Flor for Your Floor

I have the world’s smallest bathroom considering I don’t live on the island of Manhattan, so I hired a Superb Bathroom Renovation South Dublin service to swap out an extremely ugly (faux blue marble patterned plastic, need I say more?) sink cabinet for a vintage pedestal sink that was left in my basement by the previous owners. I’m so glad they kept it, as it is a petite white enamel lovely who just needed some elbow grease and some cute new fixtures.

As one of those Eco Chicks who prefers old over new in 90% of home decorating challenges (hey, some like clean and modern, I like imperfect stuff with a history!) I was extremely happy to put something old back into my almost-100-year-old Victorian House.

However, when I moved the old, crappy sink out, I noticed the tile beneath was damaged and discolored, and it’s coming up in other places as well. Not being particularly handy, I decided that rather than take the time, expense and money I don’t have to put in new tile, I would just cover it over with FLOR.

flor 1flor 2

Flor tiles in some fun patterns from their online catalog

FLOR is, quite simply, tiles of carpet you can join together in any configuration you want. You can create an area rug with 12 tiles, or go wall-to-wall (like I’m going to do in my bathroom). The carpet tiles are easy to cut with a box-cutter, so you can cut around furniture like pedestal sinks and toilets. There are a zillion different colors, patterns, and thicknesses of rug, and you can mix and match them to create a totally unique floor covering. They also have all sorts of great suggestions and design ideas online and in their catalog. But because they are not vintage, antique, or used, I double-checked to make sure they were as green as I’d heard they were.

FLOR tiles can be removed individually when they get worn down, or if they get damaged or stained. You can send them back to Interface, who makes Flor, and they will recycle them to make more tiles. So not only are you using a recycled product that can then be recycled, you can choose to replace just one part of a rug, instead of the whole thing (and you can take it with you when you move!) FLOR has the lowest VOCs (volatile organic compounds- those nasty toxins that are responsible for ‘new’ car, carpet, and paint smells) of any rug manufacturer.

The folks over at Green Home Guide contacted Flor directly and found out the following additional information:

Their Terra collection is made of nylon and Polylactic Acid (PLA) face-fiber, which is derived from corn as a bio-based, rapidly renewable resource alternative.

If you want a natural fiber, their Heartfelt collection is made from a blend of hemp and wool. The Coir2 (“Coir Squared”) collection is a Coir and Sisal blend.

These floorcoverings have been specifically designed to emit few air pollutants. The backing of all FLOR tiles are treated with a low-toxicity antimicrobial to inhibit stain and odor causing molds and bacteria. FLOR tiles are secured to the floor surface with low-tact, nontoxic adhesive dots in each corner, so there are no fumes from toxic adhesives.

Weirdly, FLOR’s website doesn’t advertise their product as being environmentally-friendly; their site only has a generic statement about being “Green” and there’s not much content in their printed catalog either. They stress the ease and modern style of the carpet. However, the parent company, Interface, has a detailed report about their sustainability practices.

Flor Camoflower

This is the pattern, called Camoflower, that I decided on, here shown in a kids’ room, wall-to-wall.

Flor PressedFlowers

This was my other favorite choice, called Pressed Flowers. This comes in several colors, including a nice blue/green. But I went with the more Fun Camoflower option.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.