s hard to find on a finished flooring product Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification. It is synonymous with wood that meets the most rigorous standards of sustainable harvesting. It remains the only certification the U.S. Green Building Council will use for certified wood in the latest [...]
Why is Vivetique Better for People? Mattresses and bedding from Vivetique Sleep Systems and The Natural Bedroom are Better for People because: a.) They are made from natural, chemical-free materials like natural latex and PureGrow™ Wool and organic cotton instead of petroleum-based products that release chemicals that humans breathe and absorb. b.) PureGrow™ Wool controls [...]
What Is Green? This is possibly the easiest question yet in The Natural Housewife 2012 contest, in which three people will win $600 organic comforter from Vivetique Sleep Systems. A “green” interior decorating, finishing or building product is: a.) Better for people b.) Better for the planet c.) One that is made only of organic [...]
Editor’s Note: Some slight changes have been made to this program. Click here to see the final line-up. Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors launches first Natural Interiors® Floor Finishing Program Today’s emphasis on measuring indoor-air quality relies heavily on the terms Low- and Zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound). But the EPA’s regulation of VOCs – [...]
One answer is not enough to win Only one of more than 50 contestants in The Natural Housewife Contest 2012 has answered all four of the weekly questions posted to date. There are three top prizes — a $600 organic comforter from Vivetique Sleep Systems. This means that two new or existing contestants who submit [...]
Camp Joy puts hopes, dreams and sustainable design into action Under the green roofs, behind the red doors, the owners of Camp Joy in Clarksville, OH, wanted to remodel in a way that better served the needs of their visitors and the planet Earth. This meant all of today’s usual energy-efficient upgrades – but also [...]
Natural oil that bonds gets thumbs up The oil hardwood flooring finish we are testing in this blog works differently than those we’ve already shown you. It does not soak into the wood like the others. Instead, it forms a molecular bond with the first microns of the wood surface. It is spot-repairable like the [...]
What does the “green” label on your paint can mean? A quick reminder: Many of you have sent in answers, but not to all of the questions. You can still catch up. The more you answer, the better your chances of winning a $600 organic comforter from Vivetique Sleep Systems or a room’s worth of [...]
Experience and training of flooring installation crew should never be a question mark for consumers We talk about product quality. We talk about price, which in today’s economy means we bypass some higher-quality products. But except in the instance of installing Marmoleum from Forbo, we have not talked much about installer training. States like Oregon [...]
Cork, sustainable hardwood, oil and low-VOC finishes top list in homeowner’s meticulous selections Cork flooring upstairs. Hardwood with an oil finish downstairs. Stained Red Oak, from Indiana forests considered sustainable by Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association, reaches from the spacious foyer and into the dining room. It changes to a basket weave pattern in the family [...]
Keep the answers coming Keep racking up your points, or jump into The Natural Housewife contest now for a chance to win a $600 organic comforter or a room’s worth of Earthpaint. Get full contest and prize details here, and help from the Facebook pages of our hint-droppers – Greener Stock and Brothers Floor Covering. [...]
Proper trash disposal was a lifestyle change for Our LEED AP, and a needed goal for everyone Okay. I’ll admit it. I never really thought too much about where my trash ended up until I moved to Cincinnati and drove past the local landfill. It is massive and is said to be the highest point [...]
The “greenest” wool that makes the “greenest” luxury bedding products Q. The description of comforters you are awarding as prizes in The Natural Housewife Contest says they are made from organic cotton, PureGrow™ Wool or both, depending on what the winners want. What is PureGrow™ Wool and what are the advantages of using it in [...]
You don’t have to be a housewife to enter Some of you have asked. No, you don’t have to be a housewife, and yes, if you are in the top three, you will choose the size and style of your Vivetique Sleep Systems comforter. It also is possible to skip a question and still be [...]
Some are born with Natural knowledge, but most of us have learned from mistakes Sixteen years ago, I let my infant sleep on a plastic mattress filled with foam rubber. I had read the baby books and collaborated with pregnant friends. But nothing and no one pointed out that standard mattresses contain petrochemicals or that [...]
Better for people? Better for the planet? Let the contest begin! If you have read the rules and contest details, you know that three winners will receive luxurious organic comforters from Vivetique Sleep Systems and two more will each get a room’s worth of Earthpaint. And you know you will get the weekly, multiple-choice questions [...]
The story of rugs from Mekizodesigns “Most of the blogs I find become more of an information regurgitation, and I am guilty of that myself,” Melanie Munden, founder of Mekizodesigns, tells me from the start. “We are selling flooring, after all,” she says. “But for me, I am interested in the story of how something [...]
