Thursday, March 19, 2009


Home projects naturally beget other home projects. For example, when you remove old cabinets with the singular intention of replacing them and them alone, sometimes ancient, sticky vinyl floor is revealed. And while my credit card is beginning to hemorrhage from my recent kitchen pilgrimage to IKEA, it doesn't make sense to install the kitchen cabinets without laying new floor. Fortunately, there isn't much square footage to cover.

I have tried to make green choices with every home purchase large and small over the past few years. I chose sustainably grown bamboo blinds, zero VOC paint, and an organic mattress and bedding...

I know: Green for Dummies. But hey, you've got to start somewhere!

Where flooring is concerned, the choices have become less intuitive.

I love hardwood floors, and intend to eventually replace my living room carpet with wood (neighbors permitting.) Not all hardwood is sustainable though...and despite it's recent popularity, I don't get the whole "hardwood in the kitchen" thing. I don't know about you, but I am a messy, messy chef and therefore hard on my floors. Not to mention that all it takes is one leaky dishwasher to ruin thousands of dollars of hardwood. Don't even get me started on what happens to laminate flooring in a flood.

So what to do? Tile? Love it, but can't do it. One mishap with a heavy kitchen utensil and I've got a huge ding on my hands. Plus, according to the Great Book of House Rules, I have to get my downstairs neighbors' permission to change to a "new flooring style." I'd rather bide my time and present them with the big hardwood living room floor proposal after I've plied them with wine and free babysitting.

So go with vinyl? Meh.

Some good eco-conscious options are bamboo, cork, and rubber. But they cost a bloody fortune. Next!

I happened upon "Marmoleum" which is a composite material made of linseed oil, jute, limestone and other natural ingredients. I also happen to think it's kinda pretty in a mid-century way, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the other eco-conscious alternatives.

I'm taking the plunge tomorrow. Pics to follow.