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Love for your home and the family…!!

If you do your homework, choose the right materials for your remodel, it shows how much you care for your home and the comfort of those living in it.

While remodeling, you not only pay attention to how well you dress up the walls, how your decor looks, but you have to think of the materials that go inside the walls too. Insulstar Plus is one such great “green” product that offers excellent insulation, and thermal barrier. To seal your home from air drafts, and to make your home energy- efficient  you need to invest in a good SPF product like Insulstar.

It is a spray-in-place polyurethane foam insulation which is high in R-value and contains renewable agricultural products made from sugar cane, sugar beets and corn.

InsulStar is formulated with an environmentally-friendly blowing agent that doesn’t contribute to ozone depletion. The liquid mixture expands quickly foaming up to fill all gaps and voids in your home’s exterior walls, ceilings, roofs floors or crawl spaces. It cures to form a fully adhered, solid, monolithic micro-cellular insulation envelope.

You’ll also have a healthier home for your family because InsulStar Plus blocks air movement and has a low permience, which eliminates water condensation which can support mold and mildew. Plus, InsulStar is blended with an anti-microbial, contributing to your home’s healthy environment.

InsulBloc is a special SPF product for CMU and brick walls application ideal for masonry buildings in educational insttutions.

NCFI has been around for a long time, and their foam products have been used in upholstered furniture, memory-foam sleep systems, under carpet cushioning pads, and many such consumer products.

NCFI has other specialty insulation products like ThermalStop, which is good for advanced commercial purposes and AgriThane which is ideal for specific use buildings like dairy coolers, and similar agricultural facilities.

Energy efficiency has been a buzz word these days. Plan ahead, enjoy comfort in your home for lesser money, and increase the re-sale value too!

Sealite

suspended ceiling feature

Yes, 3form has come up with revolutionary panel system that is both aesthetically appealing and eco-friendly. These architectural panels or sheets can be used on walls, for stair rails, shower surrounds, elevator cabs, and in so many innovative ways.  3form recently developed a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic surface solution, which is actually made out of old detergent bottles. This hard surface product line called “100 percent” can be used for office desks, restaurant tabletops,  lab counters, and more.

As diverse as your imagination!

I especially love their Varia Ecoresin product line. This contains 40% pre-consumer recycled resin and really has endless design potential. You can actually pick a color, texture, and pattern, add a interlayer of your choice and have a custom panel made with the right finish, unique to your project.  These panels can be in the range of 1/16″ to 1″ gauge. Your application pretty much determines how thick a panel you can have. 3form provides excellent tech support.  Their experts work with designers, help them identify the right product for their particular project, even draw 3D models showing hardware and fabrication details. I have seen these used as suspended ceiling accents, custom lamp shades, back splash or dividers in office cubicles.. or just as a accent panel on a wall. These come in such vibrant translucent colors and textures that even if you have a small area of Ecoresin in your decor, it is enough to make a statement. They also have a range of pre-priced surface solutions complete with custom hardware, so you can see what fits in your budget.

Wagnerails

Wagner introduced Ecoresin as the infill panel in their Wagnerails.

I think I will redo my shower..

This is what I call, high design aesthetics with low impact on the environment!

“EcoRock” from Serious Materials is a much awaited product to replace conventional drywall.This is yet another award winning green building product that has been creating news even before its arrival.

Serious Materials is currently accepting orders for EcoRock, and trying to work on their back log. If you are planning a remodel or a construction job soon, I advice to get in line. You can request for a sample directly by calling the company, but I could not locate a dealer yet.

It is no surprise that this product got the recognition from Popular Science last month. The production of EcoRock takes 80% less energy than conventional gypsum board. EcoRock is made using 80% post-industrial recycled waste, including waste from steel and cement plants—with no gypsum. This also outperforms all other mold resistant drywall by 50%. No harsh anti-fungal chemicals are used on its surface or within its core.

This product can be recycled at the end of its life, or can be safely disposed of in landfills unlike gypsum.

Like they say, it is a true ecolution!

