Sustainable Hardwood Floor Options

If you're considering a new hardwood floor, but want to stay true to your earth-friendly ideals, you're in luck, here's a long list of sustainable hardwood flooring products.
March/April 2007
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/sustainable-hardwood-floor-options.aspx
Properly installed, high-quality hardwood floors can last for decades, and even add value to a home.


Photo By Fotolia/Maksym Yemelyanov

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 possible.

  • 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 www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Home-Building/2006-10-01/Install-a-Beautiful-Affordable-Wood-Floor.aspx

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.
www.lewislp.com

Cascadia Forest Goods, LLC
Dexter, Ore.
www.cascadiaforestgoods.com

Plaza Hardwood, Inc.
Santa Fe, N.M.
www.plzfloor.com

Tembec, Inc., Huntsville Division
Hunstville, ON, Canada
www.muskokaflooring.com

Reclaimed Wood

Citilog
Ewing, N.J.
www.citilogs.com

Elmwood Reclaimed Timber
Kansas City, Mo.
www.elmwoodreclaimedtimber.com

Vintage Timberworks
Temecula, Calif.
www.vintagetimber.com

Big Timberworks, Inc.
Gallatin Gateway, Mont.
www.bigtimberworks.com

Vintage Material Supply
Austin, Texas
www.vintagematerialsupply.com

Suppressed Wood

Green Mountain Woodworks
Phoenix, Ore.
www.greenmountainwoodworks.com