Going Green with Hardwood Flooring


Going Green with Hardwood Flooring

When you’re building a new home or redoing the floors in your existing space, the option to go green is alluring. We’re not talking about the color of your floors; we’re referring to selecting eco-friendly flooring materials. With more people focusing on reducing their environmental impact, it makes sense that they’re looking for greener flooring material. Many people think that if their floors are recycled, they’re saving the planet. There’s more to it than that, however.

Renewable Resources

Many types of flooring materials come from renewable resources. Bamboo, for example, grows faster than trees. Therefore, decimating a bamboo forest doesn’t have the same impact on the environment as harvesting a large wooded area does. However, although cutting bamboo to use for flooring saves trees from being cut down for the same purpose, many forests are demolished to make room for bamboo plantations.

In addition, the majority of bamboo manufacturing takes place in China. Transporting the material to the U.S. can release a significant amount of pollution into the environment. Finally, bamboo flooring only stands up to wear and tear when it is sealed and held together with glue made from aluminum oxide. Some people question the toxicity of the substance, especially because it can be absorbed through the skin.

Recycled Materials

If you’re not using a renewable resource, it makes sense to recycle the wood for your floors. However, there are many concerns associated with using recycled materials. Do-it-yourselfers have been touting the benefits of using wood from pallets for just about everything, including flooring. Pallets are treated with toxic chemicals to prevent insect infestations and bacterial contamination.

Using antique wood can pose similar hazards. Lead is commonly found in the paint used on old barns. Motor oil and chemicals were often stored in old barns. Toxins that spilled onto the wood back in the day can be released into your home if you repurpose the material for your floors.

Indoor Air Quality

Although you may associate pollution with the cars and factories emitting toxic gas into the atmosphere, the Environmental Protection Agency reports indoor air quality as one of the primary environmental dangers to public health. When you use reclaimed wood, you’re putting your money into recycling instead of supporting the manufacturing of new flooring materials, which produces pollution and results in deforestation. However, you must ensure that the materials are responsibly sourced so that your efforts to go green don’t negatively impact the air pollution inside your home.

Reclaimed Wood

At Cochran’s Lumber and Millwork, we offer truly green flooring options. We source our antique wood in a responsible manner, putting it through an intense reclamation and milling process so that it’s safe for use in your home. From antique chestnut to reclaimed barn wood, the materials we use don’t require us to cut down forests or pollute the environment. We are invested in your family, and we strive to supply only the highest quality wood flooring and millwork.