Flooring: Affecting the Environment from the Ground Up

The flooring industry is making great strides toward reducing its environmental impact, both in products and process
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Sponsored by Adsil, Lonseal Flooring, Thermory USA, and USG
By Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP


Flooring and sustainability have become synonymous in recent years due to concerted efforts by manufacturers of flooring products. Self-leveling underlayments are formulated that reduce environmental impacts. Resilient sheet flooring can be specified that is more sustainable than other alternatives. Wood decking can be used that relies on domestically harvested sustainable wood that is thermally modified for durability. Clear coatings over hard surfaces can extend the life of flooring, reduce the need for harsh environmental cleaners, and create a safer walking surface. Overall, designers have more and better options to choose sustainable flooring in building projects of all types.

End Notes

1Based on environmental product declarations for USG Performance Flooring products (in progress).

2Based on environmental product declarations for USG Durock™ brand EcoCap HT™ and USG Durock™ brand EXG™ Concrete Repair Patch products (in progress).

3Buy Clean California. USGBC Los Angeles. Web. 7 May 2019.


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Originally published in Architectural Record


Flooring: Affecting the Environment from the Ground Up
Buyer's Guide
MicroGuard® Patented Hard Surface Coatings
Specify MicroGuard® to preserve, prolong, and protect your hard work and your hard surfaces. Our patented products are among the most durable protective coatings available. Proven to extend property life, deliver high traction, and mitigate microbial growth—all with no maintenance—giving you sustainable results with a verifiable ROI.
Lonstrand Topseal
Lonstrand Topseal mimics a tree bark, giving a harmonious relationship with the earth and offering a sense of healing and tranquility. Lonstrand is subtle enough to provide a smooth transition between rooms yet interesting enough to help emphasize a focal point. Lonstrand is phthalate free and features Lonseal’s exclusive Topseal formulation.
Lonseal Flooring
Benchmark White Ash Decking
Benchmark White Ash Decking was designed, thermally modified, and milled with the ideal outdoor experience in mind. Naturally beautiful with a high level of dimensional stability and more than 25 years of rot resistance, it’s the perfect mix of art and science, making it the ultimate hardwood decking solution.
Thermory USA
USG DurockTM Brand EcoCapTM HT Self-Leveling Topping
USG Durock™ Brand EcoCap™ HT Self-Leveling Topping utilizes geopolymer cement technology to provide an eco-friendly leveling solution for interior and exterior applications. This extremely low-carbon-footprint topping is highly tolerant to moisture, pH, freeze-thaw cycles, and deicing salts and can receive floor coverings in as little as 4 hours.