A Great Wood Floor Shouldn't Cost The Earth

How sustainable is your wood floor? Many of us are reviewing our everyday lives to see how we can reduce our carbon footprint. Find out how to lower the environmental impact of your wooden floor.
Posted on19-12-2019 by 217
A Great Wood Floor Shouldn't Cost The Earth

There has been a lot of discussion and debate recently about the need to live more sustainably to safeguard the planet. The bottom line is that we all need to make changes to the way we live and shop to reduce our carbon footprint. This includes making informed and environmentally conscious decisions when deciding which materials and products to use in our homes. The problem is that it can be hard to find the right information, making it difficult to know which products are the right ones. So, is wood flooring environmentally friendly?

Love wood flooring Image by TheUjulala from Pixabay

Love wood flooring
Image by TheUjulala from Pixabay

Is wood flooring a ‘green’ product?

Wood is one of our most sustainable resources. It’s biodegradable, renewable and recyclable. Other materials such as synthetic carpet and vinyl flooring are petroleum based and are responsible for releasing harmful toxins and pollutants into the environment. They also last forever in landfill.

This walnut parquet floor we fitted is from a reputable manufacturer

This walnut parquet floor we fitted is from a reputable manufacturer

Wood flooring is a sustainable product, as long as it’s sourced and manufactured ethically and responsibly. It’s crucial to find out if the wooden floor you’ve got your heart set on has been manufactured in accordance to industry standards. If it hasn’t, not only will it have an impact on the stability and integrity of the floor, but you will also be unsure of its environmental credentials. Most of the wooden floors manufactured in UK and EU do comply with these standards as opposed to the ones originated from South-East Asia.

How do I know if wood flooring is ethically sourced?

Wood is a renewable resource, but the forests have to be managed correctly. A well-managed forest should have a clear replanting procedure in place to ensure that the wood is replenished, for future generations to enjoy. Unfortunately, illegal logging still exists, which has a serious and detrimental impact on the environment.

To ensure you are choosing the right products we always advise our customers to find out the country of origin and if the wood has an FSC certification or any other genuine quality certificates. As a rule of thumb, if the flooring is really cheap, there’s usually a reason why.

An FSC certified oak wooden floor from The Natural Wood Floor Company

An FSC certified oak wooden floor from The Natural Wood Floor Company

What does the FSC Certification mean?

Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, is a global organisation which is dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management. They run a global forest certification system which ensures that their high standards and environmental procedures are being met. The FSC have ten rules for responsible forest management which looks after the forests, local communities, workers and native wildlife. When you see the FSC logo you can buy forest products with confidence, with the knowledge that the wood has been ethically and responsibly sourced and manufactured.

How long does wood flooring last?

Wood flooring is constructed from natural materials and a good quality floor is made to last. Unlike synthetic floor coverings, wood is biodegradable and can also be refurbished and renovated to increase its longevity. Our motto is to install wood flooring ‘crafted for life’ and we really do mean this. We choose the most suitable installation methods and use good quality accessories to complement the flooring. We also renovate and deep clean older wooden floors to give them a new lease of life. Find out more about our renovation work here.

This engineered oak  parquet floor has been made and fitted to last

This engineered oak parquet floor has been made and fitted to last

One of our renovation projects

One of our renovation projects

What flooring is the most eco-friendly?

Engineered wood has plenty of benefits when it comes to strength and stability, but it’s also a fantastic choice when it comes to the environment. This is because less of the top hardwood is used, thanks to the boards layered plywood construction (typically made of hardwood such as birch or softer pine). Oak is relatively slow growing compared to these species, so there are huge benefits to using the faster growing species for the hidden part of the floor.

Not all engineered floors are equal, so avoid cheap imports from countries with irresponsible manufacturing methods which exploit their workers. Cheap, inferior flooring can have many problems. Poorly dried wood, inaccurate cutting, mixing species (for engineered), badly finished boards and the use of banned chemicals are just some of the issues. What starts off as a cheap bargain could end up costing you a lot more money. If the floor doesn’t last, it’s not good for your pocket or the environment.

Find out more about our projects with engineered wood flooring here.

Engineered flooring is available in many styles, including parquet wood flooring

Engineered flooring is available in many styles, including parquet wood flooring

Engineered oak flooring

Engineered oak flooring

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