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Eco-friendly Hardwood: A Guide

If you’re planning on replacing or installing new flooring in your home, the options can sometimes be overwhelming. Add in your desire to have green or “eco-friendly” flooring, and you might not know where to begin. If you’re interested in eco-friendly flooring, follow this guide to help you make your pick, and get ready to have the floors of your dreams.

Hardwood options

When you install eco-friendly flooring in your home, not only are you doing your part to conserve natural resources and help the environment, but you’re also enjoying the added benefit of added durability, which will save you money in the long run. If you’re thinking of going green, wood flooring can be one of the best options. Think of homes with wood floors that may be nearing a century old- this is sustainability at its best. The long life expectancy of durable materials translates to a conservation of natural resources.

Some options when considering eco-friendly hardwood floors are reclaimed hardwood, engineered hardwood, and salvaged hardwood. Reclaimed hardwood is a great option for adding style to your home, with the benefit of being eco-friendly. Since reclaimed wood reuses existing wood from trees that were chopped down a long time ago, it’s the ultimate green choice. Some companies have started using tropical hardwoods – which are the hardest woods on the planet – and repurposing them into high-performance and extremely durable floors.

Engineered wood floors are another great and extremely durable option, as they have a thin veneer of finished wood backed by several layers of more wood. This layered system makes engineered hardwood more stable than solid wood, and less likely to warp. Finally, salvaged wood is a great way to add some character, history and personality to your home by using sustainable wood. Think salvaged wood beams from a 100-year-old home turned into beautiful flooring for your kitchen – a great option for upcycling local wood.

To take eco-friendliness a step further, find a company that responsibly sources wood locally, as using local wood minimizes transportation-related energy, supports the local economy, and reinforces the sense of place.

Eco-friendly certified

If you’re going green with your flooring, you absolutely want to make sure any hardwood you purchase is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a company that promotes the responsible management of forests throughout the world with a focus on adhering to high social and environmental standards. In other words, it’s basically the classification of “organic” in the hardwood-flooring world. Dozens of types of wood are produced in FSC-certified forests in which the trees are regenerated, biodiversity is conserved, and air and water quality are preserved. Unless you’re installing wood salvaged from a previous home, you want to make sure the wood you’re purchasing is coming from one of these sustainably managed forests.

Adding eco-friendly flooring to your home is one of the most durable and sustainable improvements you could make. Your floors will last for a long time to come, making it a great return for your investment. Make sure you do your research beforehand, though, and ensure they are FSC-certified. By spending some time looking at your options and determining where your wood is coming from, you can be guaranteed that your eco-friendly and sustainable hardwood floors will last – and keep you healthy – for many more years.

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