Linoleum appeal has moved beyond health benefits to include one-of-a-kind designs Vinyl lovers take note: Green-minded Portland residents remodeling kitchens and bathrooms are resoundingly choosing Marmoleum floors. Unlike vinyl, this is all-natural linoleum made primarily from linseed oil. While it traditionally has been sought by the chemically sensitive or those concerned about indoor-air quality, it is [...]
Be fast and be on Facebook How do you know if a product is better for people, better for the planet or natural? Most of you who come here often know it isn’t that hard. This year’s Natural Housewife Contest will let three of you use this knowledge to win luxurious organic comforters, with an [...]
Organic bedding from a national, natural leader There is a sentence I love in a 2007 LA Times article about Vivètique Sleep Systems – the company that will be supplying luxurious organic comforters to three winners in this year’s Natural Housewife Contest: “There isn’t a speck of polyurethane foam, by far the most common filling [...]
Second annual Natural Housewife Contest starts next week Three Natural Housewives – or husbands – will win prizes that include luxurious, natural, chemical-free comforters from Vivetique in this year’s Natural Housewife Contest. And, like last year, contestants will help all of us promote natural, healthful order in our homes. This year’s questions will focus on [...]
Anderson Township, OH, family completes new home with natural oil hardwood finish and cork When the original plan for putting strand bamboo flooring in the new home they were building in Anderson Township, OH, went awry, Jennifer and Carlton Monroe reviewed their priorities. “I wanted something natural,” Jennifer recalls. “But it also occurred to me [...]
Earthpaint prompts pre-show excitement at Eco Rehabarama Unexpected excitement has erupted on the jobsite of a home Dancraft Construction is remodeling for the upcoming Eco Rehabarama home show in Huber Heights, OH. The painter was so surprised by the performance and low odor of the Earthpaint purchased from Greener Stock in Cincinnati, that the work [...]
The power of the people must come into play for carpet recycling effort to bump to the next level, outgoing director says Listen up people: The next time you tear out old carpet, think before you put it out for the trash collector and send it to a landfill where it will pollute the planet [...]
Today’s hardwood flooring finish choices should include low- and zero-VOC products “Why are you testing dye or beeswax or tree sap?” For a moment, Tom Helwig, field supervisor at Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors, thinks we’ve gone over the edge. “Because,” we tell him, “a growing number of customers don’t want chemical emissions in [...]
Unique accent walls and backsplashes are a natural fit for some flooring stores I wasn’t looking for tile, mosaics or recycled glass when I went to the Buddy’s Flooring America store on Ridge Avenue in Cincinnati. But there was something magnetic about the eye-catching colors and textures on display. This is a flooring store, I [...]
Natural Interiors® Designers’ Forum sees increase in “green” cabinet suppliers In the beginning, there was one visible “green” cabinet company. In 1998, we called them, in Portland, OR, if we wanted wood kitchen cabinets that emitted fewer chemicals in our homes. But many of us had to settle for traditional cabinets. Shipping costs to the [...]
Rising interest in less-toxic hardwood floor finishes has some installers testing and expanding the choices The site-finished hardwood floor has long been touted as virtually indestructible. It will show scratches and wear over time, but all you have to do then is have it recoated with finish. This sounds simple enough. But with today’s emphasis [...]
Greater Cincinnati’s Annual Home & Garden show proves “green” products are here to stay, but knowledge of trends and environmental attributes is still playing catch up There was a time not too long ago when we had to search to find “green” products and companies at the annual Greater Cincinnati Home & Garden Show. But [...]
Natural Interiors® Designers’ Forum spotlights new look for old furniture from Sterling Interiors By now, everyone has seen artwork and other creations made from trash, or worn out objects that were about to become trash. But when was the last time you saw one and seriously considered it useful? Can’t remember? Then it’s time to [...]
Studies that show what “fringe,” green proponents warned of all along are an overdue validation of the environmental products industry I distinctly remember a small group of co-workers who voiced concerns that the windows did not open while everyone else was extolling the beauty of the newly constructed newsroom we worked in, complete with new [...]
Popularity of natural fiber rugs and wall coverings increases with availability and a quest for the natural aesthetic Natural wood, natural stone, accented with wool, sisal, jute or seagrass. Add a little leather, or maybe some cheena. While design trends have not turned back to thatched roofs and dirt floors, there is something distinctly desirable about a [...]
