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Postgreen Homes Flooring Changes

by Nic Darling on January 19, 2010 · 7 comments

in Design,Flooring,Press and News,site updates

The Postgreen Homes site updates continue as we move into 2010 and closer to groundbreaking on the Skinny Project. The biggest of these is probably the change we have made to our flooring options. As many of you know we were using sheet products on our floor. We would cut sheets of OSB, bamboo plywood or birch down to 2 x 8 sheets, finish them with a diamond-hard, low-VOC clear coat and lay them like hardwood. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your opinion), we have had to move away from this custom flooring and into more standard, green options.

The reasons behind this change are mainly warranty related. While we love the sheet product application, any problems that arise from it are on us. This is not that big of a deal when we have four homes, but could become a burden when we build another twenty. By moving to flooring manufactured by someone else we are able to take advantage of the manufacturer’s guarantees and warranties. In the long run, we think this will be better for us and our buyers.

The other major change in flooring is caused by the addition of the basement which eliminates our concrete floor. This prompted us to combine the first and second floor options into a single choice throughout the house. Again, this is something we will miss, but it seems the storage potential and mechanical simplifications offered by the basement offset the coolness of the concrete floor.

Right now our new flooring options are :

Base Option 1: Vertical Bamboo – This type of flooring is getting pretty common and has it’s pluses and negatives (doesn’t everything?). On the plus side, it is affordable and pretty attractive. It comes in light and dark and will give our floors a nice clean finish. On the negative side, it is somewhat softer than we would like. These floors will have a tendency toward some denting (much like any wood floor).

Base Option 2: Recycled Rubber - Made from recycled tires (80%) and colored rubber chips (20%), this flooring is fairly non-traditional in a residential setting, but we think it could look amazing. It comes in roll form so there are very few seams. It is an incredibly durable and ergonomically comfortable floor. We can’t wait to see someone try it in one of our homes.

Upgrade 1: Strand Woven Bamboo – Strand woven bamboo flooring is some seriously durable stuff. It is twice as hard as oak and is a solid (non-laminated) product. It comes in light and dark and a couple of mixes of the two. It looks beautiful on the floor and will last a long, long time. We think this is a great upgrade if you are prone to high heels or own a long-nailed dog.

Upgrade 2: Cork – This might be my favorite upgrade. Cork is stylish, warm and comfortable to stand on. We have a wide variety of styles and will be adding to those over the coming weeks. Cork is also going to be starring as our new bathroom floor option which means that this upgrade could lead to consistent flooring through the entire home.

Upgrade 3 (coming soon): Stained Bamboo – We will soon have several available options for stained strand woven bamboo. These come in richer colors than our standard strand but are just as durable.

Upgrade 4 (coming soon): Specialty Sustainables: Right now this category includes three flooring types on which we are waiting for better images and pricing. Palmwood, Mulberry and a Burled Bamboo are the options we hope to offer in this category.

Why not head over to and customize a home in the Skinny Project to see these upgrades in action. You will be able to see all the options and how the upgrade costs will effect your overall price. Then come on back here and let me know what you think in the comments.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marie Darling January 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I like the new flooring options…seems like they are all good on the joints as well. I find that tile in the bathroom or kitchen causes sore legs and knees after standing too long.

2 Wes Thomas January 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Sad to see the 2×8 sheet flooring options go, but I can trust that you guys always make the most efficient, cost-effective, and sensible decisions.

That being said.. The cork and strand-woven are awesome options, can’t wait to see them in a home in the near future

3 GreenbuildinginDenverdotcom January 20, 2010 at 1:18 am

Cork gouges easily (but you knew that). Careful with that fridge.
If I ever put it in a bathroom, I’d definitely sand lightly and add 3 coats of oil-based poly. This would prevent water from getting into the joints, and be more resistant to damage from frequent scrubbing.

4 shawn January 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

nice options. can you share manufacturer of the strand woven bamboo?
have you considered nichiha architectural block on the envelope? install looks a lot easier than the hardipanels. might make up the cost of the materials in saved labor. we are planning on a combination of the blocks with stained certainteed plank for our own home.

5 Brent March 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

What were you using as a “diamond-hard, low-VOC clear coat”?

Also, I’ve heard that cork in a bathroom is fine if it is “done right”. In your experience, what makes it “done right”?

6 Nic Darling March 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

We are using Parlay 21 ( as our clear coat. We have been really happy with its performance so far.

We have heard the same thing about cork and we are working to make sure we do it right. The skinny project will be the first cork bathroom floors we have done, and we are researching the best install method. More on that when we get to it.

7 Kris December 10, 2010 at 10:02 am

I can’t live without radiant heat :) and love the look of concrete so we are pouring concrete floors on all levels. The upper levels just use about 2-2.5 inches of thin concrete over the radiant tubing and the subfloor.

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