Hardwood floors are the most environmentally friendly flooring option available. Unlike other floor materials, the raw material used to make them, trees, can grow back after being cut down, replacing the material that is harvested. Some species take decades and others hundreds of years to reach maturity, so felling a tree that took about 200 years to mature will require another 200 years for a new tree to grow back and mature. Despite the high demand for wood, there are a few green flooring options you can consider.
These include reclaimed wood, bamboo floors, cork, palm wood and hemp floors. Reclaimed hardwood refers to wood from an old house, a military structure, a warehouse and freight cars. The material is disassembled and converted into floor materials. This helps meet market demands and reduces the need to harvest more trees.
Reclaimed wood is still in its natural state and may have fallen in a forest or may need to be removed to pave the way for the construction of new homes or roads. When you build a building with environmentally sustainable materials, it means that it's also energy efficient. This leads to long-term cost savings during and after construction. Using hardwood floors for homes is an energy efficient option, especially in a tropical climate where humidity is high.
Wood is a poor conductor of heat, so it does not transfer external heat to rooms, making rooms cooler during the day, especially in summer. Douglas fir and pine are the most sustainable soft woods for floors due to their rapid growth rates. Black cherry, maple and oak are sustainable hardwood flooring options because of their durability and abundance. Bamboo, cork and palm are also sustainable alternatives similar to wood.
One of the most sustainable types of hardwood floors out there is bamboo. Hardwood floors tend to last longer than hardwood floors when used a lot because hardwoods can be dense and tough. In fact, most of our hardwood floors can last more than 50 years if they are well maintained and cared for, making them an excellent sustainable option for your floors. Innovators are trying to incorporate many environmentally friendly flooring ideas to produce environmentally friendly flooring materials.
An SFI-certified wood flooring certification would ensure that the wood in your floors doesn't come from old forests. One way to assess the sustainability of hardwood floors is to analyze their life cycles and evaluate the sustainability of each stage. Other flooring alternatives use aggressive glues and adhesives that can have a negative effect on the environment and household air quality due to emissions over the life of the floor. The real environmental impact of a wooden floor depends on many factors, especially the distance and mode of transport.
Oak wood floors are the most common type of hardwood floors because of their many benefits but they are not necessarily known to be sustainable. Therefore, hardwood floors tend to last less than hardwood floors if they are subject to a lot of traffic or objects.