Where efficient energy abounds, along with trendy, sustainable floors The main purpose of this building is to let design and building professionals see the latest “green” technologies in action. But when you enter, the floors might be the first thing to catch your attention. The floors at greensource CINCINNATI, originally built in 1875, include linoleum, [...]
“Green” certifications that test chemical emissions don’t require compliance until long after the paint is dry GREENGUARD®, Green Seal and SCS Indoor Advantage Gold. They’re all top third-party certifications designed to help us choose paint that will not make the air in our homes dangerous to breathe. But while these labels mean chemical emissions have [...]
Authentic reclaimed hardwood can have advantages over wood that is made to look old “Distressed or old?” A designer that I work with was going back and forth about reclaimed hardwood and hardwood flooring that is purposefully distressed to make it appear old. “I like the idea of reducing wastefulness and landfill mass by making [...]
“Greenest” hardwood from DuChateau is now distressed to look like barn wood The time-worn look of reclaimed hardwood is getting so popular that every flooring manufacturer has to have one. DuChateau Floors – which makes FSC-certified hardwood with a natural, nontoxic oil finish – announced its new Heritage Timber collection today. While the wear layer [...]
Past and present green building trends mean 2012 will bring increased interest in healthy indoor air quality, reclaimed and recycled products, and smaller homes Residents on the West Coast have been walking the green building walk longer. But even in the Midwest, which often lags behind, people who build or remodel in the New Year [...]
Year in review shows Natural Interiors visitors focus first on style and indoor-air-quality, then concern for planet health We couldn’t head into a New Year without a baby. Fortunately, the winner of our Natural Housewife Contest – one of our Top 10 traffic generators for 2011 – now has one. 1. Sara Eickhoff reports that [...]
Energy savings is not a great reason to switch to LED decorative lights There is something quietly intense about LED holiday lights. I noticed it a few years ago when some of my neighbors started using them. Was it that they were brighter? Yes, I think so. Very cool, I thought. I am going to [...]
Green Label Plus certification remains the most used, stringent standard for limits on chemical emissions from carpet The cynics among us have not always embraced the idea of a carpet trade organization – the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) — being in charge of testing and certifying carpet as having low chemical emissions. In our [...]
How do I divert rainwater back to my storm sewer? Q. At the start of last spring, I put a rain barrel in because I wanted to help the conservation effort, but I also had learned that the underground PVC pipe that carries water from my downspout to the storm sewer was damaged, and I [...]
More flooring retailers divert old carpet from landfills as consumers demand more recycled products, and collectors offer competitive rates Greg Hill, owner of Brothers Floor Covering in Indianapolis, IN, says there’s no excuse anymore for discarding carpet in landfills. The property where Brothers is located, on East 54th Street, could not accommodate a dumpster, needed [...]
More than a decade after its U.S. entry, Nature’s Carpet gets mainstream attention and could be part of a market that is “ready to explode” Some rolled their eyes and suppressed laughter at the idea that a chemical-free, biodegradable, un-dyed carpet could make it in mainstream America. But when Brian Cox saw Nature’s Carpet in [...]
Once available only in glue down tiles, floating floor construction widens the market for high-fashion, recycled leather flooring It wasn’t the kind of job that a flooring retailer sees every day. The customer was an accountant who worked from her home. She wanted a distinctive floor for her home office, where she meets with clients. [...]
Popularity of commercial rubber flooring is boosting residential interest on the West Coast We learned, in Where Have all the Tires Gone?, that a lot of homeowners are using underlayment made from recycled tires under their hardwood floors. But a lot of them are using rubber flooring, too. “We have sold and installed rubber in [...]
Recycled leather offers a high-fashion look that can also be planet- and indoor-air friendly Unique. Trendy. Upscale. We’re not talking about a leather sectional. The customer who is building a home in Florida wants leather on the floor and walls. And Mike Smith, an account manager at ProSource Wholesale Flooring, says he will be delivering [...]
“Green” wallpaper has begun to thrive in the commercial marketplace, but homeowners are still waiting This is a good time to revisit the reader statement that started this series: “I have been to more than 25 websites that say ‘green’ wallpaper and adhesive solutions are plentiful. But when you get to down to it, you’re [...]
USFloors Bamboo flooring installation by Carpetland Carpet One meets all of the owner’s expectations The new meeting-room floor installed more than a year ago at the Evergreen Holistic Learning Center had to promote health and stimulate positive, meaningful conversation. Brazilian Cherry simply would not do, Joan Barlage, Evergreen co-director, recalls thinking when she was looking at [...]
