Ray’s Flooring is committed to being environmentally responsible by constantly researching the most innovative green products. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you on your project; recommending ways products eligible for LEED credits. As this sector continues to grow and expand, you can depend on Ray’s Flooring to be your resource for environmentally friendly and sustainable products.
To be sustainable or green, a product must meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.
Ray’s Flooring works very closely with all our manufacturers to obtain the latest product information and knowledge as it relates to claims of “green products”. In turn, we can educate and help our clients better understand green terms such as recycled content versus recyclable and assist them in choosing the products that best meets their green needs.
Additionally, as a company, we are constantly taking measures and researching ways to be as environmentally conscience as possible. This is accomplished through various recycling programs and daily operations including our office landscaping which includes xericscaping and native plants in our water diversion arroyo.
Read the topics below for a review of Green Elements and Sustainable Issues for the following:
- Life cycle assessments: Tile can and should be a long-term investment. Although natural resources are consumed in the manufacture of tile, compared to other flooring alternatives, the longevity of its lifespan (conservatively 30 years) results in savings of finite natural resources, manufacturing-related energy costs and transportation costs, both for transfer of raw materials as well as finished goods. According to the Life Cycle Cost Study published by the Tile Council of North America, ceramic tile costs less per year than all other flooring finishes over the life of a building because of its longer useful life.
- Reducing emission and water pollutants: Tile manufacturers are working to reduce emissions and pollutions generated by tile-making plants. Eighty percent of tile sold in the United States is imported material. Imported tile has a larger carbon footprint and emissions of greenhouse gases related to ocean freight transportation. Domestic manufacturers contend that they have a much smaller global environmental impact because of their location.
- Reducing pre- and post-consumer waste: Manufacturers should continue to develop methods of reducing pre- and post-consumer waste from the tile manufacturing process and work out what to do with those materials in the meantime. Using recycled content in products is a great way to reduce goods from ending up in landfills. Product certifications that better denote recycled content can help customers make wise decisions and help them avoid becoming victims of greenwashing.
- Use of natural materials: The natural materials manufacturers use in tile products are not quickly renewable. However, ceramic tiles are made from non-petroleum-based, lead-free materials that are neither harmful to current users nor pose long-term disposal problems. Promoting these attributes can be useful to building the tile market and can further tout sustainable building methods.
- Promoting tile as a healthy building material: A healthier environment is of utmost concern – in our homes, schools, public buildings and businesses. Tile’s lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a positive attribute, as are its allergen- and mold-inhibiting properties. Tile releases no chemicals (off-gassing) into the air; additionally, no harsh chemicals are required for maintenance. The industry also has the opportunity to greatly lower heating and cooling costs by incorporating tile into ventilated facades in both new construction and remodeling projects.
- Forest sustainability/certification: LEED currently only recognizes Forest-Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood. Less than 1 percent of U.S. hardwood forests are FSC certified so more land owners are needed to get FSC certified or wood floors will be left out of LEED.
- Lacey Act compliance/Illegal logging: Important to promoting best practices is clamping down on worst practices. Illegal wood is under priced and undermines the economics of managed forestry and forest products; Lacey implementation is key.
- Deforestation: The wood flooring industry can help create value for forests by promoting responsible management, particularly in tropics, to preserve forests. The Lacey Act will help with illegal logging but there are many other contributors to rainforest destruction like conversion to bio-fuel production and slash-and-burn agriculture.
- Indoor air quality characteristics and performance: Including CARB regulations regarding formaldehyde emissions for engineered wood flooring, adhesives and finished goods.
- LCA and carbon footprints: Wood vs. non-plant based floor coverings; imports vs. domestics; shipping by sea vs. shipping by rail vs. shipping by truck.
- Manufacture using energy and water in as efficient manner as possible.
- Manufacture will reduce, reuse and recycle in mind to produce as little waster as possible and reuse or recycle that which cannot be avoided.
- Produce goods that emit lox or no VOCs to avoid indoor air quality concerns.
- Produce good that use recycled content from post-consumer and/or post-industrial waster.
- Produce goods that can in turn be recycled at the end of life-cycles in a closed-loop system back into another generation of carpet products.
- The education of consumers to look beyond the vinyl label and take notice of resilient flooring’s long life cycle, recycling and reclamation efforts.
- Developing new technologies and materials to decrease the category’s carbon footprint.
- Stemming the use of harmful adhesives.
- Encouraging the use of reclamation programs within the category.
- Avoiding greenwashing and developing all encompassing environmental strategies.
- Educating specifiers: Laminate flooring suppliers are no longer simply bragging about realistic visuals, but touting the earth-friendly nature of their products and operating procedures.
- Local, domestic supply: Most of North America’s demand for laminate flooring is being filled through domestic production, while rail is increasingly being used for cross-country shipments of product.
- Over-selling: While commercial specifiers are just starting to warm up to the notion of laminate flooring, industry insiders fear that suppliers with questionable coreboards will seek to enter that market prematurely to hedge residential losses.
- Air-quality certification: With most laminate-only suppliers not tuned to indoor air quality issues like their carpet and vinyl counterparts, only a handful of laminate brands have achieved indoor air-quality certification.
- Glue-free installation: The DIY market continues to embrace laminates.
*Information from Floor Covering Weekly Vol.57 No. 27 Copyright 2008