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Commercial Flooring News

Some Red Lines When Buying Green Tiles

Janet Lowe, marketing manager at Forbo Flooring Systems, looks at some environmental questions when specifying carpet tiles: 
THE look, feel and performance of the traditional carpet tile has reached new heights in the last few years. Research and development from manufacturers along with expert knowledge has injected a new level of sophistication into every aspect.

From the initial design concept and material sourcing to construction, performance and end of life, contractors now have a vast array of choice.
As with all design, care and attention is directed at addressing the environmental nature of the product and in recent years carpet tiles are no exception. Flooring development has changed significantly, with clients demanding more environmental credentials from products than ever before. In response, manufacturers are continually striving for ways to improve their production processes and product constructions to make them more sustainable.
So for contractors approaching an environmentally focused project or for those simply wanting to be more economical and sustainable, there are several elements to consider before buying a carpet tile.
The starting point is to evaluate what raw and recycled materials are used, the manufacturing processes and any independent environmental accreditations the flooring has received.
In terms of waste, manufacturers are ensuring that as many ranges as possible are produced using high levels of recycled materials and are re-engineering many product lines to reduce the amount of raw materials used.
Increasing the amount of product waste that can be reused and recycled (or ‘closed loop’) reduces the amount being sent to landfill. For example, through the use of new processes and materials, Forbo’s UK produced Tessera carpet tiles now contain over 50% recycled content by weight.
Recycling schemes also have an important role in improving the environmental performance of the flooring industry as a whole – and are making an impact, as more and more manufacturers become involved.
Many distributors and contractors across the UK are already signing up to Back to the Floor, a new collection and recycling scheme for installation off-cuts.
More installers, flooring contractors and distributors are recognising the economic and environmental benefits of diverting this waste from landfill by recycling. Membership of Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), which has a target to divert 25% of carpet waste from landfill by 2015 recovering valuable raw materials, are good indicators of a manufacturer’s eco-credentials.
Lastly, modular and random-lay carpet tiles can reduce fitting waste to less than 2%. Indeed modular formats are also extremely cost effective, as they are easier to handle and can be installed more quickly, resulting in reduced on site costs. And as they can be ordered in the required quantities, they take up less storage space and produce less installation waste, representing better value for money.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at