24.05.2012 0

Go Green with Eco-Friendly Hardwood Flooring

For centuries, hardwood has been a leader in the area of flooring options. Its beauty, versatility, durability and longevity have helped to keep this flooring option on the top for so long. Most people tend to think of hardwood as an ecologically-friendly product, and, while some types are, consumers must be wary while shopping.

How Green is Hardwood Flooring?

Traditionally manufactured hardwood flooring is a green product because it is derived from lumber. Lumber is both a natural and renewable resource. And in its end stage, hardwood can be either be recycled or upcycled. However, traditional hardwood flooring may come from depleted and unstable forestry. Taking timber from such forests can encourage both deforestation and animal extinction. Conventionally, massive amounts of energy are used in the manufacturing stages, and environmentally depleting chemicals are used to create the end product and in the installation stage of hardwood flooring. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as 100% eco-friendly hardwood flooring, which respects forest regeneration and uses less chemical additives. Below is a hand guide on how to select the greenest floor for your home or business.

What is 100% Eco-friendly hardwood flooring:

Eco-friendly flooring can refer to wood derived from sustainable forests or wood reclaimed or salvaged from old building or downed logs. Green flooring plants practice energy conservation and recycling, as well as use floor additives that aim to keep the integrity of the environment intact and also ensures no adverse health effects for the workers. Eco-friendly hardwood can also refer to flooring that comes from local sources that give back to sustainable forestry initiatives.

Eco Hardwood Flooring Options:

  • Green Certified Hardwood Flooring: Finding suppliers of Green certified hardwood flooring just takes a simple web search. Such timber should carry a Green Certified logo and information about where the wood came from should be easily available. While the price of this option will be determined by the amount needed, typically, Green certified timber is priced a bit higher than traditional hardwood flooring.
  • Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring: Valued for its imperfections, reclaimed hardwood has the ability to change the character of the room it is installed in. Rustic and charming in appearance, manufacturers of this option offer both finished and unfinished surfaces that are treated to have a long lifespan.
  • Bamboo Flooring: Derived from the bamboo plant, this type of flooring has the look of hardwood flooring with tons of added environmental benefits. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable plants, as it is fast growing (grows up to 7 times faster than hardwood) and requires no harsh chemicals during its growing stages. It has a longer life expectancy than hardwood and is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic.
  • Cork Flooring: Cork flooring is made with the aid of recycled cork bottle caps and from the extraction of cork tree barks. Loved for its lightweight makeup and its visual appeal, cork makes you feel like you are walking on a cloud as it absorbs every footfall. It is low care flooring that can either be installed via pre-glued tiles or by planks that resemble hardwood.
  • Other Types of Eco Flooring: Tile and Linoleum are two great eco-friendly alternatives to hardwood flooring. They are both less expensive that the above options and are hypo-allergenic, biodegradable and resistant to water and mildew. Both options are available in a variety of different styles to suit the feel of the room.

Shopping for eco-friendly flooring can be a little more expensive than shopping for the traditional because of the added steps involved. However, you may be able to obtain discount hardwood flooring from local sources. And, most suppliers offer attractive warranties that makes purchasing green flooring an even worthier investment. Greener floors encourage quick regrowth and safety for the environment, the manufacturers, and consumers. There are no special steps required to keeping your floor clean, all that is needed are a dryer than usual mop, soft broom, non-abrasive aids and earth-friendly cleaners that contains zero artificial additives and harsh chemicals.

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