Tag Archives: eco floor

Carpet & Sustainability… A LEED AP’s perspective on a particular product

Smartstrand vs. Nylon? Triexta – Smartstrand Sorona PTT fiber.
Is it green?

The following points give a glimpse as to why this may be the fiber to watch. Though not as green as wool or PET, it appears to strike a balance that has been resonating with our client base. If I were to give it a “Moline Greenwashing Index” shades of green color, I’d put it squarely in the middle (good) and endorse it. Click here to learn more about the LEED rating system.
Here are your green factoids:

– The production of Sorona® polymer requires 30 percent less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon.
– Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Sorona® are 63 percent lower than nylon manufacturing.
– Every seven yards of SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona saves enough energy and resources to equal one gallon of gasoline—that’s ten million gallons of gasoline a year!
– Factor in the lifecycle cost of a more robust floorcovering and you’ve got something worth a look.
That said, LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) is just a small portion of what I consider and not worth hanging a “green” label on. But it plays a role.

I have had great success with this newest of fibers and have not had one complaint. In fact, it is installed in our showroom and gets more use than your average residential application… and it is holding up beautifully. The softness itself is reason alone to spark interest. But it is the cleanability that customers have shown to be the biggest draw.

Following is a testimonial from a rarely-heard segment of our industry, the independent testing agency:

Independent Textile Testing Service, Inc.

“Over the past 10 years we have been involved in extensive testing of the PTT fiber pertaining to carpet usage. Testing has included everything from pedestrian traffic, soiling, staining, static, colorfastness to atmospheric contaminants, flammability and many others. Based on our experience with the PTT fiber, it would seem that the test results consistently show a marked difference when compared to PET in regards to performance…It is of our opinion that the differences shown do indeed indicate that a need for a separate classification is a good idea. It would be very difficult to continue to try and let the marketplace separate these on its own. PTT indeed performs much better in general than PET in traffic ratings and it would benefit the consumer to know that there were distinct differences, thereby eliminating PET from being confused with PTT. We think a separate class of fiber generic name would be in good order and an overall benefit to end users.”


We look forward to seeing this fiber gain in popularity as it has over the past 4 years. I believe that if it were going to fail, it would have fallen by the wayside quickly. It looks like that just isn’t the case and as a LEED Accredited Professional dedicated to sustainability in the flooring industry I couldn’t be more satisfied.
Here is more information straight from Mohawk’s website regarding specific results:

Wear (Walk test)

SmartStrand fibers bend easily, rebound quickly and are amazingly durable. A test with over 20,000 foot traffics proved SmartStrand’s superior resiliency and crush resistance. In durability comparisons, nylon performed well, but SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona Polymer performed better.

Wear (Hexapod Test)

SmartStrand also underwent rigorous mechanical testing designed to simulate actual walk tests, but in a much shorter time period. Results confirmed…SmartStrand is the best.

Stain Protection

This is where Mohawk SmartStrand really excels. The SmartStrand fiber has engineered-in stain protection. Most stains (even the really stubborn ones such as hot coffee, mustard, red wine, tea, juice, shoe polish and more) are easily lifted with water and mild detergent or Floor Care Essentials. Even more impressive, SmartStrand fiber is resistant to discoloration from bleach. The leading nylon brands contain topically applied protection on the surface of the fiber that can wash and wear off.  SmartStrand stain protection does not contain any topically applied protection (it’s built-in) and it will never wash or wear off. NEVER!


SmartStrand’s unbeatable built-in stain protection also works against soiling, providing significantly better resistance and removal compared to nylon.


For eliminating uncomfortable static, SmartStrand gets another “excellent” rating versus nylon’s “poor” rating. SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona Polymer is the clear choice in static protection.


Customers that choose beautiful SmartStrand carpets in any style or color will be pleased by the long-term protection from fading, UV light and ozone discolorations. Color fastness is just one more “excellent” rating for SmartStrand.

