Benefits of using Armstrong Residential and Commercial Resilient flooring are that are among the best in the business with a wide variety of styles to choose from.
COMMERCIAL FLOORING THAT STANDS UP TO ABUSE
July 8, 2016
Benefits of using Armstrong Residential and Commercial Resilient flooring are that are among the best in the business with a wide variety of styles to choose from.
DESIGNER FLOORING
February 19, 2017

CHOOSING SUSTAINABLE HARDWOOD FLOORS

The definition of sustainability is the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, with a goal of supporting long-term ecological balance. Nowhere is this more evident or easy to achieve than in the wood we use for our homes and businesses. Hardwood flooring, cabinetry, architectural elements and furniture have two purposes: to bring beauty and longevity to any space as well as to create the desired decor without having an adverse effect on the environment.

CONCERNS

There are many reasons why people turn to sustainable hardwood for their home’s flooring. Those reasons can include:

  • Deforestation
  • Illegal logging
  • Loss of slow-growing hardwood species can’t be easily replaced

When thinking about sustainable forest management, one can’t ignore the costs to the surrounding ecosystem if proper steps aren’t taken. After all, our forests affect anything from air and water quality to health of the surrounding wildlife. Not all woods are taken from sustainable sources. Take certain exotic woods, such as teak, for example, which are known to contribute to deforestation of tropical rainforests, which leads to the harming of endangered wildlife and other parts of global ecosystems.

According to How Stuff Works, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forestry Service says the U.S. demand for wood products is growing at twice the rate of the population. The purpose of sustainable hardwoods is to maintain a natural balance of tree and plant diversity. Harvesters are careful to reduce the impact of the harvest through maintenance of tree buffers around waterways while reseeding areas that have been decimated by lumbering equipment.

WISE CHOICES

Selecting sustainable wood means knowing the type of wood desired and the geographical location from which it came. As a general rule, hardwoods grow more slowly than softwoods, making them more valuable in terms of sustainability. By contrast, softwoods like pine and fir grow quickly, which is why they’re typically used for lumber products because they can turn over so fast.

When researching sustainable hardwood, it’s important to look for wood that is certified as such. You’ll find these certifications listed by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council, giving consumers peace of mind about their purchase. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) oversees more than 100 million acres (40,468,564 hectares) of forest in the United States and Canada that meet certain environmental and social standards.

Here are some good choices for sustainable hardwood:

  • Oak: Often used in cabinetry, furniture and flooring, this durable hardwood comes from dedicated oak forests throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Mahogany: Desired for its unique grain and deep coloring, mahogany is a popular wood type for high-end furniture, with certified sustainable products originating from South and Central America, Asia and Africa.
  • White Ash: While it’s often used for baseball bats and pool cues, its resistance to shock also makes it an excellent option when it comes to furniture.
  • Black Cherry: This is a red wood typically used for furniture, cabinets and doors thanks to its fine grain and textured appearance.
  • Bamboo: Grown in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, north Australia and the Americas, this light and strong wood grows extremely quickly and is therefore naturally sustainable. Best used for furniture, floors, fences, and even bridges.
  • Maple: Whether soft or hard, maple is a top choice for flooring, stairs and furniture thanks to its unique grain, light color and durability. The east coast of North America in particular has an abundance of maple.

  • Teak: While we said above that teak isn’t optimal for sustainability because of its slow growth, it’s possible to find FSC certification from places like Burma and Africa because of its popularity in outdoor furniture; thus, it can be found on the black market. This also goes for other types of exotic hardwoods such as favinha, guariuba and tatajuba. That being said, Burmese and African teak are fairly endangered and should be avoided, along with these woods:

    • Murbau
    • Sapelee
    • Wenge
    • Ebony
    • Brazilian Mahogany

Custom Orders

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