Green products for your home: which ones really work?

If you’re thinking about any kind of home improvement or renovation, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the array of “green” choices out there. Paints, appliances, building materials, decor items… there are lots of products claiming green cred.

Of course, longevity is one of the key elements of product sustainability, so you need paints, appliances, building materials and decor items to work… and to work for your lifestyle. Architect and LEED AP Maia Kumari Gilman has a post up at that provides an overview of some of the products she’s worked with, and which ones she really likes (and doesn’t). Among the winners:

  • AFM Safecoat Low VOC Polyureseal polyurethane: This product does what a wood sealant should, according to Gilman: “[I] found that the luster holds up and that the wood is easy to maintain. No headaches on installation.”
  • Forbo Marmoleum flooring: Green or not, flooring needs to withstand foot traffic, clean up easily, and still look great. Gilman gives this product high marks on all three qualities.
  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood trim: Gilman got hers at the Home Depot, and while she noted it was pretty knotty (and thus required painting as opposed to clear-stained), she was happy with the results.

And what doesn’t she like?

  • Energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs: Oh, no… not the CFLs! Gilman notes the bulbs she purchased at Ikea  required a different color of paper light fixture “to keep up with the greenish cast of the light bulb; otherwise, the color rendition was so terrible it made me feel ill.” I will jump in and say I’ve found numerous brands of CFL that work quite well…
  • Cork tile flooring: While this is the item that Gilman lists, it sounds like the adhesives for the job were really the issue: “The low VOC adhesive that was used is part of the problem here – the edges of the cork tile began peeling up almost immediately.” She also notes she has seen cork work well in other settings.

Got a green renovation or decoration product you just love… or hate? Let us know about it…

via Green House

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