Install Tyroc over new or seasoned concrete

Tyroc panels are just 1/2 inch thick

Let’s face it, choosing flooring for basements can be tricky! Concrete slabs, moisture issues, low ceilings, and un-even surfaces frequently combine to limit your floor covering options to carpet and well, carpet. Many people are happy with their carpeted basements, but if you’ve been longing to install a wood floor downstairs, Green Depot has the answer!

The key to this liberating development is Tyroc Underlayment. Tyroc is an engineered dual-layered subflooring system. The bottom layer is a waterproof, diamond-pattern, moisture-blocking membrane made of recycled rubber and plastic. This moisture barrier works better than a simple layer of plastic sheeting because it makes space between the cement and the flooring surface that allows water vapor to escape. The top surface of each panel is made of non-toxic Magnesium Oxide, a material that is exceptionally well suited for basements because it will not propagate mold or mildew and is fire, water and pest resistant. These panels are superior to a simple wood underlayment because they won’t swell or delaminate and they’ll remain stable as moisture and temperature levels fluctuate.

Installing the ½ inch thick Tyroc panels over your basement floor will help to level the surface of your floor, without costing you headroom. Once it’s down, you can choose linoleum, hardwood, cork, ceramic tile – and yes, even carpet if you like! Whatever flooring you choose, this underlayment will ensure that your floor surface is dry, warm, and quiet.

Serafina Flooring - Engineered for Stability

For added stability in a basement where hardwood flooring is desired, we recommend choosing an engineered floor like our Serafina flooring line. Engineered floors feature a multi-layered cross-grain construction that cuts down on the expansion and contraction of boards. To protect your indoor-air-quality, be sure to choose a product that is made with no added urea-formaldehyde!

Though many think that Summer is the time for home renovation projects, there are actually many eco-friendly home projects, big and small, that you can take care of at this time of year to improve your energy efficiency and update the look of your home. Here are some ideas:

Insulation and Caulking
Sealing up the leaks around your home can translate into instant energy savings! We offer many easy-to-use products that will help you fill in the gaps around your place with speed.

XtraFoam HH: Use this handheld adhesive spray foam to seal drafty windows, doors, and leaks with this low expanding, multipurpose foam. Bonded Logic Ultratouch Multi-Purpose Roll: perfect choice for smaller household insulating jobs including sealing gaps around air conditioning wall and window units as well as spaces around doorways. AFM Multipurpose Caulk: a water resistant, flexible, easy to install,
non-sag sealant with excellent initial and permanent adhesion.

Window Treatments
Roller or Roman, our window shades are a great way to add a splash of color to your room and create a finished look! Even better, by utilizing a specially engineered cushion of air or reflective fabric, our shades will also help insulate your home and save you energy.

Available in a wide range of styles and colors, our window-treatments help you save energy too.

Kitchen Projects
Major Holiday cooking projects are mostly past now, and the kids are back at school for most of the day – this is a perfect time of year to replace your cabinets and countertops. Many of our stores offer custom kitchen design services with Cabinet Design Professionals. The kitchen cabinets at Green Depot are selected for their fine quality, high style availability and eco-friendly options  like sustainable woods, healthy finishes, or low-urea-formaldehyde content.

We also offer a wide range of countertops that contain recycled material, like PaperStone, and even some that are made in the regions local to the store. Click here for our store locator.

Style and performance mix with sustainability and health in our cabinet lines, like Urban Prairie – shown here. PaperStone: Beautiful, warm and heavy-duty – perfect for today’s home. Twice as strong as granite, ideal for residential and commercial uses. Cambria will resist most stains and is easy to clean.

Floor Re-Finishing
When people imagine getting their floors re-finished, they also often imagine spending weeks with their windows open, airing out the house. With Green Depot’s low-toxic floor finishes, you don’t have to worry about the weather outside getting in, or endangering your home’s air quality. Even better, many of our finishes (like Osmo Polyx-Oil and Vermont Natural Coatings) cure quickly so life can return to normal in days – not weeks.

