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Choosing Greener Hardwood Flooring

Posted: Friday, April 01, 2011

Choosing eco-friendly hardwoodGreen: it's not just a color anymore. No, this term has become another kind of adjective altogether. Of course, we're talking about natural and sustainable products and practices that do not harm the environment and contribute the stability and health of the nature around us as well as not pollute our indoor air quality. Flooring is one of those topics that may seem automatically anti-green, but if you decide on the factors that matter to you most, do your research, and select a reliable company, your new hardwood floor can actually be pretty green attribute to your home.

First, you have to think about all the different processes and materials that comprise the manufacture of hardwood flooring. If your green focus is on sustainability, then you will want to research companies that have stringent policies for the management and timbering of the raw materials they use in the production of their hardwood products. You'll want to make sure they have a solid replacement policy. Some companies even have a two or three to one replacement ratio for their forests, meaning that when one tree is harvested, two or three are planted in its place. You'll also want to consider companies that harvest the wood they use from locations in close proximity to their factories, cutting down on fuel consumption and pollution from extensive ground transportation.

If eco-friendly, waste-not, want-not practices are your primary concern, there are numerous companies who use every single fiber of the wood they harvest, from using scrap lumber to create biofuels that are then sold or given to local utilities to even using the ash that is produced from burning this "scrap fuel" as fertilizer for their plantations. With bamboo, a very green product because of its rapid regeneration rate, many companies use the left over strips of bamboo from their manufacturing processes to create an even stronger and equally beautiful product called strand bamboo.

If indoor air quality of your home or the avoidance of harsh chemicals that can affect air and water is your main concern, then you'll need to find out from the companies themselves what types of solvents, coatings, and adhesives they use and then finish up that research by finding your own data on those materials to deem them acceptable to your standards.

From tree to finishes, you need to feel confident and secure in your decision and go with whichever hardwood flooring company covers your green bases the best.