Natural stone tiles are made from materials that are abundantly available natural resources. How abundant? The earth is made from stone so we’ll probably never run out. As a floor covering, natural stone can last for a very long time – centuries even. When they do break down, natural stone tiles become dust – a environmentally friendly product. The fact that you don’t have to replace a natural stone floor for a long time is another important issue to consider.
If you compare natural stone tiles to man-made products such as linoleum and vinyl, the environmental effect is very different. Linoleum and vinyl take a long time to break down, and when they do, there is always a risk that toxic substances are left behind. There are even concerns that man-made products could expose people to a wide range of chemicals, some of which have been linked to problems such as asthma.
There are no harmful chemicals in natural stone. It’s a product that’s found in nature and can often be used in its natural state. Most people have a preference for tiles that have had a protective sealant applied, however, if you are concerned about environmental issues, then you can use natural stone tiles that have not been sealed. You may find that, as a payoff, you need to take extra care of these tiles – a small price to pay if you do have those environmental concerns.
Natural stone is an environmentally friendly choice. Natural stone can be collected with minimal effect to the environment; it is chemical-free and will, over time, break down to a natural substance – you could hardly ask for a better ‘green’ product. If you want flooring that is environmentally friendly, then natural stone tiles should be the first place to look.