Made from natural oils and waxes, Polyx-Oil brings out the natural beauty of your wood. Spot-repairable. Made from post-industrial whey protein, Vermont Natural Coatings offer a low-toxic alternative to regular polyurethane finishes.

We wrote earlier about the benefits of bamboo flooring – one of the most sustainable flooring options available on the market today.  But bamboo might not be the best option for everyone – which is why cork is another handy, sustainable option.

Cork is an industry that is more or less inherently sustainable.  It’s a trade that goes back countless generations.  Cork is harvested by stripping the trees of their bark, which is then processed into pressed cork board – but this process does not harm the trees themselves.  It’s a fact that an actively-harvested cork tree live between 150 and 250 years.

Producers harvest cork by stripping the bark from the trees in long, side slabs.  They then process the bark, first by punching out wine corks, and then by grinding the remaining scraps.  These pieces are pressed back together to make flooring – like ours! – and other products.

The purchase of cork contributes to an industry that prevents land from reverting to desert by keeping a forest cover on otherwise arid land.  It’s estimated that this protects up to 5.5 million acres from desertification.  Cork forests provide invaluable habitat for many indigenous species like the endangered Iberian Lynx.  For these and many other reasons, the world’s largest producer of cork, Portugal, has made it illegal to cut down cork trees.  Harvesting schedules are set by law to ensure that each tree has nine years to regenerate its bark after being harvested.


Our flooring sale continues this week! Through May 31st, we’re offering 10% off all cork and bamboo flooring.  We offer two brands of cork flooring – DMI cork floors, and Natural Cork Floors.  Both are made from rapidly-renewable cork.  Our DMI Cork Floors are available in both tongue-and-groove and glue-down tiles.  Cork is a warm, quiet, comfortable and resilient building material which is naturally resistant to pests and mold.  DMI cork floors come with a factory-applied, acrylic-urethane matte protective finish.  Natural Cork floors are manufactured with Acrodur from BASF to eliminate harmful ingredients such as phenol, formaldehyde, and isocyanates from the binding process, significantly reducing offgassing without compromising the performance of the floor.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit

image via flickr user wootang01

Lots of folks are seriously concerned about the health of their indoor environment – and for good reason.  As we’ve written about before, using conventional interior paints which are high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can “offgas” fumes which are toxic, and potentially hazardous to the health of people.

When a green product is referred to as low-VOC, it is usually referencing a synthetic, liquid solvent that gives off – or “offgasses” – toxic fumes.  This is the source of the poignant smell in paints, turpentine, varnish, stains, and other finishing products, which can often cause headaches and other health issues, if they are inhaled in enough volume over time.  The troubling thing about conventional products with a high-VOC content is that those substances can continue to offgas VOCs for years after it has dried, and after the poignant smell has abated: just because you can’t smell the VOCs anymore doesn’t mean you’re not still inhaling toxic fumes.

For this reason, most people use low-VOC paints and stains in their interiors.  But there are important reasons to use low-VOC paints and stains on the exterior of your home, or deck: many of the toxic elements in conventional finishes include heavy metals and formaldehyde – substances which can leach out into the environment over time (consider how the paints on the exteriors of homes eventually chip off).  When these gasses and heavy metals leach out of finishes, or chip off into the soil, they pollute.  While the amount being leached into the environment may be trace, any contribution of toxic chemicals into the environment is a negative contribution.

And, if you have a garden around your house, or a well nearby, is it ultimately worth risking these toxins and heavy metals leaching into food and water supplies, when healthy, safe alternatives exist?


This week Green Depot is having a 15%-off sale on a full range of paints, stains, sealants, and other finishing products.  AFM Safecoat paints have both interior exterior low-VOC products available.  Ecoprocote also has a number of low-VOC stains, sealers, and clear top coats.  And make sure to check out Ivy Coatings primers and paints, which are available for application to both interior and exterior surfaces.  To see all of the products we’re offering this week at a 15% discount, you can visit our promotion’s page by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit

Spring is almost here!

