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Green Flooring – Stone flooring

Stone Flooring

Green Flooring - Stone

Stone is a natural product that's quarried from the earth with large machines. After the stone is quarried and transported to the factory, it's shaped with machine–powered saws. This labor– and energy–intensive process has played stone flooring out of favor with the green industry. In attempts to make stone more eco–friendly, many manufacturers are now using reclaimed (deconstructed) stone or quarrying stone locally.

Pros

  • Stone flooring can be recycled into new flooring, or ground up and used in road building
  • Varieties of reclaimed stone floor are available
  • The Natural Stone Council (NSC)* Committee on Sustainability believes that stone will play a huge role in the future green–building movement
  • Stone is a natural and abundant resource
  • The energy used by extraction machines varies. Some quarries use significantly less energy overall for extracting and shaping stone
  • In terms of lifespan–to–cost, stone flooring tops most other floor types
  • A number of stone floors are quarried and manufactured locally

*Natural Stone Council (NSC) is an organization comprised of trade associations and natural stone businesses. NSC Committee on Sustainability was created in an effort to make natural stone a preferred material in sustainable building.

Cons

  • Stone is considered a nonrenewable and non–sustainable material
  • The quarrying and shaping process can demand a high amount of energy
  • Some stone types have a high level of radon* and radiation content
  • Several stone flooring sealants contain high levels of VOCs and/or petroleum

*Radon is a gaseous radioactive element that is commonly found in soil and rocks. Linked with various health problems, including lung cancer.

Green Flooring Tips – Stone

  • Purchase stone flooring from a local manufacturer that recycles product and water waste
  • Choose stone flooring that's made with reclaimed materials
  • Donate old stone floors to a stone reclamation center

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