Building new homes is always going to be a relatively carbon- and energy-heavy endeavor. One of the most important steps in building a new home with an eco-friendly plan in mind, is if you want to have hardwood flooring, and next, what eco-friendly hardwood flooring is the best. These are very important questions to keep in mind as you plan your next home or remodeling event.
One of the absolute best options is reclaimed hardwood flooring. This is reducing, reusing, and recycling at its best. Reclaimed flooring can come from a vast array of sources. Every day, wooden buildings and structures are dismantled across the country. Common reclaimed wood tree species are Oak, White Pine, Hickory, Yellow Pine, and Maple. Reclaimed wood floors often impart a much greater character than new wood floors. This is because reclaimed wood is often aged, or marked with imperfections or marks that give clues to its previous life.
Reclaimed wood, being older and from a different time, can also actually turn out to be very highly sought after and hard to find types of wood like tight grained oak or thick mahogany. However, one should never assume that reclaimed wood is in any way inferior to virgin wood. When reclaimed, companies go over the wood to ensure that it is safe and attractive enough to use as a floor. It then goes through a process that removes previous years of finish and dirt before being refinished, making it perfect for use as a floor.
Green hardwood flooring is an issue that has risen to the forefront of home design. Making sure that the floor you have in your home is environmentally sound is not as hard as it used to be. There are many certified green woods out there. Cork flooring has become very popular as it is an affordable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to hardwoods. However, nothing can beat hardwoods durability and characteristic look.
It is well known now that tropical hardwoods are to be avoided as they are often harvested illegally or from sensitive places whose removal means the destruction of habitat and displacement of endangered species. Here in the United States, some viable and green alternatives are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as sustainably managed and harvested.