Environmental Benefits of Wood Floors
Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable
flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it
possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment,
because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.
Check out these
environmental facts about wood floors:
net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source:
US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
Indoor air quality is better
with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
Wood is a carbon neutral
product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon
during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options
(Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood
Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as
fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid
Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
Wood floors last
hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National
Association of Home Builders)
While it takes most hardwood trees
40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be
needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)
learn more about the environmental benefits of wood floors by downloading a copy of
the University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions: Environmental
Does wood flooring
promote a healthy indoor environment?
dust and dirt do not embed themselves in wood flooring, as they do
in other flooring options. Simple regular maintenance—such as dustmopping, sweeping, or vacuuming—keeps
wood floors dust-free.
My client suffers from allergies. Is wood
Millions of people suffer
from sensitivity to chemicals and toxins. Tests by leading allergists have proven that wood flooring provides
a healthier environment for these allergy sufferers. Wood doesn't harbor irritating
dust and microorganisms.
Is the natural environment protected
during the harvesting and manufacturing of wood flooring?
Yes. Far from
a depleting resource, hardwood is sustainable and commercially more available now than ever before.
On the 486 million acres of forestland in the United States classified
as commercial, substantially more wood is added in new growth each year than
is harvested. For hardwood species, 90 percent more wood is added annually in net growth than is removed through
Once installed, how often must wood flooring be replaced?
Every hundred years or so. In fact, the heart pine
floors in historic Bacon's Castle in Virginia are more than three centuries old and counting. Simple care and
maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of
laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors
can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors
need only to be refinished every 10 - 15 years or 10 - 12 times during a floor's
life. When a wood floor's useful life is over, it's completely biodegradable.
Is recycled wood flooring available?
Yes. Wood salvaged
from a variety of sources, including old barns and factories, is a popular design trend. Wood recovered from
riverbeds is another growing segment of the wood flooring industry.
Logs that sank during logging operations years ago are being recovered
by a number of companies and used to create truly unique flooring. Today's only significant source for heartwood
from long-leaf pine is through reclaimed timbers from warehouses and
factories constructed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chestnut,
hemlock, poplar, walnut, and cypress are other options.
Learn more about the environmental benefits of wood flooring.
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