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Biophilic designs are now at the forefront of many interior and building trends. 2023 is the start of a sustainability-driven era, and making eco-friendly choices in home décor and construction is becoming a priority for homeowners and builders. The hardwood flooring industry is no exception to these changes. This guide for eco-friendly hardwood floorings in 2023 can help further your knowledge of sustainable hardwood floors.
There has been a massive cultural shift worldwide as countries have become more environmentally aware and open to embracing sustainable living changes. This change continuously affects numerous industries, especially in construction and interior design. With more people choosing sustainable, eco-friendly choices for their construction materials, hardwood cultivation, and harvest are stricter than ever.
When considering hardwood as a material for your wood floorings, it’s crucial that whatever specie you have chosen undergo sustainable harvesting and are FSC-certified. Hardwood planks with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logos came from legal tree farms that follow responsible planting and harvesting of lumber while keeping the longevity of the forests.
In addition, conditions for sustainable hardwood floors also consider reclaimed wood, locally sourced hardwoods having lower transportation emissions, and hardwood plank alternatives.
Many people assume that choosing eco-friendly hardwood flooring alternatives means sacrificing most of the benefits you get from installing hardwood floors in your home. But these assumptions are far from the truth.
Eco-friendly hardwood planks and alternatives are still under the hardwoods category because they still have the durability to handle the Janka Hardness Scale test while providing the aesthetic and perks you can have with other hardwood floors.
Bamboo is the fastest-growing, renewable resource within the flooring industry. They’re also the best sustainable alternative for hardwood floorings. Although bamboos are grass and not wood, the industry considers them part of the exotic hardwood category because of their innate durability, which can handle the Janka Hardness Scale.
Due to its availability, price, and toughness, bamboos are an excellent eco-friendly hardwood flooring option. Bamboos have similar durability as traditional hardwoods and offer a distinctive aesthetic appeal. In addition, it matures much faster than most domestic hardwood trees, ensuring a quick replenishment rate. Just make sure to opt for a supplier that uses responsible manufacturing processes and avoids harmful chemicals.
Recycled or salvaged wood is an excellent option for eco-friendly hardwood flooring. It uses wood salvaged from old buildings, barns, or other structures, giving it a new life as a floor. This practice helps save trees and reduces the energy needed to process new materials. The unique patina and character of recycled wood add a unique charm to any home.
Engineered hardwood is another sustainable option to consider. This flooring type combines a thin layer of hardwood on top with several layers of recycled wood fibers underneath. It provides the appearance and feel of solid hardwood while utilizing less slow-growing hardwood material. Furthermore, engineered hardwood planks are often more stable and resistant to changes in humidity and temperature.
In addition to hardwood plank alternatives, there are other ways to make your hardwood floorings sustainable. Here are some of them.
Eco-friendly hardwood is not only about the wood itself; the finish applied can also have environmental implications. Many traditional finishes release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment, contributing to air pollution and potentially leading to health problems. Opting for finishes with low or no VOCs, like natural oils or water-based polyurethanes, ensures your hardwood flooring does not contribute to these problems.
Hardwood floors are the best choice for sustainability due to their longevity. They can last for generations, especially with proper maintenance, making them an excellent long-term investment. Their durability lessens the frequency of replacement, reducing environmental impact over time.
Consider the installation and maintenance processes when choosing eco-friendly hardwood flooring. Look for products you can install without harmful adhesives, and opt for eco-friendly cleaning methods to prolong the life of your floor. Regular maintenance, such as sweeping and immediate clean-up of spills, is crucial to maintaining the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floor. In addition, hiring professional hardwood refinishing services or wood floor repair contractors would be beneficial.
Hardwood floors have surprising insulating properties, which can improve a home’s energy efficiency by providing a natural barrier against the cold. The warmer underfoot sensation in winter reduces reliance on heating systems, saving energy, and lowering carbon emissions.
Choosing eco-friendly hardwood flooring is an impactful way to make your home more sustainable. From selecting sustainably sourced or alternative materials, choosing low-VOC finishes, considering installation methods, and responsible floor maintenance through professional wood floor repair services, there are numerous ways to ensure your hardwood floor is kind to the environment. By making these informed choices, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of hardwood flooring while preserving our planet for future generations.