Green Wood Flooring Options

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Green design is a hot topic among architects, builders, and interior designers. Industry professionals also call this trend sustainable design because of its focus on sustainability of construction materials, environment, society, and economic factors. Green home designs are also becoming popular amongst homeowners. Wood flooring can qualify as a green building material if it meets certain criteria. This includes choosing reclaimed wood, fast-growing species, domestic hardwood, or certified sustainable wood. Green flooring is the perfect way to start redesigning your home into a sustainable dream.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood flooring is found in many places such as vintage houses, barns, buildings, warehouses, and bridges. Most of these old structures were constructed of quality hardwoods and contain unique gems like hand-crafted oak flooring. There are also opportunities to keep damaged old-growth trees from cluttering city landfills by redirecting them for use as building materials. Using reclaimed or recycled wood provides builders with premium hardwoods while being kind to the environment. As an added bonus, this product has a lot of character due to nail holes and other surface markings. It is one of the best green flooring materials available.

Bamboo Flooring

Rapidly renewing plant species, such as bamboo, can also be used as green flooring material. It is becoming a hot trend in new green home designs and many interior designers like bamboo because of its durability and how well it tolerates humidity. Bamboo flooring is made from hardy bamboo stalks which are ready to harvest in only about five years. Solid bamboo flooring consists of long planks which can be installed with either nails or glue. Another option is engineered bamboo flooring which features a layer of bamboo adhered to a wood base.

Bamboo flooring planks are available in horizontal and vertical grain patterns. A horizontal grain pattern showcases the characteristic joints or nodes seen in bamboo stalks, while a vertical grain pattern shows the side of the bamboo strip for a sleeker appearance. Bamboo flooring comes in a natural finish and a darker shade called carbonized which results from a steaming process.

Domestic Hardwood and Certified Sustainable Wood

In keeping with green home design, wood flooring should be harvested from a domestic source, since it will take less energy and resources to transport the materials. When looking at flooring suppliers, make sure that they obtain their wood from a FSC-certified forest. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit group which provides accreditation for agencies who grant forest certifications. This certification guarantees that foresters maintain sustainable growing and culling practices which ensure the lasting health of the forest. This means that choosing a domestic, certified source for oak flooring would qualify as a green choice.

Laminate wood flooring is an easy-to-install option when selecting real wood materials. Sometimes called engineered wood flooring, this product uses younger growth trees to create a consistent, reliable product with little waste. Engineered laminate wood flooring typically features a plywood base with pre-finished wood on top. Besides saving old growth trees, engineered laminate wood flooring is also sold in uniform planks that are easier to install than solid wood planks.

Design With Green Flooring

Posted By: admin  //  Category: Green, flooring

Building and remodeling with green design principles in mind will help reduce the impact of manufacturing processes and make for healthier interior environments. Green flooring materials are one area which has received a lot of attention from green design proponents, and there are a growing number of green flooring material options available.

Laminate Flooring

In order to reduce the number of trees cut down for floor planks, many green builders recommend easy-to-install laminate flooring. This synthetic wood-like invention is actually a layered paper product which is overlaid with an image of wood grain, and then sealed with a tough translucent coating. Look for products with low VOC emissions to reduce the volatile organic compounds released into the room.

Laminate flooring was an innovation made by Pergo, but there are now several competing manufacturers including Armstrong, Dupont, and Mannington. The original Pergo flooring is a top selling laminate brand, and they continue to be innovators in emerging designs and technologies for laminate flooring. Pergo flooring can be installed in almost any room, except those with a lot of moisture such as bathrooms. For those with real wood in mind, Pergo flooring makes an engineered hardwood product which features pre-finished wood on top of a plywood base.

Garage Flooring

The garage is an area that requires a hard-wearing, easily cleanable floor surface. Some green builders choose to simply stain or paint concrete garage flooring, in order to greatly reduce the need for additional building materials.

If a different design is desired, green designers often turn to rubber flooring products. As a highly versatile garage flooring product, it is available as rubber tiles as well as sheet rubber. Rubber flooring is safe when wet, does not skid, and absorbs sound. For the ultimate green garage flooring, check out Atmosphere recycled rubber flooring which combines recycled tire rubber with various colors of rubber granules. Rubber flooring is also great for stair treads, kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms, and commercial settings.

Kitchen Flooring

The kitchen offers a chance to use a variety of green design ideas – especially for floor surfaces. Green kitchen flooring options include laminate, cork tile, and linoleum. If laminate flooring is chosen, make sure that the finish is very durable so that it can withstand thorough cleanings. Cork tile is a green kitchen flooring option which is made from the renewable bark of the cork tree. Not only is it comfortable underfoot, cork flooring is also easy to maintain when it is coated with vinyl or polyurethane. Linoleum is a true green flooring option because it is made from linseed oil and other natural materials. Forbo manufactures stylish marbleized linoleum flooring called Marmoleum which expands the design and color options of this green product.

Decorating With Laminate Flooring

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Forget the orange and avocado-colored shag carpet of the 1970s and the expensive Italian marble tiles . . . homeowners are discovering today’s hottest alternative trend in flooring is laminate.

For busy families whose floors need to stand up to kids and pets, laminate flooring can be the perfect choice. Laminate flooring has been a fashionable option in Europe for more than 20 years, and its rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. The most common designs have a wood grain appearance; some are even made to look like stone or marble. One of the most attractive factors of laminate flooring is that it is designed to retain its appearance for many years with a minimum amount of maintenance.

What it is

But what in the world is laminate? Laminate flooring consists of four main components that are bonded together:

A wear resistant decorative surface made of resin-based melamine/aluminum oxide is bonded to a moisture resistant wood composition-based core. A balancing backing is bonded to the underside of the core. On the top is a clear cap sheet of aluminum oxide, which provides the protection and stain resistance. Since the resin-filled wear layer is so dense, it becomes extremely difficult to stain, scratch or burn.

Ease of installation is one key reason for the popularity of laminate flooring among busy homeowners today. It uses a tongue and groove interlocking system, which can be installed over the top of an existing substrate. Plywood, concrete slab, sheet vinyl flooring, hardwood flooring or virtually any other basically flat hard surface is a suitable base for laminate.

Most brands of laminate flooring require that the joints be glued with specially formulated, water-resistant glue placed between the tongue and grooves of every plank. However, there are some that offer a glueless interlocking system that provides strong, tight joints without messy glue or special tools.

Because installation is so simple, and because you can walk on your new floor immediately (no waiting for glue to dry), beautifying your home with new laminate flooring is truly a project you can do in a weekend. And to make it even easier to obtain, many home improvement stores, as well as local flooring and tile centers offer a variety of laminate flooring to choose from.

No matter what your decor or your lifestyle; you can find a laminate floor to fit your needs. Laminate flooring is also one that can be used in virtually any area of your home, including the kitchens, living room, and dining room and even in bathrooms.

Easy Care

One of the best things about a laminate floor is that it is so incredibly easy to take care of. In fact, many homeowners say caring for a laminate floor is even easier than installing one. Some of the best ways to keep it looking in tip-top shape and looking like new and to avoid unnecessary scratches is to simply vacuum or dust mop regularly to remove loose dirt or grit. Glides or cushioned bottom protectors under chairs and table legs also help prevent possible scratching, and floor mats at all outside doorways keep dirt from coming inside.

As you can see, laminate flooring is one of the easiest and perhaps one of the most affordable flooring styles to choose from for those homeowners who want style, versatility and manageability. So, get rid of that awful shag carpet in exchange for the beauty of laminate flooring, you’ll quickly thank yourself.