It may sound a little counterintuitive, but you read that correctly: Hardwood floors are more sustainable for the environment. The initial confusion is understandable. When you think of chopping down wood you don’t jump to that being the more environmentally friendly option. Read on to learn 5 reasons that hardwood flooring is more sustainable.
1. Sustainable Hardwood Flooring Reduces Waste
Wood is one of the most earth-friendly and, even, renewable materials you can choose from. Wood requires less energy than natural sources and even requires fewer materials in creation. Eco-friendly floors are very trendy in this day and age. Bamboo and cork are popular types of sustainable wood flooring, but aren’t quite as durable, relative to hardwood.
There is a lot of wood out there to repurpose and reuse. Using reclaimed wood for flooring is a way to increase the sustainability of your floors by minimizing waste and the carbon footprint associated with the usual manufacturing process. Reclaimed wood comes in all forms, different shapes sizes and colors. This allows you to get the style of flooring that best suits your desires and your home.
Hardwood flooring is one of the few flooring options that you can use multiple times. Hardwood floors can be stained and sanded to match any color scheme. However, eventually the wood becomes too damaged to be refinished. Thankfully there are a multitude of ways to recycle wood for other projects. These include accent walls, decorative features on a home, or even furniture.
3. Sustainable Hardwood Flooring Improves Indoor Air Quality
While wood flooring has become a trendy design focus for homes, sustainability and environmental awareness is also becoming a trendy quality. Hardwood flooring benefits builders and designers in allowing them to keep their carbon footprint at the forefront of their minds when working on larger projects. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Therefore, wood is a carbon-neutral item.
Research from the Environmental Protection Agency also shows that wood flooring can improve the air quality in the home. This is due in part to hardwood floors being hypoallergenic. Carpet absorbs dust, mold, dander and many other substances that can never truly be cleaned out. Wood floors allow you to clean all of these contaminates easily. Other flooring options can end up using harsh glues or adhesive that can have a negative effect on the air quality within the home as well.
4. Low Maintenance/Long Lasting
When cared for in the proper way and consistently, hardwood floors can last over one hundred years. In addition, they can be resurfaced to evolve along with the home. The cheaper alternative to wood flooring, laminate, has a significantly shorter life span of about fifteen to 25 years. Then, when we consider carpet, we see that carpet really only lasts a maximum of eight years. Stone and tile can also last up to 100 years, however they cannot be refinished and repurposed. Plus, tile, over time, can develop stains and cracks. Hardwood is the most durable flooring option and can handle a lot of action before showing evidence of regular wear and tear. While wood is the more expensive option compared to linoleum and carpet, you really get your money’s worth in the long run.
5. Most Sustainable Types of Wood Flooring
While there are many types of hardwood flooring to choose from, and all have some level of sustainability, Oak floors have shown to be one of the most sustainable floors in the U.S. This is mostly due to the fact that the U.S. forest management and protection programs are very diligent about making sure these trees are replanted. Oak also has a smaller carbon foot print and even releases a lower level of toxic emissions when being manufactured.
When pursuing hardwood flooring for your home, driven by the sustainability appeal, make sure you look into the manufacturers regular practices. Look for companies that have domestically sourced materials from renewed forests. Another way to assess the eco-friendliness of a brand is to see if it has received any third-party certifications from environmental groups, such as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Forest Stewardship Council, or meets criteria set forth by the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program and the GREENGUARD Certification Program.
Ready to make your home more sustainable? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring and remodeling. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.
Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.