Exceptional Comfort & Confidence

Every day, SmartStrand carpet pass another important test for consumers; the softness test. SmartStrand carpets are installed in thousands of homes and Mohawk customers have praised the elegant looks, gentle feel and supreme comfort.  Free of harsh topically applied chemicals, SmartStrand’s fresh, pure and soft fibers provide a cleaner, healthier interior environment for consumers.

about Chris Moline, LEED AP

Chris is our Residential Group Manager & a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional

Chris Moline, LEED AP

Cork Flooring – Warm, Resilient & Easy On The Planet.


by Chris Moline, LEED AP

Are you looking for a warm, comfortable, eco-friendly floor? I’ve had cork flooring in my sun room and kitchen for almost two years now. What’s the verdict?

Well, my wife and I, along with our children ages 9, 10 and 13… and our 75-lb German shepherd… absolutely love it. In fact, we recently installed it in her home-based physical therapy office as well.
We’re active (to say the least) and there is so much about this type of flooring that goes with our lifestyle. In fact, cork has been used for flooring since the mid-1800’s. Stop by some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes and you’ll see cork everywhere from the kitchen to the bathrooms.
Cork is well-suited to commercial applications, too. Chicago’s First Congregational Church, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and Lafayette College in Easton, PA, are just a few of the places you’ll find it.

Click HERE
for a Free Estimate!

Here are some great reasons to look into cork for your flooring choice:

It’s warm
– Our 300 s.f. sunroom is built over a crawl space. It’s also got a 12-foot cathedral ceiling and I didn’t want to run ductwork for heat. So I installed R-45 insulation, radiant subfloor heat and the cork.  We do not have a problem staying warm, even though the three sides of the sunroom are all glass (triple-pane, Low-E).
Here is a picture of our sunroom:

It’s quiet
– Cork is the most efficient insulating material. Humans have tried, and failed, to make something better. But cork’s bajillion-cell-per-cubic-inch structure (ok, so I’m not a numbers guy) insulates wonderfully well against the sound of 3 kids and a dog when the adults are trying to relax.

It’s great camoflauge!
– Ever notice how hotels and restaurants always have patterned carpet and other types of flooring? It’s really quite simple to explain. Every floor will get dirty, but if you can’t see it, the time-lag to cleaning doesn’t bother you as much. Cork definitely offers that hands-down.
The natural appearance of cork is very, well, varied. Heaven forbid that I drop something small on the floor… it’ll be hard to find! And that, my friend, is just what I need given our hectic lifestyle.
But even though it’s great for hiding spills and other household ills, it also cleans up very easily. Personally, I use Windex for spot-cleaning, and Alba, our cleaning person, for weekly cleaning. Alba, however, uses Mr. Clean for hardwood floors. Cork, after all, is made from the the bark of the Cork Oak tree.

Cork is very green
– Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. It is a renewable and sustainable resource with a very small carbon footprint. In cork oak plantations the first cork bark is not harvested from a tree until it is 25-30 years old.  The process of stripping off the bark in sections is traditionally done by hand, the way it’s been done for hundreds of years. The tree is not damaged and the bark regrows completely. The bark is harvested every nine years and a cork oak can live for 150-200 years, so it can be safely harvested up to 20 times during its life cycle.
According to Natural Cork, “Cork’s structure is very similar to that of a honeycomb: each square centimetre is composed of 40 million cells (a more accurate figure than a bajillion). These cells, as well as the spaces between them, are filled with a gaseous mixture similar to air. That is what makes cork so remarkable. The unique structure of cork creates the three most important characteristics in its application as flooring: Thermal Insulation, Sound Reduction and Elasticity.”
That’s why you can place a grand piano on your cork floor and it will bounce back when you move it.  Also, if you do happen to gouge it, repairs are much more easy to conceal since the finish is so varied in color and texture.

We’ve just installed a hundred square feet of cork in our showroom in Alexandria, Virginia. Come on by and give it a walk. Go ahead, take your shoes off!


cork flooring northern virginia, greenfloors.com, greenfloors, green flooring, eco friendly floors

Chris is our Residential Group Manager & a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional

Christopher Moline, LEED AP
Residential Group Manager
Commercial Carpets of America
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