Wood is an amazing choice as a brilliant and sustainable flooring material.
Apart from the traditional, aesthetic and timeless beauty that it delivers, “wood for flooring” is the perfect testimony to the responsibility man has towards the environment.
This is an act of environmental awareness, because when the materials are sourced from natural sources, it only shows man’s harmony with Nature.
Choosing wood for flooring installations involves a clever procedure. It is important to know which kind of wood would be suitable for which kind of floor. Over the years, new and innovative installation techniques have come up to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the flooring.
When we say sustainable, it means that when trees are felled to obtain their wood, several others are planted to ensure that the environmental balance is maintained and also to ensure there is a continuous supply of wood.
Let’s run through the best features wood has over other flooring materials:
Wood is a clean source of renewable bio-energy and plays an important role in reducing greenhouse emissions. When forests get replenished at a faster rate at which they are being harvested, wood becomes a renewable resource.
on the kind of wood used, you have two kinds of sustainable flooring products –
(1) Renewable flooring material and
(2) Rapidly renewable flooring material.
This all depends on how soon you can replenish the wood once it is harvested. Some takes just a decade, others could take up to half a century. These days wood is harvested naturally and modern forest management practices are embraced to help conserve precious resources. This is why wood has become the most preferred choice for an environmentally conscious customer.
Wood is a carbon neutral product, but when you source it locally, the footprint left is even minimal. On the other hand, if you have to transport wood over long distances, it would leave a deeper footprint. The best resource would be locally sourced timber.
As trees grow, they absorb the carbon dioxide from the environment and release oxygen. They also store carbon incorporating it within their leaves, twigs, stems, roots and surrounding soil. Wood will continue to store this carbon and as the trees grow older, they decay and release the stored carbon in small quantities.
When the trees are harvested and manufactured, they will keep storing the carbon, thereby keeping the bulk of it out of the environment. Eventually, the wood will be reclaimed, several years after it had been used for building projects and then will be reused or recycled.
‘Biodegradable’ is a term closely associated with environment friendly products. A product is called so when it returns to Nature, once its life is completed. An important point to consider is whether the product would release harmful chemicals into the air when it decomposes. The good news is that an organic material like wood can return to the environment, without causing any harm to the environment.
As a move to follow an eco-friendly movement, people have turned to biodegradable products while building homes and leave a smaller ecological footprint by using wood products for flooring and other construction requirements. So, using wood would be another way to protect Nature and save it for a future.
When you construct a building with environmentally sustainable materials, it means it is energy efficient as well. This leads to long-term cost saving during construction and afterwards. Using wood flooring for homes is an energy efficient option especially in a tropical climate where the humidity is high. Wood, being a poor conductor of heat, doesn’t transfer the outside heat into the rooms, making the rooms cooler during the day, especially in summer.
Wood production and processing is highly energy efficient. Each cubic meter of wood that you use reduces carbon dioxide emissions to a great degree. Even at the end of its life, wood remains ecologically useful as you can reuse or recycle it. Some people even use wood as a carbon-neutral, biomass energy substitute for fossil fuels.
Wood is durable; it is easy to clean and doesn’t absorb smells. Wood is also the perfect option for people with allergy problems. When maintained properly, it can last hundreds of years. Of course, you can enhance the durability of wood by applying the right kind of floor finish. As solid wood flooring is naturally timber, it is easy to install and feels good under the feet, making it is a preferred choice in homes.
Another best feature about wood is that it can be recycled easily. So if you want to get rid of an old wooden floor, here are your options:
- You can give them off to salvage yards, who buy them for a price.
- You can use the wood to make stylish storage cabinets, book shelves, foot rests or shoe racks.
- You can even get creative by using it as a bar top, tree house or fashion little curios.
If the wood in your floor cannot be salvaged, then it would be better to discard it, especially when it is mold and fungus infested.
Wooden floors are elegant, rich, and render old-fashioned warmth. Yet, they never go out of style. And wood is neutral too, meaning you can try any color option for your home, and it can still look magnificent and aesthetic. Wood is the best choice for flooring because it makes you go the environmental way, enabling you to do your bit for the environment and save it for a future generation.
Many old homes that used old carpets to adorn their living rooms are now shifting to solid wood flooring because it is warm, easy to clean and costs less. Additionally, wooden flooring can increase the market value of your home as compared to other flooring materials.
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