Natural oil that bonds gets thumbs up
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 others, but that works differently, too. Only the scratch or abraded area will bond with the oil when it is spread over the damaged area.
“After 10 minutes, you just wipe away the excess, and you are done,” says Roy Young, quality control manager at Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors in Milford, OH. In just a few weeks, the company will be launching its Natural Interiors® Floor Finishing Program. Continue reading…
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 a comforter?
A. The PureGrow™ Wool Program was started years ago in Sonoma County, CA. It is a joint effort of The Natural Bedroom by Vivetique, the University of California Agriculture Extension and the Sonoma County Wool Growers.
The program assures that there are no pesticides, chemicals or pollutants in the environment where sheep are raised and graze. Pastures used in the program have to be free of pesticide and chemical treatments for at least two years before they are used. Any feeds the sheep are given have to be organically based. The sheep also are not given any hormones or synthetic substances. Continue reading…
Some are born with Natural knowledge, but most of us have learned from mistakes
But nothing and no one pointed out that standard mattresses contain petrochemicals or that these chemicals off-gas for us to breathe and absorb. Even when the baby developed sleep apnea — and had to sleep wearing a halter monitor and alarm because of a family history of crib death — I did not question the standard crib mattress I had purchased from my local baby supply store.
Truthfully, if someone had told me to raise this question, I probably would have laughed and, privately, considered that person to be a little crazy. Everyone in the United States buys and sleeps on traditional mattresses every day. If there were something wrong with that, we would all know, right? Continue reading…
Comments: 2 Comments »
Proper kitchen design includes hidden collection bin for food waste that prevents clutter and odor
Dishwasher on the right, compost collection bin on the left, or maybe on either side of the sink in the center island – hidden in the counter top. It’s one of the latest trends in kitchen design as the number of people who compost their food waste increases.
No one wants to see or smell a container of food scraps sitting out in plain view, or crammed into the cabinet under the sink, says Jessica Allison, kitchen designer and owner of Essence Design Studios in West Chester, OH. Nor is it always convenient to take scraps immediately outside to the composter.
So, Allison is designing kitchens that have an air-tight compost collection bin hidden in the counter top. Continue reading…
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 crew has released some pre-show video before and after the paint has dried. In their rush, they did not notice that the camera was sideways, but you can lean your head to one side while you hear their unedited reaction.
Earthpaint – a low-VOC product – is being used in an healthful home by Dancraft Construction. It is designed to be“Allergy Friendly” with “Healthy Living” built in.
“The core of this home is an Ultimate Air Energy Recovery Unit that brings in, conditions and filters fresh and inside air,” says Dan Swank, owner of Dancraft. “Our design elements include healthier cabinets, paints, floor coverings and others to make breathing, cleaning and living bit easier.”
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 their homes. We offer low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) finishes. But we want them to have zero-VOC options, too.”
Maybe Helwig‘s skepticism has been triggered by the first can of tinted natural oil we have opened. It smells like dead fish. Once applied to the first test section, the scent changes to a refreshing orange peel. The solvent in the product is citrus oil, a natural VOC. But we put it aside. Continue reading…
Comments: 2 Comments »
Some manufacturers are high-tech and chemical-free at the same time
Q: Are wool duvets, pillows and mattresses treated with mothproofing chemicals like wool carpeting is?
A: Not if they are made by a company that specializes in natural and organic materials. This video features Vivetique – a US leader in chemical-free wool, cotton and natural latex mattresses, pillows and bedding. Continue reading…
Rising interest in less-toxic hardwood floor finishes has some installers testing and expanding the choices
This sounds simple enough. But with today’s emphasis on healthful indoor air quality and products that emit fewer chemicals, the number of hardwood finishes to choose from can cause confusion.
Natural wax and oil finishes have been a mainstay in some countries for as long as there have been hardwood floors. They are now starting to get more visibility in the United States — where polyurethane finishes prevail — as more homeowners seek a more natural indoor environment. Continue reading…
Comments: 1 Comment »
But a natural oil hardwood finish means that pretty soon you won’t
There is something we like about natural hardwood floor finishes even more than the fact that they are low odor and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), says Roy Young, quality control manager for Schumacher & Co Custom Hardwood Floors in Cincinnati, OH.
“It’s the wonderful, natural appearance that accentuates the character of the wood,” he says.
