Our Favorite (and Lesser-Known) Green Flooring Options

Our Favorite (and Lesser-Known) Green Flooring Options

Written by Ryan Reed, Featured in Allen Construction


After laying flooring for more than 15 years in Santa Barbara, I’ve had the opportunity to see, touch, and feel a variety of green floors. Why am I recommending these three?

We take seriously the integrity that should come with recommending green products. We provide our clients with accurate information, and sometimes that requires extra effort to peel back the layers and reveal just how “green” a product really is. That being said, our three favorite (although lesser-known) options for green alternatives are eucalyptus, cork, and linoleum.

Eucalyptus is sustainably harvested and is a visually gorgeous material. We carry it in several colors, each with a long straight rain that almost looks like clear fir. It is sustainably harvested and has a sleek modern feel to it. It is 100% renewable crop, is harder than oak flooring, and can be naturally oil finished. Another benefit is that eucalyptus takes a stain better than maple does, so when clients want a clear grain, it lends itself to be at the mercy of our flooring craftsman’s hand.




Our second choice for environmentally friendly flooring is cork flooring. Some clients think cork would not be durable because it’s soft, but the opposite is true. Did you know cork flooring lines the halls of the Smithsonian Museums? It has proven the test of time with millions of people walking on it every year. Not only that, no trees are cut down to harvest cork. Cork is an outer bark, a living layer they remove from cork trees (usually from forests in Portugal) that regrows every 5-10 years. It is antimicrobial, environmentally friendly, incredibly durable, beautiful, and one of our best insulators for heat, cold, and sound. Cork, in my opinion, is one of the best, yet most overlooked flooring options on the market.




And lastly, we come to linoleum. What we use today is not your grandma’s linoleum. Instead, it is the linoleum your great-grandmother had in her home 100 years ago. The rise of modernity over the last hundred years brought patterns, and with patterns came other synthetic ingredients like plastics to create what we now call vinyl, not linoleum.

True linoleum, in our opinion, is as organic as they come. Made from linseed oil mixed with wood resin and laid on a jute backing, this is an all-natural product. You will love the smell of it, and it wears like iron if properly installed. The installation of linoleum is a little tricky. Because it is so thick and heavy, it comes in smaller 6’7″ rolls, compared to the standard 12 to 15-foot rolls that most carpet comes in.




Our favorite linoleum manufacturer is Forbo. They have been around for 100 years (even longer than Coast!) They create an amazing product, and their color palette is incredible. In the last several years, they’ve developed more options by bringing linoleum tiles to market so you can click together or glue down tiles of linoleum to create patterns.

After reading our recommendations, are you surprised bamboo didn’t make the list? Remember that if you search the internet for information on a product, you can always find favorable and compelling articles when it’s the product manufacturer who is writing them. In contrast to this “greenwashing”, we are a supplier unbiasedly looking for the best product for your needs. After 75 years in business, we’re even more committed today to offering our clients a balance between the most environmentally friendly options without sacrificing durability or aesthetics.