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Most people are at least somewhat concerned about choosing ecologically friendly materials whenever feasible. Whether you’re building or remodeling your home, one of your priorities might be to reduce your carbon footprint and make use of products that won’t harm the environment. Some people think that hardwood floors deplete forests or contribute to global warming, but this is not the case. Read on to find out why wood floors are the environmentally friendly choice when you’re considering your various flooring options.
Hardwood Constantly Replenishes
In the United States, more growth than removal occurs each year. In fact for every cubic foot of wood removed from hardwood forests, 1.66 cubic feet regrow. Because hardwood trees are being replenished, there is no net loss (and, in fact, there’s a net gain) of wood. There is no danger of hardwood flooring depleting this natural resource; there are currently 328 billion cubic feet of standing hardwood in the USA.
Standards Are in Place to Reduce Impact
The U.S. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has a list of criteria that are used by companies that grow, harvest, and process hardwood. For example, selective harvesting processes are used, leaving much of the ecosystem intact. And efforts are made to protect local wildlife.
Wood Floors Last a Long Time
It’s important to recognize that hardwood floors can last for literally hundreds of years, unlike carpeting. This means that you won’t have to replace your floors, which consumes more resources. If your wood floors are showing signs of wear, you can always decide to have them sanded and refinished, which saves you both the expense and the environmental impact of replacement.
Wood Floors Don’t Have Much Off-Gassing
Have you ever noticed a smell when new carpet is installed? This is called off-gassing, and it’s the release of chemicals into the air. Laminate floors also off-gas and can smell like chemicals. These gasses are not healthy for people inside the house or for the environment. Hardwood floors, however, do not emit as many potentially harmful chemicals, keeping the environment inside and outside of your home healthier.
If you are having new flooring put in and you haven’t yet decided what type you want, consider the environmental benefits of wood floors and give us a call to discuss the many options available.