Hardwood flooring is a better choice for sustainability among other flooring types because it is gotten and manufactured to be eco-conscious, it has a quality that lasts longer, and it is also a beauty to behold. As more and more people become more conscious of their environment and the society, popularity of green building practices increases.
Going for sustainable flooring is one other tool to improve your home’s value and sustainability. This doesn’t imply that you have to let go off your style.
Since flooring covers lots of space in your home than any other material, selecting your flooring becomes a serious task, and such a decision will make a huge impact on the design of your home.
Find out why wood flooring is a good choice with these comprehensive details of its amazing, eco-friendly attributes.
1. Sustainably Harvested
Wood is known to be a renewable resource, and regulations from the government have been put in place to protect the duration as well as the quantity of wood that can be harvested. What lots of people don’t know is that harvesting trees have very little effect on the environment, when it is carefully and sustainably managed. For each cubic foot of trees that are harvested, a median of 1.66 cu-ft. is planted back, making sure that the rate of harvest is often below the median growth rate.
While it takes up to sixty years for hardwood trees to mature, the current supply is sufficient to last for a minimum of the next 100 years, providing enough time for newly planted trees to grow and mature.
2. The Natural Choice
Wood flooring is filled with natural materials, which implies that it lasts longer, looks amazing, and is great for the environment. There are two major components of wood, namely the core and the veneer. The veneer is made up of solid hardwood that is gotten directly from the trees. The core of engineered hardwood varies depending on product and manufacturer.
It might contain medium-density fiberboard, plywood, or high-density fiberboard. While these materials are slightly different, they all are gotten from natural wood products. Lots of manufacturers even make use of recycled wood pieces in their cores, thus getting rid of waste in this manufacturing phase and crafting a balanced and highly sustainable product.
3. Environmental-Friendly Stains, Finishes & Sealers
Traditional floor finishes, sealants, and stains contain hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and solvents such as formaldehyde, toluene. When picking wood finishes, you can either go for water-based urethanes or oil-based polyurethane. VOCs may be present in oil-based polyurethane finishes. Water-based urethane is environmentally friendly, even though it may not last long when compared to oil-based polyurethane finishes.
Water-based urethanes also cost more money. Aside from using water-based urethanes as an environmental option, you can also consider options like natural oils such as linseed oil. It is also important to purchase sealants that don’t contain VOC or one that contains low VOC, which implies that they should be without formaldehyde.
4. Better Air Quality
As you search for sustainable flooring, you need to also consider chemical emissions and the quality of air. Wood has a carbon-neutral property, which implies that its environmental impact is low across its lifespan. Also, note that wood floors are hypoallergenic. Compared to carpet, you don’t have to worry about pet dander, pollen, or other allergens living on your floors and contaminating the quality of air in your home. You can improve the eco-friendly nature of your wood floors by finding CARB-complaint options that contain low VOC.
Products that satisfy this requirement don’t have much quantity of chemicals, which implies that they don’t disperse harmful toxins into the atmosphere before, during, or after they are installed. Additionally, going for a chemical-free installation technique – not gluing your floors but instead floating them – will also reduce the harmful chemicals dispersed by your floors.
5. Manufacturing Values
So much of the floor coverings’ manufacturing process can lead to waste. Residual raw materials and chemicals used in the process can have a huge impact on the environment and a project’s outcome. Wood and stone, however, don’t need much energy to produce. Linoleum, carpet, and tile need huge energy to manufacture, and lots of chemicals are used when these products are manufactured.
Wood production doesn’t have much waste since wood chips and sawdust are used by manufacturers to produce paper and other relevant products. Too much wood can also be burned and is seen as clean bio-energy. These waste management options enable wood producers to use most of each harvested tree.
Hardwoods are among the few flooring choices that can be used multiple times for flooring and other building projects. As discussed above, hardwoods can be re-stained and sanded to match various design plans. If damage on the wood is too much and can no longer be used as flooring, there are lots of ways to recycle wood for other projects such as accent walls, furniture, or other decorative pieces.
Reclaimed wood has increased in popularity, and lots of people even prefer how recycled wood that has been opened to the elements look. In addition, wood is biodegradable and there are cases where it can be burned for fuel.
With the right care and maintenance, wood floors can last more than 100 years and can be re-stained and refinished if required. Laminate and linoleum, however, can last for an estimated 15 to 25 years, while carpet doesn’t last longer (around 8 – 10 years). Stone and tile flooring can as well last for 100 years but these materials cannot be refinished and are susceptible to cracks and staining. Hardwood, on the contrary, is highly durable and doesn’t reveal daily wear and tear unlike most of the other choices.
As regards price, linoleum and carpet are often cheaper than wood, while stone and tile are often costlier. Even though wood may not be the most affordable option at first, floors shouldn’t require replacement within a homeowner’s entire lifetime, saving you money and time in the future.
FAQ about Why Hardwood Flooring is a Sustainable Choice
Is hardwood eco-sustainable?
Wood doesn’t only have a great life; it is also produced from the most renewable natural resource. Even with the several millions of trees that have been harvested to manufacture wood products, we have lots of forest growing now than we had at the start of the 20th century.
What does sustainable wood flooring mean?
Bamboo flooring is taking over from wood flooring for lots of consumers who want the beauty as well as the durability of wood without the possible environmental effects that come cutting trees down in the forests.
What makes a floor environmentally friendly?
Reclaimed wood is an environmental-friendly flooring choice since it is importantly a recycled product. Consider the great impact on the environment that is involved in chopping trees and converting them into flooring. Reclaimed hardwood stays away from this [process and reduces the environmental effect of your floors in the process.
What flooring is the most energy-efficient?
Engineered wood that has a foam foundation tends to consume the least energy. Natural stone is strong and sturdy, and it forms a great barrier, helping you to remain comfortable in hot and cold weather.
Can flooring add to a home’s energy efficiency?
Aside from the fact that it creates temperature control in your home, it also leads to huge money savings, because you won’t need to run your cooling and heating appliances as much again. When you install floor insulation in your home, you are also improving its energy efficiency rating (EER).
Apart from the physical look added to a home by wood floors, they are a sustainable choice for property owners or designers who prioritize environmental responsibility. Having one of the longest possible life spans, a high recycling potential, as well as a moderately small energy impact, hardwood floors are a smart option for current home builders as well as an advantage for future residents.
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