Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which is native to the western Mediterranean and northern Africa. The bark regenerates after harvesting, which means it can be sustainably harvested from the same tree multiple times, making cork a renewable option.
Cork floors are spongy and cushiony when compressed, so they’re easier on your feet and back if you’re standing a lot. They’re available in a variety of colors and grain patterns, for a range of design possibilities.
Fast growing, sustainable and extremely durable, bamboo is available as solid strand woven or engineered strand woven planks. Bamboo has a contemporary feel and is easy to clean with a mop and a mild solution. Take note that bamboo is susceptible to scratching, and it’s not waterproof, so avoid using it in bathrooms.
If you’re interested in bamboo flooring, look for bamboo that is Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified; the FSC is an international nonprofit that promotes responsible forest management.
Linoleum is manufactured from renewable materials, including linseed oil and tree resins, then mounted on a jute or canvas backing. Sometimes confused with vinyl, linoleum is all natural, as opposed to vinyl, which is synthetic.
Linoleum has come a long way since its inception. You’ll find linoleum in many different colors and patterns; the color goes all the way through to the backing, so scratches don’t readily show. It’s easy to maintain with water and a mild cleaner and it’s extremely durable.