Green and environmentally sustainable wood flooring options used to be costly and limited in availability. However, as customers have become increasingly concerned with their environmental responsibility, sustainable wood flooring options have increased and the associated costs have become more affordable.
The Best Wood Flooring Options
But, there is more to sustainability than the type of material the flooring is made from. In fact, sustainability also takes into account:
- How the material is manufactured
- The impact the supply chain has on the environment, and
- Its use of natural resources
Beyond sourcing, sustainability also applies to the quality and durability of the material so you can ensure that the flooring you choose for your home is built to last. Here are a few of the top contenders in sustainable wood flooring options that can best meet your needs, no matter your priorities.
Bamboo Wood Flooring Options
Natural bamboo is a great choice when it comes to sustainable wood flooring options. First, it is much harder than traditional choices for wood flooring. In fact, natural bamboo is:
- 27% harder than oak
- 13% harder than maple, and
- Is much less absorbent of liquids than other wood
Once harvested, natural bamboo regenerates itself very quickly as harvesting the bamboo does not kill the plant because it leaves its root system intact. Bamboo flooring is 100% non-toxic, formaldehyde free and comes in two forms: solid bamboo planks and engineered bamboo planks. Both forms look the same once installed, but the structural differences between them will need to be considered to determine which will work best for you.
Cork Wood Flooring Options
Cork is all around one of the best wood flooring options. Not only is it sustainability harvested from cork oak trees, which are renewable every eight to ten years, but it is also incredibly durable and has excellent acoustical qualities.
In general, the thicker the cork, the more significant the acoustic and thermal insulation will be. In addition, natural cork is:
- A great insulator
- Easy to clean
- Resistant to mold and mildew
- A fire inhibitor
Cork also comes in a variety of densities, finishes, and thicknesses, which make it easily customizable for any space.
Eucalyptus is Sustainable & One of the Best Wood Flooring Options on the Market
Those looking for an attractive, sustainable flooring option that has the ability to withstand high-traffic should consider eucalyptus flooring. Significantly less expensive than traditional hardwood flooring, strand woven eucalyptus is incredibly durable and one of the densest wood flooring options available. Because of its durability, eucalyptus is able to resist dents and degrades at a much lower rate than a more traditional hardwood flooring choice like oak.
Eucalyptus is also 100% renewable. In fact, eucalyptus can grow to 120 feet tall and 14 inches in diameter in as little as 14 years, making it one of the fastest growing species of tree and a great choice for sustainable wood flooring. If you are installing flooring in an area with high humidity, you may want to consider engineered eucalyptus. In addition to all the benefits of solid eucalyptus, engineered eucalyptus can also withstand variations in humidity and is somewhat denser than solid eucalyptus planks. Eucalyptus also comes in a variety of color options and can provide a beautiful, unique look for your home.