Consumers Have Eco-Friendly Wood Choices

The growing trend toward eco-friendly consumer products has reached the wood flooring industry. Eco-conscious consumers, builders, and architects who want to lay or refurbish wood floors can now choose from a number of green options. Fast-growing bamboo — new plants take four to six years to reach maturity — harvested in China and other Asian countries makes for a resilient, light-colored floor that’s reasonably cheap. The bark of the cork oak tree, found in Spain, Portugal, and North Africa, can be almost entirely stripped each harvest without harming the tree, which regenerates itself. The cork is ground up, mixed with glue, and used to make relatively cushy wood floor tiles. Another favorite eco-friendly option is reclaimed lumber — although it tends to be more expensive, as nails and such are removed from it by hand, wood from barns and homes built in the 19th century can include beautiful old-growth pine and chestnut. Finally, there’s always sustainably grown wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.