Cutting-edge style that’s sustainable and indoor-air friendly prompts DuChateau nomination for Best Flooring Product of 2011 We had a feeling that more attention was on the way when we blogged about DuChateau Floors back in March. Sure enough, the company’s Terra Collection has been nominated for Interiors & Sources Readers’ Choice: Best Products of 2011. [...]
Kirei is a conversation piece and another planet-friendly solution for walls when low-VOC paint just isn’t enough “Wow, Susie, what’s that on your wall?” Tricia seems to be in awe upon venturing into the changing room at the pool party.
Cincinnati flooring expert says “green” can also mean affordable and durable It used to be hard to find a “green” carpet product that was reliable and durable – in addition to being affordable. If you told me you were concerned about chemical emissions and indoor-air quality, I would tell you about all-natural wool carpeting, and [...]
American Clay offers a decade of natural plaster innovation We can’t do a series on natural, non-paint wall coverings without a feature on American Clay, even though it doesn’t offer the quick solution for hiding drywall seam cracks the reader who started this series wants. For more than a decade, American Clay and its “original [...]
Allergens, dust mites, pet accidents and mold are defeated by new carpet installation methods It’s a mold inhibitor, not a cleaning product. But I wondered what it would do in the aftermath of a flood that left mold growing on my friend’s basement stairs. HealthinEx ™ is a component of an exclusive program from Carpet [...]
Cork wall tiles offer texture and color, in addition to thermal and acoustical insulation This goes well beyond hanging a bulletin board on your wall. Dekwall from Wicanders is a line of cork tiles, 3 millimeters in thickness, specifically designed for wall covering. The material does a lot more than cover drywall imperfections the reader who [...]
“Green” wall coverings, “green” adhesives, what does it all really mean? Part I Emails from frustrated visitors often make the best stories, and Rachel G. has pointed out that we need to talk about more than low-VOC paint if we’re going to explain “green” wall treatments. “There are two cracks along drywall joints in my [...]
Wanke Cascade president was a leader in flooring, “green” products and friendship Every time I talked to Jim Johnson, I got stronger. The first time was at a panel discussion during a Surfaces trade show, where a past-president of Teragren LLC was to speak. I was a Teragren bamboo flooring distributor, Jim was Teragren’s West [...]
Forbo Marmoleum installations abound in Wanke Cascade’s distribution territory on the Northwest coast Here are some of our favorite images:
Recycled rubber underlayment and flooring lessen burden on landfills and curb illegal dumping If you’re working with a flooring company that has explained proper installation, you already know that you need a durable underlayment for your new floating floor. If that company happens to be focused on durable “green” products, you also know that one [...]
Some of the “greenest” options still are found off the beaten path In meeting daily responsibilities of work and other commitments, many of us have not considered the road less traveled since the day we studied the works of Robert Frost in high school English class. But, to find some of the “greenest” interior decorating [...]
KW Flooring companies divert 2 million pounds of carpet from landfills annually, while some have never heard of the Carpet America Recovery Effort What is the flooring contractor who’s about to replace your carpet going to do with the old carpet he takes out of your home? Are you afraid to ask? Do [...]
Greenarama judge copies bathroom design with recycled-glass countertop from Pinnacle Custom Builder Group show home I can admit it when my idea is not original. The powder room in the “The Ardwyn” caught my attention. My long-overdue master bathroom renovation was just getting underway, and this design made all my decisions easy. My copying is not exact [...]
Flexco® floors flaunt fashion and environmental savvy “Green” vinyl? You will see that this is not an oxymoron when you review the definitions of “green” product. Better for the planet is one of those definitions, and the latest luxury vinyl tile floors from Flexco® qualify. Flexco’s Natural Elements wood and stone looks contain 50 percent recycled [...]
You have served me well for a very long time, but there has to be something that holds dust better Dust containment. This is the term on my mind this morning as we near completion of our bathroom renovation project. My aging vacuum has done a commendable job, sucking up the sanded drywall compound and [...]
What makes carpet pad “green?” Q. It seems like every carpet pad on the market has some kind of “green” certification label on it. I am mostly concerned about indoor-air quality, and am worried that even if I buy a carpet with CRI Green Label Plus, I won’t benefit from the low chemical emissions, because [...]
So many choices, so few that are fast and reusable Tile – made of baked clay – is an original, natural product that sometimes gets overlooked. Its simplicity might be one reason. Its subfloor needs, thinset, grout and installation that spans days also might add to your hesitation. But an interlocking porcelain tile floor that [...]
