Eco-Friendly Floor Installation, Refinishing, and Repair
Unlike most hardwood floors, bamboo is not produced from a tree but an extremely fast growing grass.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth.
It grows 1/3rd faster than the fastest growing trees and can be harvested every 3 to 5 years versus traditional hardwoods that are harvested every 40 to 50 years.
Bamboo flooring combines the inherent renewable characteristics of bamboo with low emission glues and surface coatings. This combination has created a new, and unique environmentally friendly flooring option.
Bamboo is a very durable natural flooring material and produces a harder surface than maple and oak flooring. Bamboo also absorbs more finish below the surface than oak and its not as easy to scratch as oak or maple. During the manufacturing process almost all of the bamboo shoot is utilized. The material that is too small to make flooring planks is used for paper, chopsticks, or toothpicks.
Bamboo flooring comes in three varieties :
- Horizontal : Strips have been placed horizontally giving a large node pattern throughout the board.
- Vertical : Strips have been place vertically giving a smaller bamboo node pattern throughout the boards
- Compressed/Woven : Strips have been made more refined and compressed giving the appearance of a woven effect. This process makes the board very strong & durable
Linoleum is another great flooring option, which many homeowners confuse with vinyl. It is a green flooring option which is made from natural material like resin, wood & cork flour, linseed, jute as well as ecologically responsible pigments. An added advantage is that all the natural material is available in abundance. This natural flooring is soft and highly durable as well as easy to maintain and clean. Linoleum flooring is available in a wide range of vibrant colors which do not fade with time. Other benefits of using linoleum is that it is naturally fire resistant, anti -static, and can be recycled as well.
Natural linoleum is an all natural product that produces no harmful VOC’s and is asthma and allergy friendly certified and also SMART certified as a sustainable product. The natural bacterial properties of natural linoleum prevent micro-organisms including Salmonella Typhimurium and Staphylococcus Aureus from multiplying by a process of continual oxidation of linseed oil.
Unlike carpeting, stains will not sink in, stain, and natural linoleum requires nothing more than a dust or damp mop every so often. The anti-static properties will not only reduce the potential for electric shock, they also make the floor easier to clean, because dust and dirt will not adhere to it.
With such a large variety of color choices, you can design patterns by mixing colors, insets, and borders to create a totally unique living space.
Cork flooring has been used for years, however it has only recently been manufactured as consumer friendly tiles and planks with snapping lock joints. The increased awareness of environmental issues has led consumers to consider cork as a flooring option. Cork provides natural thermal insulation and preserves energy and can cut heating bills in half, it is also hypoallergenic and anti-static so it is a great choice for allergy and asthma sufferers. Cork also has the ability to absorb sound and is ideal for apartments with neighbors above and below.
An alternative to traditional wood floors is reclaimed wood flooring. Reclaimed Wood is also referred to as Antique wood.
Reclaimed wood reuses timber that was originally cut to build or decorate other strutures.
Deconstruction is the core of the reclaimed wood industry.
The emphasis is on utilizing materials that have outlived their usefulness and would otherwise be demolished, discarded or left to decay. Deconstruction helps to close the resource loop that we now realize is so valuable in this world of finite resources.
Reclaimed wood also has charm and character – it used to be a door or railroad tie.
Deconstruction differs from ‘demolition’ in that it is a painstaking process involving the selective dismantlement of building components. We work with experts who carefully manage dismantling projects to preserve the grand dimensions of the beams, posts and floor joists; this will be reflected in your floor as we work to maintain the superior widths and lengths of these ancient timbers.
You can also use wood from sustainably harvested forests.
A sustainably harvested forest is one that respects and maintains its ecosystem while running a logging operation.
For example, one section of forest is cut down and seeds are planted for new trees. While these seedlings grow, another section is cut down and also replanted. Throughout the process, a section is untouched to maintain the local wildlife and plantlife. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an organization which promotes and monitors stustaineable harvesting. For list of FSC certificate holders, visit http://info.fsc.org.
Another eco-friendly flooring option is Recycled Wood. Unlike Reclaimed Wood mentioned above, Recycled Wood is made from scraps that sawmills discard. This ‘garbage’ is used to made beautiful, durable, low voc planks of wood flooring that will add charm and character to any home. Worried that you will be limited to unattractive options? On the contrary, companies like Staybull Flooring have a wide selection to choose from, including exotic woods like African Mahogany and Brazillian Cherry.
Each hardwood has its own unique appeal and all our woods can be used in different floor designs and we can even design features specifically for your home, giving your hardwood floor true distinction. Different finishes and edging can also help to make your wood floor truly unique.
After your new green floor is installed, keep it green by using a low VOC finish. Products like Bioshield Hard Oil and Osmo Polyx Oil don’t just cover your floor, they nurture it. These oil finishes penetrate the wood’s pores, adding luster from within.
We work hard to ensure every project we work on is completed to standards of the highest caliber and the result is a long history of satisfied customers who continue to take pleasure in their wood floor many years after the installation.