We are looking at carpet. I hear Smartstrand is a good choice. Would you concur?

Asked by Nancy
Spokane, WA

We're very concerned about VOCs and can't afford wool. We also have pets and would like a durable carpet.


Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

February 8, 2012

Dear Nancy,

There are several factors to consider when selecting environmentally friendly carpeting.

Manufacturing: Are the raw materials that go into the product environmentally beneficial or at the very least neutral? Is production an energy intensive endeavor?

  • SmartStrand is partially comprised of corn, a renewable resource which ultimately reduces the product's reliance on petroleum based ingredients.
  • Mohawk, as a company, has demonstrated a commitment to reducing energy and water consumption in the production of its products which ultimately reduces the products carbon footprint.

Durability: High durability means less frequent replacement and less fodder for the landfills.

  • An internet search reveals that SmartStrand has a reputation for being durable.

Indoor Air Quality: Does the product off-gas toxic chemicals?

  • SmartStrand has earned the Carpet & Rug Institutes third party Green Label Plus certification for low emissions.

End of Life options: What are your disposal options at the end of the carpet's
useful life? There are currently very few recycling programs in the US for carpet but this is changing…slowly.

  • Mohawk currently does not have a “take back” program.
  • Interface, makers of Flor carpet tiles, have a take back program whereby consumers can return worn out carpet to the manufacturer for recycling.

The inability to recycle carpet is a primary factor why consumers often choose
another flooring material that either has a longer life expectancy or is recyclable at the end of its useful life.


For more information:

Read "I want low VOC carpet to replace my old carpeting. What are the best -- and least toxic -- conventional choices?" a Q&A answered by William Janhonen.

Also, David Rodriguez recommends SmartStrand and three other CRI Green Label carpets in this Q&A "I need to find low-toxic carpet for my rental apartment. What are some reliable brands?"

Tagged In: green carpet

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