Along with “sustainable,” “organic,” and “eco-friendly,” “natural” is a trending buzzword when it comes to everyday products. From skincare products and cosmetics to medicine, fabrics, and building materials, consumers are making more and more purchases that have a low environmental impact.
But why the sudden interest in these clean, organic materials? They’re growing especially popular among homeowners and interior designers. Is it just another passing fad, or are natural materials here to stay?
We tend to lean towards the latter. Natural materials have never really gone out of fashion, and consumers have more reasons than ever to use and rely on them today.
So, let’s dive into the biggest reasons why organic materials like natural wood flooring are all the rage right now, and why they’re here to stay.
Reason #1: Homeowners Are Increasingly Environmentally Conscious
Today’s homeowners and consumers as a whole pay much more attention to the state of the environment. Millennials, unsurprisingly, are paving this path. They’ve shown higher levels of environmental consciousness than any generation that came before.
Not only are they interested in purchasing environmentally-friendly products, but over 61% of them are also willing to pay higher prices to get them.
You’re probably wondering what environmental consciousness has to do with the popularity of natural materials and the answer is quite simple.
Natural materials have a reduced impact on the environment compared to synthetic alternatives. When done right, the materials can be harvested without negatively affecting the environment. They can also be disposed of safely without increasing the levels of pollution in the air, land, and sea.
Cutting down on pollution is extremely important to today’s consumers. That’s why we see more people attempting to follow the zero-waste lifestyle, going green in their workplaces and their homes. And the first step towards going green is using organic materials instead of plastics, silicon, and other synthetic and otherwise engineered materials.
Reason #2: Natural Materials Are Easier to Maintain
You don’t need special products to clean and maintain natural flooring. Both bamboo and eucalyptus are surprisingly easy to clean — some water and a small amount of floor cleaner will do. They’re also not prone to scratches, so if you have a rambunctious child or an excited pet, natural flooring will show no signs of wear and tear any time soon.
A great asset of bamboo and eucalyptus flooring is that they help you maintain better hygiene in your home without the need for strong cleaning agents. Bamboo has antibacterial properties that can help prevent bacteria and odors.
Reason #3: Natural Materials Are More Comfortable
When you use natural materials for your floors, you have much greater flexibility. You can choose any hardness level that you may desire and ensure your utmost comfort.
Natural wood flooring is, therefore, best used in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and home offices. Denser flooring like strand bamboo can even be used in kitchens and other high traffic areas.
You’ll need to find the right balance between comfort and durability, however. Softwoods are more prone to warping and showing signs of wear and tear, so it’s in your best interest to go towards a harder wood.
Reason #4: Natural Materials Are Authentic
We all like to stand out and be noticed, regardless of how introverted or extroverted we are. We want others to recognize our uniqueness and appreciate our differences — it’s only natural to feel that way.
And this sentiment translates into all areas of our lives. We want our homes to feel and look just as authentic.
And this is what natural materials provide.
If you choose natural wood flooring, even if all of the pieces are derived from the same exact tree, they’ll all look different and unique. Each board will have its own intricate pattern, a line of knot that distinguishes it from the rest. Yet, all the pieces will come together for a comprehensive, distinctive look. The same is true for bamboo flooring. As the bamboo gets twisted and formed into planks – the end result is a 100% unique floor that is unmatched in beauty and character.
Inorganic floors as well as ceramic floors won’t offer that same authenticity and warmth that bamboo or eucalyptus flooring provides.
Reason #5: Their Beauty Is Unmatched
When you enter a home with natural flooring, you just know it. You can see the exquisite appearance of each floorboard, and you can feel the sensation of real wood when you take a walk across the floor.
Natural flooring has a way of leaving people in awe of its beauty. It offers excellent versatility that will complete any home — it’s perfect for a classic look with deep dark floors and country-style aesthetics, for modern layouts that require brightness and color, or anything in between.
There are plenty of natural materials that can be updated or customized without much effort. Play around with aesthetics as much as you like without losing the natural charm of materials like:
Reason #6: Natural is More Affordable
Bamboo and eucalyptus have been used for flooring, furniture, and decoration for thousands of years. However, they’re considered to be the new players in the western world, so many people believe that these materials lean on the more expensive side. They’re unique, so they must be a luxury, right? Wrong.
As mentioned, bamboo is a fast-growing plant that exists in abundance. Its supply will always meet the demand, and this makes it highly affordable. Eucalyptus is very similar. While it doesn’t match the growth rate to that of bamboo, it’s faster than most trees, growing on average 10 to 15 feet per year.
Since these two plants can both offer huge amounts of material for flooring, don’t require nearly as much time an resources as other hardwoods, you can find them sold for very affordable prices.
Compared to the cost of hardwood flooring, for example, which goes up to $22 per square foot, bamboo and eucalyptus flooring only go up to $5 per square foot.
Reason #7: They Can Increase a Home’s Value
It may sound counter intuitive considering how affordable bamboo and eucalyptus flooring is to install, but it will actually increase the value of your home.
Bamboo and eucalyptus are both very durable, resilient, and appealing. They’re eye-catching and stylish, leaving the impression of a luxury real estate, and this can help you get a better price on your house if you intend to sell it.
Improving the resale value of your home is always a smart move, even if you hope never to leave it. So, it’s better to invest in natural materials for your home than settling for low quality floors.
Which Natural Materials are Right for Your Home?
Traditional hardwood always looks nice, but because it comes at a higher cost and lacks in the area of sustainability, bamboo and eucalyptus are much better options – especially if you’re following the trend of sticking with natural materials in 2021.
Eucalyptus flooring will have that authentic wood pattern, with lines and knots in all the right places. Bamboo is a bit different. It is not a tree, but rather a grass from the family Poaceae. Therefore, it won’t have those typical wood knots, but rather culms.
Eucalyptus and bamboo flooring can come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you the freedom to install them in any room of your home. No matter what design style you like or what interior aesthetic you want to achieve, there’s an eco-friendly floor to complement it!
Flooring is a common use for bamboo and eucalyptus. However, there are plenty of other things these natural materials can be used for as well, including:
- Bed frames
There’s truly no limit to what you can use eucalyptus and bamboo for. They both offer great versatility, so you can be as creative as you’d like with them.
The Bottom Line
Overall, natural materials are frequently seen as superior to synthetic ones in almost every sense.
You can even mix and match different organic materials for building almost any aspect of your home, and customize your options to suit your style and preferences.
Give natural materials a try, and you’ll never want to have anything to do with synthetic materials again.
About the Author
Jen is your go-to guru for crafting a cozy, green cocoon. 🪴 Her dive into sustainable building wasn’t just about saving the planet—it started as a mission to make family movie nights eco-friendly (and to ensure the popcorn was the only thing getting heated!). With a knack for breaking down the jargon, Jen turns eco-lingo into everyday language. Swing by the Green Living blog for a mix of earth-loving advice and home improvement hacks. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into green waters or you’ve been swimming in the deep end of DIY projects, Jen’s here to guide, giggle, and remind you that every eco-choice is a step towards a planet that thanks you… and maybe even sends a rainbow your way! 🌈