Following the recent IPCC report from the UN, human activity is changing the climate in ways like never before, and most worryingly, often irreversibly. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly important that we all need to find ways to play our own part, and believe it or not, wooden flooring is actually a good thing to achieve an environmentally friendly home.
We’re going to look some common misconceptions and answers to questions about why wooden flooring is sustainable solution to flooring your home.
“Cutting down trees leads to deforestation”
It’s a perfectly understandable conclusion to reach, but it is in fact incorrect. When forests are sustainably planted and harvested, it can be hugely beneficial for the environment when done correctly.
Unlike us humans, trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen. This means that trees can not only capture the CO2, but store it as well. Younger trees are far more efficient at absorbing CO2 than older trees, which is why older trees are felled, not only to allow for the growth of newer trees, but in order for the old trees to be used for various wood-based products such as hardwood flooring.
The majority of hardwood flooring comes from older trees, and by taking these older trees and harvesting them, the CO2 actually remains in the wood itself, creating a carbon-neutral product. This process frees up space within the forest for newer trees to be planted, allowing more CO2 capture and the process to repeat again and again.
Wooden Flooring is 100% Recyclable
One of the core benefits of wood is that it is 100% recyclable, and it can be re-used in three stages;
- Once harvested the wood is used to create various products such as flooring, furniture, etc.
- Any previously created wooden products can be recycled in to other products such as garden mulches, landscaping surfaces, decking, paper, the list goes on…
- The final stage of recycling and uses for wood, is Biomass – this allows for the wood to be used as a source of energy
Old floorboards and parquet flooring blocks can be reclaimed and re-fitted, in order to create other types of flooring or other wooden products. This in turn drastically reduces the amount of waste taken to landfill, as if looked after correctly, wooden flooring can last for generations and require far less materials and processes to create.
Restore Not Replace
We’ve become a throwaway society and unlike other solutions such as laminate, carpet and LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), wooden flooring can be restored and repaired without the need to chuck it all away and start again.
Wooden floor restoration is an excellent and incredibly affordable way to help the environment, as it doesn’t require cutting down additional trees or manufacturing new boards. As we highlighted in our blog, How to maintain a wooden floor, if properly maintained, a wooden floor can last a lifetime and can be a far more environmentally and financially viable solution than to simply replace completely.
Improves Home Energy Efficiency
Whether you are trying to build a greener home, or are trying to make your home as environmentally friendly as possible, wood flooring can provide some great improvements to your homes’ overall energy efficiency.
Because wooden flooring is a natural product, it adapts to its environment, which means it acts as a fantastic heat insulator and improves the efficiency of the heating in your home. A well-insulated home is far more likely to retain heat, but at the same time can allow for an increase in airflow and improved air quality (see below).
Improved Air Quality
Air quality is big news, and now actually forms part of the MET Office’s weather forecasts.
Wooden flooring not only looks incredible, but has the added advantage of improving indoor air quality. Airborne diseases and allergens are everywhere, and once inside the home can become trapped in clothing, hair, furniture and particularly, on carpet. Because wooden flooring has predominantly smooth surfaces, there is nowhere for the allergens and bugs to gather, so a quick sweep up or wipe with a damp cloth and all those nasty bugs are gone.
If you have wooden flooring that is looking a little tired and in need of some love, but would rather see it repaired and restored, get in touch and we’ll be happy to work our magic on it!