One of the biggest trends in flooring lately has been going eco-friendly. Usually, when people think of green and sustainable flooring, the first things that come to mind are materials such as bamboo or cork. But the world of sustainable building materials is much broader than that! Natural fiber carpet options are showing a surge in popularity, with options like sisal, seagrass, and jute being especially popular. One of the lesser known natural fibers available though, is coir. You can be forgiven for not having heard of coir carpets and rugs if you’re not in the flooring industry. They’re still relatively rare and harder to find than other options. Coir carpeting is made from the husks of coconuts, and makes for an incredibly durable and long lasting carpet option that might just be perfect for your home!

The Pros of Coir Carpets & Rugs

  • Coir is very durable for a natural fiber carpet. The material is tough and strong, and the bristles are often used to manufacture doormats. This means that coir can be used in high traffic areas where other natural fiber carpets might not be tough enough to hold up.
  • Coir is fairly water resistant, which is another reason why it is commonly used in doormats. Most natural fiber carpets do not have this water resistance property which makes coir such a useful material.
  • Coir in naturally insect repellent, due to the properties present in its natural coconut oils. Many people assume that because a carpet is natural, that it will attract bugs, but coir actually does the opposite!
  • Coir has excellent noise insulation properties.
  • Coir is relatively inexpensive compared to some natural flooring options.
  • Coir’s natural look is distinctive and beautiful, complimenting well with rustic styles featuring design elements such as exposed brick or lumber.
  • Coir is fairly low maintenance, needing only occasional vacuuming to keep it in tip top shape.
  • Coir is 100% biodegradable, so it won’t end up hogging space in a landfill once you’re done with it as flooring.
  • Coir is primarily produced by hand, so many of the destructive environmental costs associated with mass manufacturing synthetic carpeting materials is eliminated.
  • Coir is a renewable resource, and can be made from coconuts at any stage in a palm trees maturity.

The Cons of Coir Carpets & Rugs

  • Coir is still growing in popularity, so unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to source or come by.
  • Coir can shed over time with wear and use.
  • Coir tends to fade when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
  • While coir is very durable, it is not recommended for outdoor use.
  • Coir is so hardy due to its unique, bristly, strong texture. Unfortunately, this means that it is not very soft under bare feet and isn’t ideal to sit on, so its more suited to areas where people will be walking a lot in shoes, rather than lounging around like in the bedroom.

To learn more about coir carpets and rugs, or any of the other natural flooring options available from Floor Coverings International of East Bay, give us a call today!

Image by Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons