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Sustainability & The Eco-Conscious Choice of Engineered Timber Flooring

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By Suburban Flooring Co. 14 May 2024

When it comes to crafting a beautiful and functional home, flooring is a major decision. But beyond aesthetics, with growing environmental concerns, many are seeking eco-friendly options. Engineered timber flooring emerges as a strong contender, offering the warmth and elegance of natural wood with a surprisingly sustainable footprint. Let’s delve into the eco-friendly aspects of engineered timber flooring and see why it might be the perfect choice for your next project.

Responsible Wood Sourcing: Making Every Tree Count

Unlike solid wood flooring, which uses thick planks from a single tree species, engineered timber utilises a layered approach. This has a significant environmental benefit. The top layer, the visible part, is still real hardwood, but it’s much thinner. The core, hidden beneath, is typically constructed from fast-growing, renewable wood or recycled wood materials. This reduces pressure on old-growth forests and allows for responsible management of slower-growing hardwoods.

Many manufacturers prioritise sourcing wood from forests certified by organisations like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). These certifications ensure responsible harvesting practices, promoting biodiversity and the long-term health of our forests. By choosing engineered timber with these certifications, you’re actively supporting sustainable forestry initiatives.

Recycling Magic: Second Chances for Wood Products

The core layer of engineered timber flooring often features a surprising hero: recycled wood. High-Density Fiberboard (HDF) is a common material used in this layer. Made from wood by-products like sawdust and wood chips, HDF offers strength and stability while minimising waste. This innovative use of recycled materials reduces the need for virgin wood, further contributing to a more sustainable flooring solution.

Many engineered timber flooring products also use Hevea Brasiliensis (rubber tree) timber as their core layer material. This timber is sourced from rubber plantations located close to the manufacturing facility. Previously, these trees would have been bulldozed and burned after their lifespan of rubber production had been exhausted. This waste timber can now be diverted and utilised as the core layer for engineered timber flooring.

Built to Last: Longevity Matters

Engineered timber flooring is renowned for its durability. The multi-layered construction provides exceptional stability, making it resistant to warping and shrinking that can plague solid wood floors, especially with fluctuating temperatures and humidity. This translates to a floor that looks beautiful for years to come, reducing the need for replacements and the associated environmental impact of manufacturing and disposal.

Engineered timber’s durability goes beyond simple wear and tear. With many products, the top layer can be rejuvenated throughout its lifespan, breathing new life into your floor, and ensuring it remains a cherished element of your home for decades. This reduces waste compared to less durable flooring options that may need complete replacement sooner.

Beyond the Floor: Additional Eco-Friendly Considerations

There are additional factors to consider when making your eco-friendly flooring choice. Look for manufacturers who prioritize low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adhesives and finishes. These minimise indoor air pollution, creating a healthier environment for your family and reducing the impact on air quality during production.

Furthermore, responsible manufacturers often utilise renewable energy sources in their production facilities, further lowering the environmental footprint of engineered timber flooring.

Making an Informed Choice: The Beauty of Sustainability

Engineered timber flooring offers a compelling combination of aesthetics, functionality, and environmental responsibility. By prioritising responsible wood sourcing, utilising recycled materials, and boasting exceptional longevity, engineered timber provides a sustainable option for the modern homeowner. So, the next time you’re revamping your floors, consider stepping into a more sustainable future with engineered timber. You’ll be making a choice that’s kind to the environment and creates a beautiful space for you and your loved ones to enjoy for years to come.

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