Sustainable wood flooring may seem like an oxymoron: How can using wood for flooring protect forests or be environ-mentally sound There is such a thing as "good wood." Responsibly forested, reclaimed or salvaged, or farmed, there are earth-friendly and beautiful tree wood floors available.
Shown above: Certified American Cherry
Certified Wood Flooring
Third-party, non-profit certification organizations define standards for forest management and establish the quantity per year per species that can be harvested without damaging the ecosystem in question.
In effect, by choosing certified wood flooring, you are supporting sustainable forestry and offsetting the financial pressures to liquidate forestland for short term gain.
Reclaimed and Salvaged Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring comes from barn siding, military structures, underground piers, or dismantled houses. After remilling, removing nails, and reprocessing of various sorts, the flooring blanks can be molded (tongue-and-groove). Though reclaimed flooring is essentially reused, the considerable amount of processing needed to turn the often century-old, tight-grained materials into ready-to-install flooring means extra expense. Expect a higher price for reclaimed, as well as unique characteristics like nail holes.
Salvaged wood flooring includes trees that were milled for the first time and were otherwise bound for the waste stream, or at least lower grade uses. Sometimes trees are removed because of fire management requirements, disease, over-maturity, storm damage, and other natural factors. Examples of these are California local favorites eucalyptus and radiata pine from San Francisco Bay Area parklands, orchard walnut from exhausted or non-producing orchards, or douglas fir.
Farmed/Plantation Grown Wood Flooring
Flooring Alternatives offers Lyptus®, a fairly dense hard-wood from a eucalyptus hybrid, farmed on plantations in South American groves surrounded by indigenous jungle. Bred to be especially fast-growing, this wood matures in a shorter amount of time than most tropical species. With a lovely natural range of color from plank to plank, its beauty really shines in the completed installation.
Shown above: Lyptus® in natural
Lyptus® is available in:
Prefinished engineered planks with square edges and pre-glued joints to float (even over radiant heat), nail or glue. Widths of 5-3/4" (wide plank) and 7-1/2" (three-strip construction). Four color options.
Prefinished solid (nail or glue down) random length (11" to 88") with eased edges in widths from 2-1/4" to 4". Total of six color options, but all colors not available in all widths.
Unfinished solid (nail or glue down) random length (11" to 88") with square edges in widths from 2-1/4" to 4". Natural only, but can be custom stained and finished on site.