Is Floor Sanding And Wood Flooring Environmentally Friendly?

14-11-2010
One of the many questions we get asked is:
“Is wood flooring and floor sanding environmentally friendly?”

 


The answer to that question is YES!

Believe it or not, harvesting forests correctly can actually be good for the environment.

One of the reasons for this is that left to nature, forests achieve a climax stage where the site is supporting its maximum fertility. At this stage new trees only grow as others fall from age or natural disaster, the dead and dying trees emit CO2 from the carbon they store. By harvesting trees as they mature allows the carbon to be stored throughout the life of the wood product and the market for wood provides an economic incentive to preserve and replant new trees.

European forests are the most intensively managed in the world. Forest cover in this region is increasing by more than 660,000 hectares every year.European forests enjoy particularly high levels of protection, 12% of its forest areas are set aside to conserve ecological and landscape diversity which benefit from harvesting. This is because different forms of wildlife prefer different habitats, so a mix of old and new trees enhances the biodiversity of the region, also by opening up the forest floor this encourages grass and herbaceous growth, providing a food supply for many species of wildlife and helping the population of protected wildlife.
Look for local, sustainable sources of wood that are FSC certified and reclaimed from domestic sources. If you use reclaimed wood, make sure it’s free from industrial chemicals and agricultural pesticides. Wood can be treated with natural oils and low-VOC finishes. It is very durable—if necessary, it can be sanded and refinished. Most woods mature over many years and are only very slowly renewable. However wood flooring has less embodied energy than mined material such as stone. Look for FSC certification when purchasing flooring from new wood resources. If using engineered wood, look for FSC certified formaldehyde-free products. Factory staining and finishing diminishes VOC out gassing in the home. Wood can be reused and is biodegradable over the long term.

One of the best ways to help the environment when you are considering home improvements is to recycle, what better way to recycle than by restoring the existing floor boards in your home? Floor sanding is an excellent and very affordable way to help the environment and create a stunning Eco friendly floor. A floor sanding professional can restore an old tired wood floor into a beautiful new wood floor at very little cost and with the many choices in stains and seals available today, you can create just the right look for your home.