Five Recycled & Natural Flooring Materials

reclaimed wood flooring
Reclaimed wood – a gorgeous recycled flooring option

When remodeling a home, you want a floor that is durable, livable and will light a room with its beauty. Luckily, there’s more than one option that will fit the bill. Sustainable options that are made from material that might have otherwise gone to waste are a great choice. Using clean, renewable resources result in better air quality because volatile organic compounds (VOC) can pollute the air inside your home. Here are five options to consider for your next remodel:

Reclaimed Wood

Salvaged wood comes from a variety of sources. Old barns, industrial buildings and old houses are a popular place to find reclaimed wood for flooring. Recovered wood from forests, creeks and rivers can also be milled for flooring. Reclaimed wood can be sourced in a variety of types like oak, pine, cypress, cherry and chestnut. Although reclaimed wood can be more expensive that traditional hardwood floors using renewable sources is environmentally responsible and your new reclaimed wood floor will be one of a kind.

Recycled Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo tiles are made up of chips of glass, stone, concrete, tile or masonry. The chips and tiles come in a variety of colors and sizes and when they come together the floor display can be striking. Terrazzo floors are extremely durable and easy to clean. The one negative is that epoxy-based terrazzo poses VOC-exposure issues for homeowners.


Cobblestone cut from local stone are great for walkways, courtyards, bathrooms and more. The stone material can be reclaimed from old buildings and streets that would have otherwise been thrown away. Cobblestone floors are a beautiful and unique way to add history to a special space.


Bamboo flooring is an affordable way to create a hardwood- floor look while using a sustainable, durable material. Bamboo flooring is termite free, crack resistant and stronger than oak, cherry, teak and walnut hardwood floors. To keep in line with renewability goals make sure that low-VOC adhesive are used in during manufacturing.

Recycled Carpet Tiles

Recycled carpet tiles reuse old carpets that would normally wind up in a landfill. Carpets are created by grinding up old carpet and creating large squares that can be placed over your entire floor or in a smaller area. Carpet tiles come in variety of colors and sizes and are made out of vinyl and nylon. Like with bamboo make sure the material is used with low-VOC adhesives and backing to keep in line with sustainability goals.

The great thing about all of these materials is that they are very versatile. Maybe you use recycled carpet tiles in your living room, terrazzo tiles in your bathroom, bamboo flooring in your bedrooms and stone in your entrance hallway. All of these materials look beautiful together because of their eco-friendly natural aesthetic.

Jared Sanders is a flooring expert at Ambient Bamboo, a leader in the alternative flooring industry. Ambient Bamboo carries a variety of styles and colors, offering you an inexpensive option for click and strand woven bamboo flooring. Click here to view our selection of strand woven bamboo flooring.

Image credit: Marcelle Guilbeau via photo pin cc

  1. Kurt

    I put a cork floor in a smallish room, partly because I love the way it looks and feels, and partly because I understood that cork is harvested sustainably from bark and doesn’t kill the tree. Is this accurate, or was I duped?

  2. Jo Strasburg

    In the remodeling of our late 70’s house..have used bamboo in bedrooms and hallway, and will install cork in the kitchen. We get lots of compliments on the bamboo…it’s gorgeous..and we feel good about using a environmentally sound product. Also have used low/no VOC paint….had to go outside of our town for the bamboo and cork but is worth it.

  3. Manton Cork

    The new generation of cork flooring materials deserves your attention.
    Cork is a natural material, renewable, recyclable and eco-friendly. Cork flooring is produced in attractive patterns and offers low maintenance finishes. Cork is easy under foot, insulates and provides acoustical value. Offered in many colors and designs, cork flooring will compliment any dΓ©cor.

  4. DM

    I love cobblestone. It definitely has that old-school feeling you mentioned, and I’m so glad I put it in my bathroom AND kitchen!

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