Ultra Touch is a very good product range by Bonded Logic. Ultra Touch Cotton is a green product and contains at least 85% recycled denim and cotton fibers. If you want to use it as a vapor barrier though, you need to apply a poly sheeting along the face of the wall. Actually, this product “breathes” and is fairly good with low moisture. It contains active mold, pest and mildew inhibitors.

Ultra Touch Cotton- no VOC concerns

I would recommend to go with Ultra Touch Radiant Barrier for protection against vapor, moisture, heat or sound. Both these products have class A rating for fire resistance and do not contain any formaldehyde or harmful irritants.

Ultra Touch Natural Cotton Radiant Barrier

This product range (including Ultra Touch Cellulose and Radiant Barrier) are easy to handle and do not itch. These can be easily cut with utility knife and are very good for D-I-Y projects. Ultra Touch Cellulose is an excellent choice if you are looking to lower your electricity bills by adding a layer to your existing attic insulation.

Attic insulation- Use as needed

Safe for you and the environment!

Good Luck with your new ventures in year 2010!

Yes, Hemp is another eco-friendly product since it is a rapidly renewable crop and grows like weed. Hemp fibers are extremely strong and versatile and can be used in building materials in different forms.

A hemp farm

Hemp can be easily blended with organic cotton or silk and can offer great fabric option with slight luster and sheen. The finer fabrics can be used for drapery and upholstery. The thick and rough hemp fabric is good for wall paneling, office dividers, screens, headboards etc.

Hemp fabric is difficult to find at retail stores though. Distributors like Envirotextiles offer different varieties of hemp and also provide “cut and sew” option for custom orders. One of the online source to purchase hemp is Fabric.com

A major portion of industrial hemp is produced in China.  Earth Protex is a good source for information on hemp and their variety of bulk products.

This definitely is a great option for a low maintenance, durable and yet soft and chic touch in your new decor!

P.S.

Hemp has been a controversial topic for many decades here in the US. Read this wordpress blog if interested:

http://hemp4victory.wordpress.com/about-naihc/

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards my readers. Thanks for your interest and support!

Please continue to e-mail me if you have a question regarding any new/ old, sustainable or other building products. I hope the information on this blog would help you in your next remodeling project.

Now, It’s time to have fun with friends and family!

Cork floor in general is a porous product and so will absorb the spills if not wiped off right away. Wicanders 1000 and 2000 series, which is primarily used in commercial high traffic areas, comes with High Performance Surface. You probably have a series 100 WRT product in your home. Use only the mild cleaners recommended by the manufacturer, for example, Xtreme Natural Cleaner or Wicanders Soft Cleaner. You can find these at a floor outlet. Use a sponge or soft scrubbing pad if you have to, else you will damage your floors parmanantly.

Elegant custom floor using two colors by Wicanders cork.

Even if cork floors have a tendency to stain and dent, I like Wicanders products. They are extremely comfortable since they are warmer to touch, absorb sound and due to their porous nature provide the cushioning effect. This is really a “green” product since it is made of a rapidly renewable raw material. Wicanders is actually a domestically manufactured product, since it is cut, stained, beveled, packeged locally in the US minimizing the adverse effects of transportation.

Wicanders claims their floating floor Cork Planks absorb CO2 reversing the effect of emission. These products come in variety of colors and provide a possibility to customize your own floors. Check this out for their product range:

http://worldwide.wicanders.com/main.php

We discussed about some design tips for Marmoleum floor patterns in an earlier post. People do find it intimidating when it comes to so many colors and design possibilities.

Marmoleum Click for residential applications

Marmoleum Click for residential applications

Some homeowners like to go with checker board pattern just because it is an easy solution. But to my mind, your pattern does not have to be so typical and so obvious. Now that you decided to go with Marmoleum Click for your new floors, make sure you get the most for your money. You really have so many options to add that visual impact to your room. Spend some time to figure out your unique design now. You will cherish your new floors for years to come.

Sahara, Van Gogh, and Barbados from Marmoleum Click series

Sahara, Van Gogh, and Barbados from Marmoleum Click series

See if you would like to go with a little bit of abstract design. Add a bright accent color in to couple of coordinating colors, and play with them! Depending on how big your space is, you may have a module of 4 or 9 or 16 tiles and repeat it.

Using a border around the perimeter or say, kitchen island, also is a simple way to add character.

Various borders are available from Forbo

Various borders are available from Forbo

If you are designing kids’ rooms, involve them in picking colors. A simple pattern like this is enough to create visual interest.

accent color to add that character

accent color to add that character

A rug like look may work good in any bedroom.

I don't need an area rug for 10 months of the year, really!

I don't need an area rug for 10 months of the year, really!

Make sure you try to stagger the joints if you are using panels. With the revised Click II system, the length of a panel now equals to 3 square tiles. It may be hard to calculate the quantities for each color if your pattern is too complicated. Why not hire the professional instead! At LFD we are experts at space design, material estimation, and installation. Whether it is just new floors or you need a holistic design upgrade, talk to us and we would be happy to assist you.

Yes, rubber is another sustainable product that is big in resilient flooring industry. We will talk about recycled rubber products at a later time. Let us look at “Au Natural” today.

Au Natural from Allstate is a 100% natural (not a synthetic) product. This rubber comes directly from their rubber tree plantation and not from petroleum. One thing I like about rubber flooring is that it is really warm and soft to touch. It is a great product for public areas like gyms, club locker rooms, high traffic lobbies and hallways.

Au Natural rubber flooring

You can have custom designs for your rubber floors!

Allstate products come in a variety of solid, marble and confetti style colors. You can even get a flooring product made in your own custom color! Depending on the usage you can choose one of their 26 texture patterns.

Allstate provides cove bases and corners in 50 coordinating colors. Custom stair nosing and stair treads are available too.

These products are installed using the specified adhesives and do not have to be sealed after installation.

Check this site out for their color choices:

http://www.muchocolors.com/index.html

 

 

Their “Allsport” product comes in easy to install 25″x25″ interlocking tiles. These are lightly textured to provide friction underfoot. The cushioning that comes natural to rubber products works well for sports facilities.

“Allkit” is another product which is ideal for indoor and outdoor exhibitions. These are thicker interlocking tiles with self-draining base, perfect for corporate events and roadshows.

If you are looking for a Green flooring product for non-residential use, give Au Natural a thought.

Ionique is a glue down resilient flooring product from Zaxxon. This is really a one of a kind flooring material which actually helps clean the indoor air! The vinyl composition used in this material keeps releasing negative ions in the air thereby reducing the pollutants and V.O.C.*s present in the room.

Various scientific studies have shown medical benefits of negative ions on humans, animals and their behavior. Naturally there are tens of thousands of negative ions present in an open air location, say in a park, with lot of foliage and good air flow. This product, “Ionique”, is said to release up to 140 negative ions per cc per 20 seconds and helps to improve the indoor environmental quality.

Please see this page for more information:

http://www.zaxxonflooring.com/ionique/moreon/index.php

Zaxxon

Green pledge by Zaxxon

This is a 100% recyclable product and so falls in a “Green” category. Ionique is available in 2 styles, stone and wood. The stone tiles are 18″x18″ and come in many varieties of natural stone look. The wood planks are 4″x36″ in size and come in different wood grains too. This product can be installed on concrete or wood sub floor. This works well with radiant heating sub floors as well. Give some time for the adhesive to set in after installation. It is not recommended to walk on it for about 6 hours, and give it about 12 hours after installation before you move the furniture.

Flooring to improve indoor environmental quality!

The manufacturer Zaxxon provides 10 years limited warranty when installed and used as per company recommendations.

The product costs about $6-$7 per sq. ft. and is available at major floor stores. Check the lead time with the dealer before you plan the installation. Refer to this page for installation help:

http://www.zaxxonflooring.com/ionique/installation/index.php

Like they say, this is truly an “actively environmental” flooring product! At LFD, we use many such products for residential and commercial applications.

*V.O.C. – Volatile Organic Compounds

P.S. The benefits of negative ions has been a subject of debate for last so many decades. This has been a controversial topic around the world.

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