How to Go Green for Kitchen Remodel

Getting the perfect kitchen goes a bit beyond the right cabinets and countertops. You should think about how you can make your kitchen remodel be more "green." Whether you want to add more energy conscious appliances in your home, or you are thinking of adding materials like plywood and laminate, consider how these items overall effect the green quality of your home and what you can do improve your kitchen remodel with better energy efficiency.

Flooring choices can be the major pitfall for a green kitchen. Many homeowners want to use engineered flooring, such as basic wood laminates that are easy to install. However, these are also incredibly bad for the environment. Laminates have tons of chemicals and solvents that can also harm your air quality inside your home. You should look for natural wood materials like cork or pine, as these materials are the greenest on the market right now.

Many homeowners also want to change their cabinets and do something different. Again, try not to use laminate style cabinetry. You also want to pay attention to how much adhesives are being used with your cabinets. All wood cabinets are sturdier and considered to be one of the greenest materials available.

Kitchen floor tiles and backsplash tiles, even countertop tile, make an important aspect of any kitchen. Instead of using ceramic or acrylic tiles that are manufactured using tons of resources that create greenhouse gases, try using alternate materials like clay Saltillo tiles that use natural resources and reduce the supply of factory production methods. These are also much more affordable than conventional tile materials.

If you want to use vinyl for your floors, it's a good way to cover your kitchen floors. Vinyl is also made up harsh chemicals, including a harsh chemical process and also can include years of off-gassing in the home. Linoleum is actually a better solution with the same effects as vinyl, and it's cost effective. Linoleum is made from wood flour and natural adhesive.

Old appliances really ruin the energy efficiency of your kitchen. If your appliances don't have an Energy Star logo, it's likely that you need to upgrade. Government tax rebates will also allow you to pay back some of the cost for replacing your current appliances with Energy Star and will save you more money by conserving on energy bills.

Choosing to go green in any remodel is just one way that you help the environment but also your home's cleanliness. The fact is that we already live in a world with a myriad of chemicals being flown our way. The best chance that we have is to create a safer home and use materials that actually protect rather than violate.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.
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