The most important characteristics to look for in green wood flooring are:
- the wood comes from a rapidly renewable forests.
- the wood and it’s laminating adhesives are free of any urea-formaldehyde resins.
- the finish paints and varnishes non-toxic and low VOC.
- the wood flooring brand is FloorScore or GreenGuard Children & Schools Certified.
The most common types of wood flooring are:
- Solid Hardwood - (Solid Hardwood should be a minimum thickness of 3/4″ to avoid a tendency to crow, cup or gap. Since solid wood floor easily collects moisture it should not be used in basements. There is a higher installation cost due to the required sub-floor and the initial sanding required. Solid hardwood floors are require more material, have a higher tendency to warp and are more susceptible to mold and moisture damage. It can only be installed on top of a wood subfloor.)
- Laminate - (Laminate flooring is very environmentally friendly; there is no wood harvested in the manufacturing process. The core of laminate flooring consists of high density fiberboard made up of recycled wood by-products. The top layer of laminate flooring is made with melamine formaldehyde, which although not the greenest choice is far superior to urea formaldehyde because it is more tightly bound reducing emissions. Laminate flooring has extreme durability and scratch resistance. To be safe look for FloorScore or GreenGuard Children & Schools Certified floors to guarantee a product that meets a high standard of indoor quality. Installation of laminate flooring is quick and easy for a do-it yourself-er.) To see some of the available GreenGuard Children & Schools certified laminate flooring click here.
- Engineered Hardwood - (Engineered Hardwood can have a look that is virtually indistinguishable from a natural wood finish. It makes very efficient use of the timber used in production by using far less raw material in production and is very stable and harder in 3/8″ thickness. It can come pre-sanded and can its integral plywood backing makes it possible to install directly over concrete without a sub-floor making installation costs low and easy to do. As with laminate flooring it is easily repaired and it can be replaced in individual pieces.) To see some of the available FloorScore certified engineered hardwood flooring click here.
- Bamboo – (Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that grows back to full maturity within 3 – 5 years compared to oak or cherry which need 40 to 60 years to mature. Bamboo is also a durable flooring. The greenest bamboo products are the strand woven bamboo floors, which reuses all of the waste products during the manufacturing process). To see some of the available FloorScore certified bamboo flooring click here.
*Wood has very low energy usage, off-gassing, leaching and smoke toxicity in its extraction and production.