Our LEED AP explores independent, third-party “green” certifications at Cincinnati U.S. Green Building Council’s regional event Did you know that the third-party indoor-air certification that assures you that the paint you’re using won’t pollute your home relies on testing that is done after the paint is applied to a surface? “We have not determined a [...]
Design Star exhibit shows us how to make an entire room healthful and sustainable An old church pew becomes a bookcase. Recycled wood chips are turned into a desktop. All items and finishes in the room are proven to have low or no chemical emissions, and the electronic devises are energy-efficient. While we talk daily [...]
Board made of reclaimed sorghum straw provides pleasing focal point in San Diego home Melissa Nelson of San Diego was drawn to Kirei products years ago when she was envisioning something special for her dining room wall. Kirei board – made from reclaimed sorghum straw and no-added-formaldehyde adhesive — became the first step in Nelson’s [...]
Reader says shopping for chemical-free carpet spurs confusion Dear Natural Interiors: Your blog and the Natural Housewife got me thinking about indoor-air quality, and wool carpeting, because I am getting ready to replace old carpet in my home. But after going to a local flooring store, I am really confused. The salesman showed me some [...]
Environmental Working Group’s fifth annual Sunscreen Guide says U.S. consumers still are being duped about the safety of sunscreen Three out of five sunscreens made in the U.S.A. are not acceptable in Europe, where manufacturers follow more stringent standards about chemical additives, according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) fifth annual Sunscreen Guide. The good [...]
Winners of first annual contest chosen in Ohio and Colorado After much deliberation, our judges have selected the first- and second-place winners in The Natural Housewife Contest.
If Nature’s Carpet is the leading chemical-free wool carpet used in homes, why not use it in houseboats, too? That was Kyle Kieper’s thinking when he selected the company’s Everest-style carpet for the houseboat he uses on the Ohio River.
Look for the winner on the next episode of Natural Interiors® TV From Florida to California, Natural Housewives — and Husbands – have stepped up for a chance to win our first annual Natural Housewife Contest by sharing their tips for keeping natural, healthy order. For most of them, healthy indoor-air quality is key. And thought [...]
Is Owens Corning’s entry into formaldehyde-free products timely or tardy? How do you know when health concerns about chemicals emitted from interior building and decorating products are valid? How about when the company whose Pink Panther is synonymous with “industry leader in insulation” finally comes out with a formaldehyde-free product – years after it had [...]
May 31 is last day to enter for a chance to win $500 in Nature’s Carpet or a room’s worth of Earth Paint The judges have been sorting the entries for a week and will soon be choosing our Natural Housewife Contest winners. If you wanted to enter, don’t delay. Your entry must be received [...]
Class-action lawsuit claims residents left with ordors and potential chemical exposure, requiring major home repairs “The first few months it smelled of rotting fish; now it is less strong and has a chemical smell to it,” reads an online post quoted in a $5 million class-action lawsuit against Benjamin Moore & Co. “To this day, [...]
An everyday choice on the West Coast, linoleum is misunderstood in some regions In some areas of the country, people think linoleum is the same thing as vinyl. But on the west coast and east – where green products have been in greater demand for years – consumers not only know that linoleum is a [...]
FSC-certified manufacturing facility does not mean certified flooring or healthy indoor-air quality If DuChateau Floors were the only company offering a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified hardwood floor with an oil finish that emits no chemicals, we would not be living in the United States of America. In the land where competition abounds, customers who want [...]
FSC-Certified Floors: Add a zero-VOC finish for hardwood flooring that’s better for health, and the planet The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label is arguably the best guarantee that a hardwood floor was sustainably harvested. But that isn’t enough for homeowners who want flooring that does not emit chemicals. Manufacturers of polyurethane and aluminum oxide floor finishes [...]
People focused on getting the best price often choose “green” without knowing it Greg Hill, president of Brothers Flooring, is blunt. In this economy, he says, people are not walking in the door asking for “green” flooring products because their first consideration is price, and they think products that are better for human health and planet [...]
Midnight Slate becomes the perfect backdrop for Binetti designs at Fashion Week Fashion Designer Diego Binetti made Qu-Cork flooring a New York Fashion Week first at his Fall/Winter 2011 show. “We covered the model platform in Midnight Slate colored cork flooring – a designer-inspired style, with a luxurious look that was the perfect complement to [...]
Morning meeting in Dayton, OH, shows traditional and “green” flooring products all get equal attention – and service – under the same roof How do you shop for carpet? How much does it matter if it has low- or no chemical content, or it’s made in a way that’s better for the planet? And when [...]
