If you want your home to reflect the respect you have for the environment, installing a floor made of sustainable, renewable resources can make an impression on your guests and drain some of the strain that manufacturers throw into the environment. Choosing earth-friendly flooring material, dust-free equipment, and the least damaging sealants and finishes will keep your home improvement project favoring the environment instead of working against it.
A floor is the most frequently used place in any home, yet is often changed the least. Because improving your home with a new floor is such an expensive, long-term investment that carries decades of visual impact, it should represent the personal convictions of the homeowner – particularly for the environmentalist. Wood floors from sustainable forests, reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, and natural linoleum are top flooring choices for the environmentally-conscious remodeler.
Wood floors naturally display an inherent love for the forest. Attention to the effect of sustainable forestry on the environment and the economy has grown significantly over the last decade, however not all wood flooring companies share the same level of concern. If you want to ensure that your wood flooring comes from a company that supports forest husbandry, look for wood flooring that is FSC Certified – certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The Forest Stewardship Council is a third-party agency that makes sure that products carrying its certification are eco-friendly. You’ll pay a little more than non-certified flooring, but you can be confident that new trees will replace the trees used for your floor.
If your home-improvement budget is tight and you don’t mind putting in time and physical effort to create the wood floor of your dreams, consider buying reclaimed wood from salvaged buildings, dead trees, barn teardowns, or wood-salvage stores or organizations. Buying locally will promote fuel savings. You will have to remove nails and refinish the wood yourself or hire someone else to do the job. Expect reclaimed wood to be very irregular with large knots. However, your new reclaimed wood floor will be undeniably rich with character.