And unlike floors finished with polyurethane, an oil finished floor that gets scratched can be easily repaired – as shown in this video – without refinishing the entire floor. Continue reading…
Natural Interiors® Designers’ Forum spotlights new look for old furniture from Sterling Interiors
Can’t remember? Then it’s time to take a closer look at a growing interior design trend called “upcycling.” It’s not quite the same thing as “restoring,” or “refinishing” as upcycling usually gives a worn out piece of furniture a different look than it had before, along with a whole new, useful life.
While this helps the planet by reducing waste, concern for the planet is not the top force driving demand for upcycled products. Continue reading…
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, [...]
Sherwin Williams and Harmony Ending our series that responds to builders who say low VOC paints don’t perform as well as traditional products, is this video from Sherwin Williams. Harmony, Sherwin Williams’ zero VOC paint, has GREENGUARD Children & Schools indoor air quality certification, which no doubt has some stringent requirements. But this video’s discussion [...]
“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 [...]
Mythic Paint Mythic Paint, which has Green Seal certification, disagrees with builders who say low-and zero-VOC, water-based paints do not perform as well as traditional paint and oil-based products. See Mythic’s video, and look for The Problem With Paint, Part IV later this week in which we will compare Green Seal, GREENGUARD and SCS indoor [...]
PPG Pure Performance Even in 2012, many builders still refuse to use low- or zero-VOC, water-based paints, saying they do not perform as well as traditional paint products. PPG is among many paints that now have GREENGUARD Children & Schools Indoor Air Quality Certification, and the builder in this video uses it a lot. See what [...]
Even in 2012, many builders still refuse to use low-VOC, water-based paints, saying they do not perform as well as traditional paint products. Paint manufacturers we’ve featured say that’s not so, and they’ve given us video evidence. Benjamin Moore is first up with this video demonstration, using the company’s Aura paint.
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 [...]
Part I: Engineered hardwood flooring can be a greener option than solid, but there are many factors to consider before you buy We knew the day would come. Many of us in the green products industry pushed engineered wood floors because they require less premium wood to manufacturer than solid hardwood floors. Many customers resisted. [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
WE Cork demonstrates that “Eco” also stands for economics They have said it themselves: The newest line from WE Cork is the “Eco”-Nomical series. So when they mention that it is made of recycled wine stoppers, remember that this is not the thrust. All cork flooring is made from the waste of the wine-stopper industry. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The “Van Curen” features Marmoleum Click in laundry and basement bathrooms, but this product is great in a lot more places. For more photos and information, click here.
The Pinnacle Custom Building Group’s “Ardwyn” includes our featured products — Eco by Cosentino recycled glass countertops and Velux Sun Tunnel lighting. The Natural Interiors® Editor liked the powder room so much that she is recreating the design and Eco top in her master bathroom. Before and after photos coming soon.
Measuring moisture content in strand bamboo can puzzle even experienced hardwood flooring installers Q: In Part I: Bamboo 2011-Style, you told consumers to consider their climate and the humidity of the environment before installing strand bamboo flooring. What you didn’t talk about is that the typical moisture meter a flooring contractor has on hand might [...]
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 [...]
From narrow planks that look like hardwood to large, defined tiles, cork’s design possibilities keep increasing As this year began, two manufacturers anticipated huge consumer attention on their newest products – cork flooring planks designed to look like wood. With this introduction, Wicanders Cork and USFloors revolutionized the appearance of cork floors, which until then, [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
Demand for traditional bamboo fizzles while strand draws attention It’s official: traditional, vertical- and horizontal-grain bamboo flooring is dated. Despite its popularity five years ago, it appears this fad was destined to fade. Strand bamboo, on the other hand, is here for the long-haul, flooring experts say. “There is almost no interest in traditional bamboo [...]
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 [...]
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:
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 [...]
Consider origin, construction, chemical emissions, innovation and responsiveness when you choose cork flooring The call was one no flooring retailer wants. The customer was furious. Her husband had damaged the cork flooring Cline’s Carpets had just installed in her home outside of West Lafayette, Ind. “She was really honked off, not at us, but at her [...]
Does a material that naturally resists mold need Microban? The definitive answer isn’t proven. But USFloors has made up its mind. USFloors, in addition to Qu-Cork supplier Global Market Partners, added Microban – a mold inhibitor – to their cork flooring products some time ago. While Qu-Cork still feels this was a cutting-edge move, USFloors has decided [...]
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.
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 [...]
Part One: A Focus on the Finish By Nancy Kibbee You might not see it. But when you inspect the most popular cork floors, you’ll feel the difference. The surfaces on prefinished cork floors range from rough to smooth. The looks range from stone-like to clear and natural. Only the leaders have obtained “green” certifications [...]