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Earth Friendly way to put in hardwood floors

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March 23, 2007

Sustainable Hardwood Floor Options

by Alison Rogers

Hardwood flooring has long been a popular choice among homeowners.
It's beautiful, easy to clean, and unlike carpet, doesn't harbor
harmful chemicals, dirt or dust mites that can affect indoor air
quality. Properly installed, high-quality hardwood floors can last for
decades, and even add value to a home.

If you're considering a new hardwood floor, but want to stay true to
your earth-friendly ideals, you're in luck -- there's a long list of
sustainable hardwood flooring products to choose from. We've assembled
a few to get you started. Keep reading for a list of companies that
provide them.

Certified Wood Flooring

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a nonprofit group that
promotes environmentally responsible forestry practices. Companies can
offer peace of mind to consumers by displaying the FSC's stamp of
approval, which is awarded by third-party organizations that ensure
certain stewardship standards have been met.

You don't have to sacrifice your options when you choose responsibly.
A wide range of flooring woods come with the FSC stamp, including
cherry, maple, birch, ash, Douglas fir, oak and more.

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

As the name implies, timber salvaged from old buildings, river
bottoms, or even trees removed from urban settings can become your new
hardwood floor. The finished product can have either a like-new or
antique appearance, and comes in a variety of lengths and widths.
Availability can be unpredictable, so plan as far in advance as

Suppressed Wood Flooring

From time to time, a forest can become overly dense, resulting in
disease and fire susceptibility. Small trees in the forest's
understory are the casualties of the unavoidable thinning-out process,
but there's good news: They make excellent hardwood floors.

Less Expensive Wood Flooring

Some softwoods, such as pine or spruce, also make excellent lower-cost
floors. To learn more about choosing and installing softwood floors,
go to

Once you've chosen the perfect wood floor, don't reverse your efforts
to lessen your home's impact on the Earth by using toxic finishes and
adhesives during the installation process. Water-based products are
less energy-intensive to manufacture, less polluting when disposed of,
and less threatening to indoor air quality.

Where to find:

Certified wood
Dwight Lewis Lumber/Lewis Lumber Products

Picture Rocks, Pa. ( )

Cascadia Forest Goods, LLC
Dexter, Ore. ( )

Plaza Hardwood, Inc.
Santa Fe, N.M. ( )

Tembec, Inc., Huntsville Division
Hunstville, ON, Canada ( )

Reclaimed Wood
Ewing, N.J. ( )

Elmwood Reclaimed Timber
Kansas City, Mo.

Vintage Timberworks
Temecula, Calif. ( )

Big Timberworks, Inc.
Gallatin Gateway, Mont.

Vintage Material Supply
Austin, Texas

Suppressed Wood
Green Mountain Woodworks
Phoenix, Ore. ( )


Read More:

Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time
by David Johnston and Kim Master
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