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Eco-Friendly Flooring, Part 3: Beyond Engineered Hardwood

Homeowners are reevaluating the products and chemicals they use not only in their everyday home lives but also the products used to create their homes. Several eco-friendly flooring options are available, catering to different preferences and needs.


In this three-part series about eco-friendly flooring, we have explored what makes a floor eco-friendly and more specifically, what makes engineered hardwood environmentally sound. In this final article, we take a look at the most popular alternative products available in today’s market. Although we are partial to the many benefits of our European engineered hardwood flooring collections, we understand that other options may be more suitable at times.



Unfinished Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Other Eco-Friendly Flooring Options


Here are some alternatives to engineered hardwood that contribute to a sustainable living space:


Bamboo


Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource: stalks reach maturity within three to five years, compared to traditional hardwoods, which can take decades or even centuries to mature. And unlike traditional hardwood trees that are cut down entirely during harvesting, bamboo is often harvested selectively. Bamboo is a grass, and it grows in clumps with interconnected root systems. When mature bamboo culms (stalks) are ready for harvest, they can be cut at ground level, and new shoots will continue to grow from the existing root structure.


Cork


Cork is manufactured from the bark of cork oak trees, which grows back after being harvested. Naturally biodegradable and easily recyclable, cork products can decompose naturally without releasing harmful substances into the environment or be recycled and used in the production of new cork products. As a flooring option, cork provides thermal and acoustic insulation, recovers well from marks left by furniture, as is hypo-allergenic.


Linoleum


Made from entirely renewable materials like linseed oil, wood flour, and cork dust, linoleum is biodegradable, durable, and antimicrobial. While linoleum is generally considered a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) flooring option, the adhesives and sealers used during installation may contain VOCs, so it's advisable to choose low-VOC or VOC-free adhesives and finishes to maintain indoor air quality.


Recycled Glass Tile


Recycled glass tiles are made from post-consumer or post-industrial glass. In addition to diverting waste from landfills and reducing the need for new raw materials, the process of melting and shaping recycled glass typically has a lower environmental impact than the manufacturing process for other flooring options. Durable and resistant to wear and stains, glass tiles are generally easy to clean and maintain and won’t require the use of harsh chemicals. Professional installation is a must: Because glass is translucent, the adhesive is visible through the tiles.


Natural Stone


Stone flooring is considered an eco-friendly option for its durability and longevity. Able to withstand heavy foot traffic and less prone to damage, natural stone can last for several decades to centuries, depending on factors such as the type of stone, its hardness, the level of foot traffic, and the quality of installation and maintenance. Sustainable quarrying practices and responsible extraction methods can minimize the environmental impact, and some stone quarries adhere to guidelines that prioritize biodiversity conservation, soil protection, and water management.


Reclaimed Wood Flooring


Reclaimed wood is salvaged from old buildings, barns, or other structures that are no longer in use. Repurposing wood from these sources minimizes the environmental impact associated with logging, transportation, and processing of new timber. Reclaimed wood from older structures may not have been treated with modern chemicals or preservatives commonly used in new wood. This can be appealing for those seeking a natural and chemical-free option, promoting healthier indoor air quality.


Haute Plank proudly offers an incomparable selection of Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring made from solid wood used in days of yore and responsibly manufactured in Europe.


Wrap-Up


The rapid renewability of bamboo, the recyclability of glass tiles, cork's natural biodegradability, linoleum's low VOC content, the timeless durability of natural stone, and the rustic charm of reclaimed wood collectively present homeowners with choices that foster a harmonious blend of style, functionality, and environmental stewardship paving the way for a more sustainable and mindful approach to home design. 


While all of these products are exceptional environmentally-friendly flooring options, Haute Plank specializes in some of the highest-quality and sustainably-milled European Engineered Hardwood flooring offerings made today. Please contact us to learn more about our collection and commitment to environmentally sound manufacturing. 


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