So, you’re on the lookout for an eco-friendly, sustainable floor that’s gorgeous to at look and hardwearing into the bargain… you’re definitely in the right place. But it’s worth bearing in mind that not all natural textures are the same. There are subtle differences between coir, sisal and seagrass that might swing your carpet-buying decision one way or the other.
Sisal Traditionally used to make ropes and twine, sisal is exceptionally tough and hardwearing, making it ideal for high-traffic areas such as stairs and landings. It takes dye well so comes in an extensive range of attractive colours as well as weaves, and is naturally anti-static. Like most natural fibres, though, it isn’t suitable for high-moisture areas and should be protected from spills with a stain treatment such as Intec.
Coir Made from coconut husks, coir is incredibly durable and performs well in high-traffic areas. It may not be the softest of carpets but its highly textured surface offers excellent protection against slips, and as coir doesn’t harbor bacteria (and is naturally insect-repellent), it’s a great choice for allergy sufferers. However, as a hygroscopic fibre coir – meaning it absorbs water under humid conditions – coir is unsuitable for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Seagrass The least expensive of the plant fibres, seagrass is grown in paddy fields and has an almost-waxy surface that offers a degree of stain and moisture resistance. However, its resistance to bending – and slightly slippery texture – makes it unsuitable for fitting on stairs. It doesn’t dye well so is available only in a natural shade, but it offers bags of textural variation and a pleasing rustic look.
Want to know more? Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Natural Flooring, or call us on 0208 558 0887; we’ll be very happy to advise you.