Question

What's the best replacement for a wood floor in a home with a pool, teenage boys, and two dogs?

Asked by Nancy Meisch, North Richland Hills, TX

We have a wood (glue-down) floor that needs to be replaced, and we are considering stamped concrete, bamboo, or just going back to wood. We are looking at ways to make the house green. Also, we have a pool, teenage boys, and two dogs. What would be the best solution?

Answer

Martine Paquin

Answered by Martine Paquin

San Francisco, CA

Martine Paquin Design and Consulting

September 11, 2008

Installing a low-maintenance product that will withstand abuse is key. Many options are available for wood and concrete. Select hardwood flooring or a concrete tile that will patina with elegance.

FSC-certified hardwoods like oak, pecan, maple, and mesquite would withstand your home traffic. You can refer to a Janka hardness chart for more selections; hardness of a minimum 1300 Jankas would be suitable for you. Another alternative is reclaimed hardwood—look for wood that's been certified by the SmartWood program.

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material as hard as oak. Stranded or woven bamboo products are even harder because they are manufactured with resin. These products are 2400–3000 Jankas (really high). Teragren has a great product that contains a negligible amount of urea-formaldehyde.

Concrete tile products are also a good choice. Choose a product that has integral color throughout the body of the tile so if it chips because of abuse, the damage won’t be obvious. Many concrete tile products are made in the U.S. For example, Smith-Laredo has tiles in a variety of sizes, in earth colors suitable to both modern and rustic design. An even greener product is Syndecrete, a precast lightweight concrete tile containing fly ash and recycled waste from carpet manufacturing.

For more information:

Read GreenHomeGuide’s Ask A Pro article "Can you recommend healthy flooring for a home with kids and pets?" for more information about durable, low-maintenance flooring.

Tagged In: bamboo flooring, certified wood, concrete floors, pets

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.