Over the years, we’ve used many green building products — clay paints, bamboo and cork flooring, reclaimed slate countertops, citrus solvents, and straw bales, to name just a few. New products come on the market every day, and we try to keep abreast of the highest performing, most reliable ones.
For one-stop shopping, Green Building Supply is a great source for flooring, paints and finishes, cabinets and countertops, and home energy products. From their website you can order products from many different companies.
In case you’d like to research products individually, we’ve also listed some good suppliers (many of them the same as at Green Building Supply) below.
Please note that not all items are available locally; some may be harder to get than others, or involve a longer wait.
PAINTS AND PRIMERS
- AFM Safecoat® — A wide variety of non-toxic sealers, finishes, and paints
- ECOS Paints — A wide variety of non-toxic sealers, finishes, and paints
- Heritage Natural Finishes — Biodegradable, all-natural finishes made from sustainable resources
- Bioshield Aquaresin — Water-based, zero-VOC wood stain finish for interior and exterior applications
- Tung oil — Also known as chinawood oil, tung oil is made from pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree. Make sure you buy 100% pure tung oil, without additives.
- Paper — Fine Homebuilding has a good blog post about paper countertops
- Richlite — Made from lots of different recycled fibers – paper, blue jeans, banana peels, burlap bags, etc.; material was used originally for ramps in skateboard parks
- PaperStone® — 100% post-consumer recycled paper
- Bamboo — Bamboo is a rapidly-renewable resource. Teragren makes countertops as well as flooring.
- Marmoleum® — Natural linoleum made from a compound of linseed oil, rosins, cork flour, limestone, and wood flour adhered to a non-toxic jute backing. Most often used for flooring, but is also a good choice for countertops.
- Glass — Vetrazzo 100% recycled glass countertops
- Corian® — Contains some pre-consumer recycled content (some colors are made from factory cut-offs) and is GREENGUARD™ Indoor Air Quality Certified
- Quartzite — Caesarstone® recycles 97% of water used in processing and uses recycled material when possible. Corian Quartz® uses some recycled material and is GREENGUARD™ certified.
- Reclaimed slate — NPC has installed several reclaimed slate countertops using slate from PACA, the local preservation association.
- Reclaimed wood — Properly finished, reclaimed wood is a durable and environmentally-friendly countertop choice
- Crystal — A good choice if indoor air quality is an issue
- Bamboo — Look for sustainably-harvested strand-woven bamboo. Teragren and Eco-Timber are good choices. We especially like the strand bamboo because it is denser and harder than many woods and other types of bamboo.
- Marmoleum® — Natural linoleum made from a compound of linseed oil, rosins, cork flour, limestone, and wood flour adhered to a non-toxic jute backing. Marmoleum now comes pre-finished, so waxing/stripping is not required. Healthy, solvent-free adhesive, such as Taylor products, should be used to install (when you get to the website, click on Products to pick which type of flooring).
- Cork — Can come pre-finished. If not pre-finished, be sure to use a healthy finish and adhesive.
- Hardwood — Hardwood is long-lasting and beautiful, but look for the Sustainable Forest Initative (SFI) Label. SFI’s forest certification standard is based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.
- Ceramic or stone tile — Durable, allergen-free, and often made from recycled material
We’ve worked with most of the products listed above, and can advise you on the pros and cons of the various options. Just give Julie a call at 217-344-5131 if you have any questions!