Woodinville, WA, Wine Company Chooses Wicanders Cork Flooring The use of cork at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Woodinville, WA, goes far beyond wine bottle stoppers. The company has installed 15,000 square feet of cork flooring made by Wicanders. It was chosen to replace carpeting at the company’s office and production center for reasons that [...]
Cincinnati, OH, woman inspires second episode of The Natural Housewife It’s lunchtime at the Woeber house in Anderson Township, OH. A fire warms the family room while Beth Woeber gets lunch for her children, ages 2 and 4, and plays hostess to the Natural Interiors® TV crew. We are in her home to tape the [...]
Winner of The Natural Housewife contest will get $500 in Nature’s Carpet. But what is Nature’s Carpet? Episode Two of The Natural Housewife will post next week. In the meantime, you can still watch the first episode on the Natural Interiors TV page, and here’s more information about Nature’s Carpet.
Low-VOC, zero-VOC and “non-toxic” don’t mean “safe” Looking for a “non-toxic” paint? There’s a reason for putting the word in quotes. You will have some work to do before you pick up a brush or roller. Paint manufacturers don’t have to list the ingredients they use on the can. Some chemicals in paint are difficult [...]
You need a glossary of chemicals, “green” certifications and standards to understand what the manufacturers are talking about So, here it is:
Yale professor says it’s time to get a grip There are more than 80,000 chemicals in the marketplace and less than 70 percent of them have been tested for safety, according to Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Chemicals used indoors pose one of the biggest threats, especially to children. Watch the video [...]
A decade of mistakes I wasn’t wise enough to learn from others guides my New Year My father always said that a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. But what happens when you don’t know anyone who made the mistake you’re about to make, and you don’t know you’re about to make a [...]
Low- or Zero-VOC on the label can create a false sense of security It’s almost time to paint two more rooms in my house, and I think I will have tested every mainstream “zero-VOC” paint on the market by the time we are done. I know which brand works best for me, but it’s not [...]
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) urges FSC boycott in response to failed proposal that would have opened the door for non-FSC products Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is still the only label for sustainable wood products that qualifies for credit under LEED, an important U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) rating system. Despite several years of work [...]
Building Green names 2010′s best “green” building products Innovations in insulation, lighting, wall systems, decking and commercial furniture dominate in the ninth annual Top Products list issued by Building Green, publisher of the GreenSpec Directory and Environmental Building News. Read about it here.
U.S. Green Building Council’s certified wood vote ends Nov. 23, while debate over which certification is best intensifies You’ve probably heard about it somewhere. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has for some time been considering revisions to rules that determine what wood products qualify as sustainably harvested. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification to date [...]
Carpet One Floor & Home clears the air of dust, irritants and mold with its industry-first Healthier Living™ Carpet Installation system By Nancy Kibbee “We’re not going to get done in time,” the carpet installer yelled to his boss on his cell phone after his crew removed the old carpet from my house 13 years [...]
The cork is warm and the yoga’s hot in Loveland, Ohio Cork floors are known for their warmth and give — just what clients of the newly opened Simply Power Yoga studio in Loveland need.
While consumer demand for natural products is growing, they are a must-have for people with chemical sensitivities Kathy McDowell was upset to think she would have to stop playing with her grandchildren on the carpet in her family room. Every time she got close to the floor, the West Lafayette, IN, resident had a reaction [...]
Geography is key in carpet recycling Here’s a switch: Some of us in the Midwest have more of an opportunity to be “green” leaders than residents of Colorado. At least when it comes to recycling used carpet. Last week’s feature told us the plight of John Hughes, president of O’Briens Carpet One Floor & Home [...]
National effort to recycle carpet diverts more than 300 million pounds a year from landfills, but some complain of roadblocks John Hughes doesn’t need to watch Green Master’s Natural Interiors® TV presentation this week. He could have written the script. He has been thinking about the health of the planet for a long time. And [...]
Welcome to Natural Interiors® where everybody will understand “green” It’s natural to want simple answers. It’s not natural when simple answers get complicated. But that is what is happening today as we consider “green” building and decorating products. It seems that confusion often takes over. We mistake a “green” product label that certifies low chemical emissions for a [...]
Cincinnati homeowner finds low-VOC finish made from Whey protein at a mainstream flooring company John Fanselow was taking the advertising mailer to the recycling bin with the rest of his junk mail when the words “low-VOC” in one of the ads caught his attention. The eco-minded Cincinnati resident is used to researching green products on [...]