Some builders like to install flooring after the cabinets are installed to save on cost, but you might prefer to do it before. No quarter rounds are needed.
You have several eco-friendly choices here. Cork flooring is made from stripped tree bark, leaving the trees intact. It’s warm and inviting, but cork can yellow in sunlight. It scratches easily and moisture makes it swell.
Bamboo flooring is a grass, not a wood. It renews itself every three to five years. Ask for premium bamboo, made from adhesives that don’t contain formaldehyde. Bamboo can be nailed, glued, stapled, or floated, and it comes in both horizontal and vertical patterns. Don’t install it in areas that are likely to get wet.
Recycled carpeting is made from recycled plastic food and beverage containers. These vibrant color options tend to last longer than nylon carpets. It’s a shock-free static product that doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds, which are part of that “new carpet smell” but can irritate the lungs. Recycled carpets are stain-resistant.
Linoleum flooring is a manufactured product made from natural raw materials such as linseed oil—a binding agent obtained from pine trees without harming the trees—renewable wood products, ground limestone, and jute, a plant fiber. Linoleum floors are stain-resistant. They don’t absorb water and they’re biodegradable at the end of useful life, usually around 40 years.
Wood floorings, such as Brazilian cherry or white tigerwood, are grown in South America. They’re harvested from well-managed forests with renewable resources. Brazilian cherry is an engineered wood made from 3-ply construction using formaldehyde-free adhesives. It’s generally more expensive, but it’s resilient and harder than oak.