Are Wood Floors Eco-Friendly?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Wood flooring is the most environmentally friendly flooring option available.

Through sustainable forest management, wood can be harvested with minimal impact on the environment because trees are a renewable natural resource. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, for every cubic foot of hardwood harvested in the United States, 1.66 cubic feet is planted in its place. This has resulted in a 90 percent increase in standing hardwood volume in the United States since 1953, which currently is about 328 billion cubic feet.

In addition, because wood floors can last hundreds of years, they use fewer raw materials, energy and natural resources.

Cutting down trees to make wood flooring does not contribute to global warming.

The main cause of global warming is carbon dioxide, and wood flooring is a carbon neutral product.

During their growth life, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen. This process makes wood carbon neutral. In addition, wood flooring also stores carbon throughout its service life, maintaining its carbon neutral status even after the tree has been harvested.

A study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison further indicates that wood flooring production has minimal emissions for carbon dioxide and no emissions for methane, nitrogen oxide and other particulates, all of which contribute to global warming.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Three Myths About Wood Floors

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Photo: Bona

Wood floors are expensive. 

Wood floors initially may cost more than other flooring options, but over the long term, wood flooring is actually one of the most cost-effective flooring options available.

When properly installed and maintained, wood floors can last for hundreds of years. Other flooring options will likely have a service life of 10-20 years, which means they will need to be replaced 5-10 times as often as wood floors.

There are numerous examples of wood floors in excess of 300 years old that are still in service today. Most wood floors can be sanded and refinished several times during their service lives to restore beauty and luster. In addition, wood floors can adapt to many décor and style changes over the years while other flooring options can look dated and require replacement based on new decorating trends.

This makes wood floors a great long-term investment, and one of the least expensive flooring options available when considering total service life.

Wood floors are hard to maintain.

Routine maintenance for wood flooring is really very easy. Simply sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floors with the beater bar turned off to remove dirt and grit from between the floor boards.

Wet mops should be avoided because excessive water can dull the finish over time, or even damage the wood itself. When spills occur, they should be cleaned immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth.

When the floor begins to look a little dull, using a wood flooring cleaner recommended by the installer will help renew luster. If you are not sure which cleaner to use, visit a reputable floor covering store like MODA Floors & Interiors for a recommendation.

Wood floors can scratch easily.

All flooring options will show some wear over time, but wood floori

ng is the only flooring option that can repair that wear to make it look new again.

Most scratches in wood flooring will occur in the finish, not the wood itself. These can be repaired through a process called pad and recoat in which the finish on the flooring is lightly abraded and then a new coat of finish is applied. This process is much like refinishing a piece of furniture where the old furniture is lightly sanded to give the new paint something to adhere to.

For scratches that are deeper and in the wood, the flooring can be sanded and refinished. A wood flooring professional who is properly trained, and also has the proper equipment, will remove just a small amount of the flooring material to make these kinds of repairs. Then, after the scratches are removed, a new coat of finish will be applied, restoring the floor to its original luster.

Scratches on wood flooring can be prevented and minimized by placing scatter rugs at all entryways from outside, putting felt pads on furniture legs, clipping pet nails, and avoiding walking on floors in athletic cleats or high heels in disrepair.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

White: Not Just a Trim Color

Color of the YearWe’ve watched the runways, interior design trends, accessories and lighting for the coming year, and it all points to one look: White Hot.

“It’s clean; it’s pure,” says Shaw color expert Jada McCamy. “It creates a simply refreshing home design that balances our busy lives.”

It’s stunning when paired with black. It makes a classic statement when paired with blue. And new for 2016, whites are showing up as a counterbalance to rich, saturated colors. We’re also seeing entirely white rooms where it’s not just a trim color but the focal point. White Hot is the perfect canvas for almost any color.

Will you be using White Hot in your home next year? In which room?

Source: Shaw Floors