Here in New York City we’re finally beginning to experience temperatures into the upper 50s (F).  Warmer weather is just around the corner!  On my own desk, a pot of narcissus flowers is beginning to bloom, and in the planters around my neighborhood of Crown Heights, daffodils are beginning to poke through the soil.

Of course one of the big springtime events is always Spring Cleaning, a true manifestation of the old adage “out with the old, in with the new.”  So: what can you look for at Green Depot to help you usher in the new spring, and what’s new with Green Depot?


Spring Cleaning Vacuum Sale: Our Spring Cleaning Sale ends March 14, and during this time you can save up to 25% off Electrolux Vacuums.  Green Depot carries a full line of vacuum cleaners for almost any purpose.  Electrolux is one brand that we’re featuring, and the Electrolux Versatility Upright Vacuum is our most fully-featured vacuum.  It has everything you could want in a vacuum cleaner.  The quick-release wand has a buckle which releases it from the main vacuum for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces high and low, like the ceiling and behind couches.  It has a reach of 14 feet.  The vacuum is also powerful: it is bagless and uses cyclonic technology with a 12-amp motor to keep it running at full power.  It is constructed from high impact plastics, ensuring a durable, long life.  In addition, it has a HEPA filtration system to eliminate 99.7% of allergens, allowing for cleaning air in your home after vacuuming.

What’s New?  Green Depot and Ecohaus have Joined Forces: We’ve been working hard to let all of our customers know of a big change around Green Depot: the acquisition of Ecohaus, our West Coast counterparts.  It’s a sensible match.  Both organizations have received numerous laurels for their contributions to a sustainable society and a green economy.  As Sarah Beatty, the CEO of Green Depot notes, “Our core values and passion align completely.” said Sarah Beatty, founder of Green Depot, “By joining forces with Ecohaus, Green Depot is strongly positioned for continued growth throughout America.”  Ecohaus and Green Depot also both have a strong commitment to avoid greenwashing — that is, to offer only green products that pass strict proprietary filters.  Green Depot’s is known as the C.L.E.A.R. filter, and you can read more about it by clicking here.  Ecohaus, likewise, judges all that it carries according to design, durability, price, health and environment.  Read more about the acquisition by reading our press release, here.

Also see our Latest Promotions:

1. Austin Air Purifier Sale: we’re discounting all of our Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifiers up to 20% off!  The Austin HealthMate system combines sound filtering technology to provide protection from a wide range of airborne particles, chemicals, gases, and odors.  This is especially important for those of us with allergies in the spring, as pollen becomes a nuisance, and having clean indoor air is essential for our health.  The Austin Air Healthmates come in several different sizes, and the 1500 square foot model in particular is capable of filtering over 250 cubic feet of air through 15 pounds of activated carbon and HEPA filter every minute, which may even be capable of changing the way that you breathe and sleep.  For smaller sizes, check out the Healthmate Jr. (for 700 sq. foot spaces) or the Healthmate Baby’s Breath (also for 700 square foot spaces).  For greater filtration of reactive gases, check out the Healthmate Plus (1500 square feet).

2. Let us help you create an eco-friendly kitchen: Green Depot carries a full line of ecofriendly green products that can help you remodel your kitchen however you like.  Whether you are searching for a traditional, contemporary, or a transitional design, Green Depot has solutions for every budget.  Our friendly in-house designers can help you achieve the aesthetic you are searching for, using FSC-certified or other renewable woods and formaldehyde-free and low-VOC finishes.  Green Depot carries Urban Prairie and Breathe Easy Cabinetry, Icestone Countertops, Cambria and CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces, Trend Q countertops, and bamboo butcher block counters and plywood options.

