‘Healthy’ Wood Flooring
Meticulously designed wooden floorings are definitely a treat to the eyes. They bring an element of nature into the rooms while adding a classic look into the interiors. Contemporary and ancient design schemes have equally become trending, thanks to the latest technological advancement in the wood floor industry.
There is an obvious question everybody will be having in their minds when the whole world is becoming more and more aware of the environmental impacts that certain industries cause: “By using wood flooring, am I not cutting trees and, by this, causing irreparable damages to the environment?” The answer is an all affirmative “Yes”. But, is there a way that everyone can use wood flooring and paneling without harming our forests? The answer again is an all affirmative “Yes”!
When you buy from companies that are FSC/PEFC certified or having Cradle to Cradle accreditation, it is assured that they manage the natural resources in such a way that they do not destroy forests indiscriminately or cause hazards to the environment. Such certifications ensure that the forests are protected and sustained. When you buy any wood products, make sure you see these certifications.
The next important question, when you buy wood products must be, “How safe they are for my environment?” This question is not asked by many. Why is this question important? In the Wood Floor manufacturing process, there are many steps. Many chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. When you buy cheap wood floors, you have to understand that the manufacturers use the easiest and cheapest methods to make them. This compromises many things. To consider one aspect of it, the cheapest way to bond the layers of an Engineered Wood Floor together is using the cheapest tackifier. Such tackifiers will have high amount of Formaldehyde. This is a chemical that is present in all living beings. But, when it is more than the normal standards, when you inhale them, it becomes poison. If the amount of Formaldehyde exceeds 0.1ppm, we get irritation in the eyes, nose and throat. If you take a sample from a room that was laid with a cheap wood floor, the amount would be much more. It is even found that Formaldehyde can cause cancer. What is the solution? When you buy wood floor, make sure that the formaldehyde emission is E1. This is the safest amount as per the European regulations.
There are other certifications like LEED, Floorscore, Greenguard, etc which controls the interior air quality. One has to make sure that the wood floor one is buying has some of these certifications. The cost of buying a cheap wood floor is affecting our health negatively. It is not worth taking such huge risks to save some pennies.
The interest in quality wood flooring is increasing. The feel of wood under the feet is magical. Having something real rather than imitations is always desirable. Wood floor gives a majestic look to any living area. But, there are pitfalls while buying your favorite wood flooring. Be aware of the environmental impact as well as interior air quality. Buy wise.