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

  • 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

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.

4/28/2015 6:53:01 PM

As I begin to put wood flooring into my home, I have been debating on whether I should use hardwood, or softwood. And in all honesty, I did not have much clue to what the difference was. But reading through your website, it really showed me the difference between the two woods, what I should expect from the wood in the future, and the different prices that they both cost. So thank you for this information, it has really influenced my decision on what would I should use!

2/11/2015 4:26:01 PM

I really appreciated your article, Alison; is reclaimed hardwood flooring a standard option with flooring services? I want to get new flooring in my kitchen, but I'm trying to be more environmentally aware of my material choices. Should I just ask the different suppliers in my area?

6/17/2014 7:16:56 PM

The trend nowadays is to go green and my recently-opened gift shop has an environment-friendly theme. These sustainable flooring are all good options and I will consult with my husband which one is the best to use for our shop. Thanks,

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters