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Do you value sustainability? Does caring for the earth and not wasting its resources matter to you? If so, do you know what to look for when hiring a flooring professional? With so much money on the line, you will want to pay attention to some key things before making your decision.

Choose a Flooring Contractor or Company that Values What You Value

Does the company and its employees believe sustainability is important? Do they walk their talk when it comes to being truly green? To satisfactorily address these questions, you will need to evaluate three key things:

  • Do they utilize specific practices that promote sustainability?
  • Do they use green sources for their tile or other flooring materials, including thin sets, mortars and grouts?
  • Have they been awarded a third-party certification from organizations or associations committed to environmental sustainability?

Let’s briefly consider each of these factors.

Sustainability Practices

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Testing for moisture is one important way to reduce callbacks, minimize waste and promote sustainability on any flooring project. Photo courtesy of Wagner Meters

You will likely want to inquire with the company or the installer about the specific kinds of green practices they use for each job. Here are some things to consider:

  • Methods used to minimize construction and materials waste.
  • Attention given to preventing callbacks and repairs, including conducting moisture testing. Nothing is more wasteful than a flooring failure where you have to tear it all up and start over.
  • Level of skill and experience. It goes without saying, but the more skilled, the more likely they will get things right and avoid waste.
  • The amount of knowledge and interest in practices that promote environmental sustainability.

Use of Green Materials

This one may seem obvious; nevertheless, there are several important things you won’t want to overlook:

  • Does the company or the installer focus on using materials that are green-certified? For example, Cradle-to-Cradle Certified® is a certification program focused specifically on providing safer, more sustainable products, including those used in the tile and flooring industry.
  • Are the floor products, adhesives and other materials low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other chemicals that you want to limit your exposure to? GreenGuard is a program that specifically certifies products with low chemical emissions.
  • Are the flooring products manufactured using energy-conserving practices?
  • What is the recycled content of the materials?
  • Will the materials your installer purchases for the job be durable and hold up to the kind of use you will be giving it? (Generally speaking, the more durable the product, the lighter the environmental footprint.)

Third-Party Certifications by Organizations that Care about the Environment

Another important way to gauge a company’s or contractor’s commitment to environmental sustainability is to ask them about any green certifications. Perhaps they possess certifications or credentials from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or other related associations in the construction and remodeling industries. Any certifications of this nature provide an excellent indication that you would be working with a company or contractor who is truly committed to state-of-the-art sustainable practices.

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Learn if other customers were happy with the installer you are considering. Did they run into any problems or communications glitches?

Remember to Consider Other Important Factors Too!

You may find several potential contractors who meet your own personal criteria for sustainability. More and more contractors and companies are appreciating the importance of adhering to eco-friendly practices. Plus, they understand that their customers and clients care too.

Finding the flooring installer that best fits your needs will depend on other factors too. Of course, you will want to consider pricing and skill level. Plus, you’ll probably want to check their references.

Take time to find out how satisfied other customers have been with the flooring job they received from the installer or company that you are considering. Did they experience any problems with the installation? How happy were they with the products and materials used? Did they run into any communication glitches? These are all important questions to ask.

You may even want to make a site visit to see samples of their work. Nothing beats a strong real-life visual about the level of workmanship you can expect.

Lucky you — if you do your homework right!

Once you have done your homework and you are satisfied that you have hired the right person for the job, you can rest easy. You will know you are working with someone who has the skills and knowledge to do it right while also caring for the environment. For more information about flooring issues or how to go green and prevent waste using important quality-control measures, such as testing moisture levels in concrete, visit