Best New Green Materials for Your Interior

Best New Green Materials for Your Interior

Trent Johnson
Mar 24, 2009

New for 2009, these innovative interior building products are not only eco-friendly, but also better-performing and more attractive that those of last year. See 7 great new green products after the jump and a link to 5 more.

Coco Tiles
From Kirei, this new line of textured coconut shell tiles is derived from shells left over from coconut harvest, which are then repurposed into these decorative tiles with intricate basket-weave or scalloped designs. Each tile is finished with low-VOC resin and set on a backer made of sustainably harvested wood. They're are easily cut with a dry tile saw and installed with panel adhesive and nails.

Leather Tiles

Though leather tiles sound over-the-top, scraps from furniture, shoe, car seats and other tanneries eventually make their way to landfills. EcoDomo gathers those scraps and stone-grinds them to make sheets for richly-hued tiles and panels. The naturally sound-absorbent tiles install like cork or vinyl (pre-glued tiles are available). EcoDomo offers eight colors, four textures, and nine size and shape varieties ranging from 6 inches square to 24 inches square.

Strandwoven Bamboo Flooring

Strandwoven bamboo floor is derived from fibrous, interwoven strips of renewable bamboo, resulting in a panel end-material that is two-and-a-half times as hard and more durable than oak. Choose from 15 bamboo panel shades, including two composites of light and dark strips for a marbled effect (shown here). Panels measure 72 inches long by 3 7/8 inches wide.


This luminescent material is 100% post-consumer recycled glass that's heated and compressed to create solid-surfacing slabs. They contain no binders, colorants, fillers, or other admixtures, and has no off-gassing. An interesting choice for floors, walls, and countertops, Bio-Glass features a satin finish with a slightly hammered texture. Bio-Glass is available in shades of green (Oriental Jade is shown), blue, brown, and white. Slabs measure 110 inches long by 50 inches wide by ¾ inches thick.

Migrations Biobased Tile

Migrations Biobased Tile contains limestone, however, Armstrong uses 10% pre-consumer recycled limestone along with BioStride, a polymer that contains rapidly renewable, US-grown plant ingredients that reduces reliance on petroleum and fossil fuels in the manufacturing process. For only slightly more than you'd pay for VCT, this alternative alternative offers twice the indent resistance, five times greater resistance to impact, and greater resistance to cracking from uneven subfloors. Tiles are available in 28 colors and measure 12 inches square.


Serious Materials has created a gypsum-free alternative to regular gypsum drywall. EcoRock is made of 80% post-industrial, recycled materials and requires 80% less energy to produce than its counterpart. If and when you choose to remove EcoRock from your structure, it can be used as a pH additive for soil and is safer to dispose of in landfills unlike regular drywall. EcoRock also outperforms other mold resistant drywall by 50% and offers a cleaner score and snap that emits 60% less dust. Boards are tile backer board qualified and ceiling sag-resistant. They're available in ½-inch-thick and 5/8-inch-thick sheets measure 8 feet by 4 feet.


Porous cork probably isn't the first thing you think of for the bath but this new mosaic flooring, created with 100% post-industrial recycled wine cork slices, holds up in wet and high-traffic environments. Quarter-inch-thick cork pieces are assembled on paper backing for quick and easy adhesion to subfloor. Once sheets are set and grouted (sanded grout is best for wet installations), they're sealed with a water-based polyurethane finish that keeps out moisture but offers the resilience and underfoot cushion of uncoated cork. Each sheet measures 12 inches by 24 inches.


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