March 22, 2023

Sustainable Hardwood Flooring in 2023: Eight Hardwoods to Consider

close up of douglas fir wood

Hardwood floorings are one of the most sustainable and worthwhile investments to add to your home. This 2023, interior designers and homeowners focus on sustainability, wellness, and biophilia. Among all flooring options, hardwood floors fit into all three categories, but not every hardwood plank offers the same level of sustainability. Due to this, they go through sustainability assessments to rate how sustainable they can be as flooring. Here are eight sustainable hardwood floors you can consider this year.

1.   Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is domestic hardwood flooring originating in Northern America and is one-fifth of the continent’s wood reserves. They’re a sustainable flooring option for many homeowners because they’re abundant. In addition, they grow fast and tall. Tree farms can quickly replenish timber cuts and handle the increasing demand for floor planks.

While Douglas Fir is under the softwood category, it’s one of the sturdiest western softwood species. Their Janka hardness scale rating is in the middle range, proving they’re durable enough to weather daily wear and tear. In addition, they also have a natural resistance to rot and decay, making them long-lasting wood floor choices.

2.   Pine

Pine hardwood floors are another sustainable flooring option because of their workable population across the country and in Canada. Pine hardwoods thrive under different soil qualities and climate conditions. In addition, tree farmers can harvest pine timber for hardwood flooring without inflicting harm on its surrounding forests.

Depending on their variety, these hardwoods can have a Janka hardness scale rating between 420 and 1630. Because they have a wide distribution in the US, pine acquires a small transport footprint than many domestic and exotic hardwood floorings.

3.   Black Cherry

Black cherry or American cherry hardwood has one of the lowest carbon footprints in all US-native hardwoods with similar strength and density. These trees grow fast- within two to four feet- per year and act as a carbon sink during their lifespan.

In addition, black cherry hardwood floors have long life cycles, making them one of the most durable domestic hardwoods. This makes them sustainable because the floorboards rarely need replacement, and the trees grow fast in the wild.

4.   Western Red Cedar

Western red cedar hardwood floorings have high local availability. They also have a negative carbon balance because of their high carbon sequestration during their forestry or growth stage. Like most domestic hardwoods, western red cedar planks are readily available in any wood or flooring shop across the country.

5.   Oak

Oak hardwood floors are North America’s favorite wooden flooring option. They last an average of fifty years, and with proper care and maintenance, they can serve your home for a lifetime. The planks keep their carbon storage role, and at their end-of-life stage, you can recycle or burn untreated planks for bioenergy.

Oak hardwoods grow in abundance in the US and Canadian forests. Due to their availability, they can handle the increasing demand for their planks per year. In addition, sustainable harvesting of oak timber won’t harm the forests.

6.   Hard Maple

Hard maple floorings have low carbon footprints and are one of the most sustainable hardwood species due to their durability. In addition, they’re accessible and abundant in many US and Canadian forests, with lumber yards sustainably harvesting their timber while keeping the areas safe.

Hard maple hardwood floors last for a lifetime with little to no maintenance. During their end-of-life stage, people can reuse the planks for other woodworking projects or burn them for bioenergy.

7.   Black Walnut

Black walnut hardwood floorings rate high on the Janka hardness scale, making them one of the most durable and sustainable flooring options worldwide. Black walnut trees sequester loads of carbon, and their timber stores them for a long time, despite their high carbon footprint.

These hardwood trees grow across the eastern US with other hardwoods. Because of their accessibility, they transport small amounts of carbon footprint.

8.   Hickory

Hickory is one of the most durable domestic hardwoods used for flooring. Hickory hardwood floors need little maintenance and have high water and scratch resistance. Like any other domestic hardwood, Hickory wood species are abundant across the country.

Hickory hardwood planks have one of the highest carbon footprints among used US hardwoods. But the number of hickory trees in farms and forests throughout the country results in a highly environmentally favorable carbon balance.

Sustainable Hardwood Floors in Austin

With sustainable and biophilic designs at the top of this year’s interior trends, more people are investing in high-quality hardwood flooring. Besides their durability, longevity, and sophisticated look, these wooden floorings are also sustainable additions to any home. These eight sustainable flooring of domestic and exotic hardwoods are the best considerations for your flooring projects this 2023.

Get to know more about sustainable hardwood floors with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!