Building the Ultimate Green Kitchen

“Drop samples on the floor, soak them in water, scuff them and see how easy they clean up.”

The typical kitchen floor is made, these days, of either vinyl, wood, stone, or tile. These materials are typically manufactured using toxic components and irresponsibly sourced building supplies.

To find out if a retailer sells ecofriendly flooring, ask if he or she is affiliated with any environmental or green building programs, like FSC, LEED, or FloorScore. If the answer is yes, the retailer is more likely to offer green products.

Once you’ve decided on a retailer, you need to decide what to buy. Always look for materials with low levels of VOCs for installation and finish. And like anything you buy, sample the goods first. Mari Strain, owner of Flooring Alternatives, recommends that you “drop samples on the floor, soak them in water, scuff them and see how easy they clean up.” Because the kitchen is such a high-traffic area, you’ll want durable materials that are easy to maintain. CHOW recommends one of these three: strand bamboo, linoleum, or cork.