Is Wood Flooring Completely Renewable and Eco-Friendly?

30 03 2012

When we think “environment-friendly” or “renewable” we usually don’t think of hardwood.  A common belief is that the only eco-friendly alternative to flooring is bamboo; but that is not truly the case.  Hardwood can also be a completely renewable flooring option, as long as the right precautionary measures are taken, and responsible harvesting practices are used.

HARVESTING

For every 100 trees harvested for wood floors 166 are planted.  There are more trees in North America today than there were in the 1950’s.  Standing hardwood has increased 90% to nearly 328 billion cubic feet.  In addition, there are organizations in North America that ensure responsible forestry is practiced; and these stringent policies practiced have begun to spread worldwide.

MANUFACTURING

Even from a manufacturing perspective, wood can be eco-friendly.  The manufacturing process, itself, is relatively clean.  There are no emissions of methane or other harmful gases. While there is a minimal carbon dioxide emission, since wood produces oxygen, it is considered carbon neutral.

One way to get the maximum out of the wood that is harvested is through producing engineered hardwood flooring.  Engineering consists of using multiple plies of wood underneath a finished veneer of solid wood; this will conserve the precious wood and help get the maximum usage out of the harvested wood.

LONGEVITY

It’s very hard to beat the lasting ability of wood floors.  Wood can potentially last hundreds of years and has never gone out-of-style.  In addition,Wood flooring can usually be restored, even if it was covered for years and years.  Not to mention, after use, it can be used for combustible bio-fuel or returned to the soil through composting.

Overall, it’s hard to find a material more useful than wood.  Not only do trees ensure that we breathe oxygen, but they can also keep our homes stylish and unique.  Next time you’re in the market for flooring, consider the environment friendly option of wood.

 

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