Reclaimed Wood, Bamboo, Engineered Hardwood & More
Everyone and everyone else seems to be pushing for more and more sustainability when it comes to designing, building, and decorating the home. From the architects to the developers to the interior designers, there is literally not one element of the home that isn’t up for consideration, or reconsideration in many cases, when it comes to making your living space a bit more green and eco-friendly.
So if you’ve covered the lights and the furniture and the paint on the walls already, then maybe it’s time to take a look at the flooring options throughout your house. With tons of eco-friendly alternatives available to those who opt for wood flooring in the home, the use of these products can also go a long way to making a warmer, cozier setting in the place where the vast majority of us spend most of our time. Let’s take a look at three sustainable, green flooring options now.
Eco-Friendly Bamboo Floors: What to Know About
For a light-colored, durable hardwood flooring option in the green home, bamboo has been receiving more and more attention the past decade. As an alternative to hardwood, bamboo has caught the eye of builders and designers alike. So what makes it such an eco-friendly option anyway? The biggest selling point when it comes to the eco-friendly option that is bamboo flooring happens to be its rapidly renewability. What does this mean? In a nutshell, bamboo grows to maturity in less than seven years generally speaking, making it fast to market and fast to regrow.
Beyond that fact, it’s also sturdy and hard in nature, making it a terrific option for flooring in the home, especially in high traffic areas. Home owners will find it woven and solid versions, and in engineered versions as well. And with a wide variety of available colors, bamboo can fit easily with just about any design scheme in the homes of the most discerning decorators. Need more? It’s also fairly easy to install. And in the environment, harvesting the bamboo for use in furniture or flooring means that younger plants (which are technically a grass and not wood at all), are able to receive more sunlight and can therefore grow faster.
Sustainable, Engineered Hardwood Floors for the Home
What exactly is engineered hardwood? Simply put, engineered hardwood flooring is material that is built with between 3 and twelve layers. These multiple ply layers are crossed, glued and then pressed together to form a very dense engineered wood material. Generally, a hard wood veneer is glued to form the very top layer. Engineered wood flooring is available in just about any form of wood that a person can imagine.
So why is it a green option for your home? Engineered hardwood keeps highly valuable wood exactly where it belongs: on the tree and in the ground. Experts estimate that for “every square foot of 3/4 inch thick solid wood flooring manufactured, you can manufacturer approximately four times that amount into engineered wood flooring.” So if conserving the forest is high on your priority list when it comes to leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint and being more eco-conscious, engineered hardwood flooring is a sound investment.
Other benefits include engineered hardwood flooring’s increased ability to withstand moisture, its reduced costs, and greater stability than solid wood.
Using Reclaimed Wood for an Eco-Friendly Flooring Option
While recycling is important to living a more eco-friendly life, re-using materials and objects to bestow them with a longer lifespan is another viable way to be more green. And for flooring of the wood variety, there is a variation on the theme of re-use: reclaimed wood (as seen in the first picture at the start of this article).
With sustainable forestry practices becoming more and more popular from state to state, reclaimed wood is also enjoying some of the spotlight. While there are resellers specializing in reclaimed wood, there are a number of simple ways to go about finding it on your own. See an old church, apartment building or home being torn down in your neighborhood? Find the developer or builder, and ask them if you can have the wood. Look in junk piles, scrap heaps and city dumps for old furniture, flooring, and timber. It’s not that tough to find pieces that also bring great character and conversation points into the rooms of your home.
* * *[Photos Via: houzz; engineeredwoodflooringreviews; 4windsbamboo]