Cork, linoleum and bamboo flooring

Cork, linoleum and bamboo flooring
Bottom LineReviewers recommend cork, linoleum or bamboo for people who want flooring made of easily renewable resources. When people talk about "green" flooring, they are usually referring to cork or bamboo. Cork (*est. $4 to $10 per sq. ft.) is harvested without killing the tree. Bamboo (*est. $3 to $10 per sq. ft.) is a fast-growing grass that gives the appearance of wood. And linoleum (*est. $3 to $7 per sq. ft.) is composed of pine resins, sawdust, cork dust and limestone attached to a jute backing. Cork is easy to install and can be as quiet and warm underfoot as carpeting. However, uncoated cork flooring is absorbent and easily stained, making it a poor choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Linoleum is a good option for wet areas, but it needs frequent finishing because it is porous, and it's not as stylish as cork or bamboo. Bamboo is a preferred "green" choice over hardwood flooring (*est. $7 to $12 per sq. ft.) because it takes from three to six years to reach maturity compared with more than 50 years for oak or maple.Pros
  • Made of easily renewable resources
  • Can look stylish
  • Bamboo is very durable
  • Cork sometimes has plastic coating
  • Linoleum needs more upkeep than vinyl
  • Linoleum offers fewer design options