For many green products, including new green building materials carried by both Ecohaus and Greendepot, visit our websites:, and

indoor air fresheners include plugins and aerosol sprays

Indoor air fresheners were first introduced in 1948, and their popularity has grown substantially since then.  They are incredibly commonplace — according to a marketing report from the Global Cosmetic Industry, nearly 80% of global consumers reported buying an air freshening product in 2006, at a total value of more than $6 billion, and $979.1 million dollars in the U.S. alone.  Following these trends, it’s expected that global air freshener sales for 2010 will reach $7.3 billion.

That’s an enormous market, affecting more than three-quarters of all Americans.  Unfortunately, that also means that more than three-quarters of Ameriacns are voluntarily exposing themselves to extremely dangerous chemicals that can cause headaches, convulsions, and disruptions of the human reproductive system.  The dangers of these home air fresheners have been recording by numerous organizations – including the Sierra Club, the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Alliance for Healthy Homes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the European Consumer’s Organization.

Indeed, a study by the University of Bristol followed the health and development of 14,000 children since before birth.  The study had some astonishing results: 32 percent more children suffered intestinal problems in homes where air fresheners were used, and a notably higher rate of earaches was recorded.  Air fresheners seem to affect parents, as well: people who use air fresheners daily – whether from a spray can or a wall socket – suffer from 10% more headaches, and women with air fresheners in their homes had a 26% greater occurrence of depression.

It’s important to note, though, that a higher occurrence of these symptoms in homes with air fresheners does not necessarily mean those symptoms were caused by the air fresheners.  But it certainly highlights important questions about the safety of air fresheners, and studies of air fresheners reveal numerous deadly chemicals that absolutely have an adverse effect on human health.

The California Air Resources Board published a study in 2006 entitled “Indoor Air Chemistry: Cleaning Agents, Ozone and Toxic Air Contaminants” that wound up underscoring the risks that home air fresheners pose (a full copy of the report can be found here).  The report found that some air fresheners produce toxic pollutants – including formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and other fine pollution particles.

In addition to carcinogenic formaldehyde and pollution particles, air fresheners produce a range of other dangerous chemicals, including acetaldehyde, organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxl radicals – all of which people should not be inhaling in their home environment. The European Consumers Organization also discovered, in a 2005 study, that air fresheners can produce allergens and other toxic air pollutants including benzene, terpenes, styrene, phthalates, and toluene in addition to formaldehyde.

It’s not tremendously surprising that these products produce such toxic chemicals when you consider what they contain – to begin with, over twenty different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which have been linked to neurological disorders and kidney failure.  A study at the University of Bristol even found that VOCs in can lead to a higher rate of earaches and diarrhea in infants, and depression and headaches in their mothers – suggesting that air fresheners could, indeed, be causing the symptoms noted above.   Other basic ingredients in air fresheners include aerosol propellants, petroleum distallates, p-dichlorobenzene, phosphates, chlorine bleach, and ammonia.  Many of these chemicals can seriously aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development.


the chikuno charcoal cube

But don’t fret!  Despite all the dangers of air fresheners, there are green product alternatives available!

The Chikuno Charcoal Cube Air Freshener is the safest and most environmentally-friendly option presently on the market and represents design of an extremely high caliber.  It is a chemical-free air freshener made from ultra-fine bamboo charcoal powder and clay minerals.  According to the product’s webpage, Bamboo charcoal is activated at extremely high temperatures which produces an incredibly fine, or porous, interior – “like a micro sponge or honeycomb,” with an interior surface area of 7,500 square feet per gram of bamboo charcoal.  This powder is significantly more fine than wood charcoal (and is more sustainably-produced, as bamboo can mature to harvestable size in as little as six years), and because of its large surface area, has the ability to absorb order for up to a year.

The Chikuno Cube can be refreshed every month by exposing to sunlight for six hours, and it won the Japanese Good Design Award in 2008.

For this and other green products for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly home, you can always make sure to visit