Green flooring is any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint, or has low VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Green Home Benefits

What are some of the general benefits of going green? First, you might see lower utility bills because of energy and water efficiency. Many green homes enjoy more even temperatures with fewer drafts. They are also built with materials that are designed to last longer and require less routine maintenance.

Green | Great Floors


White carpet in bedroom | Great Floors


According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, the carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, from roofing shingles and railroad ties to automotive parts. A carpet can be classified as "green" depending on its fibers, toxics content, dye, VOC emissions, and recycled content. The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute ensure that customers are purchasing among the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive, and cushion products on the market.

Hardwood Flooring

As a natural resource, hardwood is: 

  • Renewable
  • Recyclable
  • Suitable for a “healthy home” environment

What's more, forests are carefully managed.

Key west hardwood flooring | Great Floors
Flooring samples | Great Floors

Ceramic Tile

As one of the greenest flooring options on the market, ceramic tiles:

  • Rarely release emissions
  • Can contain recycled content
  • Are long-lasting and not replaced frequently
  • Require little maintenance



The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has established the Green Label program to test for VOCs in cushion used under carpet. This program helps you choose low-emission cushion. You can identify these products by looking for the program’s green and white seal. These products are continuously monitored to ensure that they maintain compliance.

Cushion products are characterized as prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, mechanically frothed polyurethane, rubber-hair, rubber–jute, synthetic fiber, resinated or coated synthetic fiber, rubber and rubberized polyurethane. Cushions are tested for total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), formaldehyde, and 4-phenylcyclohexine (4-PCH).

Carpet cushion can be:


  • Made from 100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
  • Made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
  • Made with no CFCs, latex, or chemical additives
  • Made with 100% recycled tire rubber carpet pad, which withstands temperatures from 40 to 120 degrees and is free of toxic materials such as PCB, mercury, and formaldehyde
  • Made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber


Adhesives are just as important to consider when purchasing flooring as the flooring itself. Adhesives with harmful toxins can damage indoor air quality by giving off harmful gasses. To ensure your adhesives are green:

  • Choose low VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Make sure your adhesives do not contain formaldehyde
  • Ensure they qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institute's Indoor Air Quality green label

A few other things to keep in mind:

  • Once installed, floors still give off gas compounds
  • Less durable floors have to be replaced more often
  • High-maintenance floors use more harsh chemicals
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished