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5 Things to Know When Shopping for Sustainable Wood Flooring
One of the most common misconceptions related to every home improvement project is that you better invest your money in a few more affordable projects rather than investing them in just one and more costly like investing in high-quality wood flooring. It is a misconception because people still don’t understand the dramatic transformation and positive impact a new wooden floor can ensure for your home. Once you get a new wooden floor, you will understand what we mean by that. Thankfully, more and more homeowners are understanding the importance of a high-quality real wood floor and are not looking and seeking wood flooring products that are not just simply a great return of investment but also wood flooring materials that are sustainable and support the environment. Sustainable wood flooring is one of the most popular demands in the wood flooring industry at the moment.
Now, the concept that engineered wood flooring is the most sustainable flooring option available on the market worldwide is getting more and more popular. First of all, engineered wood flooring is using significantly less of the tree per plank compared to solid wood flooring where every floorboard is made out fully from a piece of timber. On the other hand, besides the lamella top layer, engineered wood’s core could be manufactured from a number of wood and lumber products such as plywood, wood fibres, even wood waste materials or reclaimed wood materials and fibres. Unlike vinyl or bamboo flooring, engineered wood flooring does not require the usage of toxic and hazardous products and adhesives during the manufacturing process, which pretty much means that engineered wood flooring ensures perfect air quality for your home. However, what is the way to ensure that engineered wood flooring is truly a sustainable product and what does sustainable mean in the context of flooring? Let’s find out in this article.
The Difference Between Green and Sustainable
“Green” has become one of these wizarding marketing words that can sell pretty much every product nowadays, wood flooring included. It is used to describe products that redeem the environmental value, for instance, when flooring product is made out of renewable resources. However, the description “green” is mostly concerning the origin of the product, but not the production or disposal process.
Sustainable wood flooring is something different because it does not mean just “green” wood flooring products. Sustainable wood flooring has a significantly higher standard, therefore it cannot detract from environmental, economic, social and public health benefits over its entire life cycle. The processes included and labelled as “sustainable” include a much broader group of harvesting, production and manufacture, packaging, use, disposal. Each and every process in the life cycle of a sustainable wood floor should be also labelled and considered sustainable.
A sustainable life cycle could look like that. First of all, the harvest of trees should include only old trees that would otherwise die on a rotational cycle, while the younger trees should be left to grow, which allows forests to regenerate. The manufacturing process should take advantage of raw materials, which means the wood waste should be processed into fiberboards or particleboards. It is even better if the process of production utilises renewable energy that is produced and generated through the usage of biomass fuel. There is also a number of other practices and methods that can be used in order to ensure that your engineered wood flooring is actually sustainable engineered wood flooring.
Purchase from a Reputable Supplier
In case you want to do it sustainably and purchase really a sustainable engineered wood flooring, make sure you are making the purchase from a sustainable supplier you can trust. A quick search online will land you on the websites of a bunch of wood flooring suppliers. However, does it mean that all products they sell are labelled are sustainable? There is a popular practice called “greenwashing with logos” you should be aware of and be careful with.
It pretty much means that if the supplier is carrying even just one sustainable wood flooring certification or brand, they can use the certification logo for all products they are selling which are unethical and do not mean that all products available on the website are sustainable. So, in case you are not sure about a certain product and its status, make sure to contact the retailer and ask them directly as they are obligated to provide you with the needed information.
Sustainability and Other Valuable Certifications
There are more than six hundred labels worldwide that indicate some type of environmentally friendly attribute. So, as you can guess, purchasing sustainable wood flooring could turn out to be a very overwhelming and challenging thing to do. Many of these labels will indicate sustainability, however, others will score zero at other elements that makes something to be considered eco-friendly. Therefore, whenever you are purchasing sustainable wood flooring, make sure the retailer or manufacturer can prove they have at least a couple of the most popular and prestigious certifications for sustainability.
Read the Instruction Before Your Buy
Manufacturers’ instructions in terms of installation and care and maintenance can tell you a lot about the product and how sustainable it really is, therefore, we encourage you to read the instruction before you make the final decision to make the purchase. Every instruction for maintenance and care should be tailored to the specifics of every floor because every wooden floor is unique and different from the rest.
When you find the perfect and sustainable floor, you also want to ensure it will last for a long time and you will be able to enjoy it for decades. The best thing you can do to ensure that is taking proper care and ensuring proper installation of the floor and this can be easily achieved by reading the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. Only by following the instructions, you can make sure that your sustainable wooden floor is installed correctly, taken care of and cleaned correctly and it will last for many years in perfect condition and appearance.
Even Beyond Sustainability
A sustainable wood flooring is something really great and something you will enjoy for sure, however, you don’t want to stop just there. This pretty much means that you also want to use the best sustainable products in order to finish and take care of your floor. There is no point in investing in sustainable wood flooring if you continue using chemically-based cleaners, waxes, and acid household products such as vinegar that hide a serious risk of destroying the finish of the floor and also introduce unwanted and unnecessary VOCs into your home, defeating the whole purpose of purchasing sustainable wood flooring.