Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Your home is an expression of who you are, an extension of yourself. How you live and identify yourself can be clearly evident in the way you decorate your home. It is your living environment, and you care about that environment. you care about how it looks, how it feels and how it remains.

Extend the view of your home environment now beyond your house. This can also be maintained by you. Pause and ask yourself. Are the choices I make contributing to permanent degradation of the air my family and I breathe?  Are there products in my house that will eventually make me sick?  Am I buying products made from renewable resources?

Sustainable Forestry

Interestingly, while wood flooring has been given a bad rap because of forestry practices that took place more than a century ago, domestic wood flooring is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring products available.  In North America, both the Canadian and American governments have chosen to enforce sustainable forestry practices.   Canada still has 91% of it’s original forest cover, and the US still has 72% of the forests it had before European settlement.  On top of that, the annual net growth of trees from which hardwood is sourced is much greater than the annual harvest. 

Lower Carbon Footprint 
When you choose to install hardwood flooring in your house, you make a conscious decision to install a floor that won’t have to be replaced for many years to come.  Every other type of flooring option will have to be replaced before hardwood floors.  This is because hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times throughout their life.  In our area, we have homes that are over 100 years old and still have the original wood floors. 

Wood floors are also carbon neutral.  During it’s growth cycle, wood generates oxygen and then during use, wood floors absorb carbon.  

The Superior Flooring Commitment to Environmental Excellence.
The staff at Superior Flooring are committed to doing their best to produce products that are environmentally friendly.  To this end, we use UV cured coatings which are 100% reactive and therefore do not contribute significantly to the production of ground level air pollution that is common in spray applications with organic solvent coatings.  The UV cured coating itself, as mentioned above, is 100% reactive which means that there are virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) emitted from the finish during the application process or afterwards. The coating material is also free of formaldehyde, isocyanate or other hazardous air pollutants.  

The glues used in our engineered flooring are also formaldehyde free and do not release significant VOC’s.  This important difference makes Superior Flooring a leader in environmental stewardship. 

A Look at Other Flooring Types
In 2016, 19.13 billion square feet of flooring was sold in America alone.  Of that, the majority of the flooring products sold were not biodegradable.  

LVT:  While LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) and WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) are all the rage right now, neither one of these products are biodegradable. Both of these products are made of new or recycled polyvinyl chloride.  PVC is one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials produced. PVC creates large quantities of persistent toxic organochlorines such as dioxins and phthalates and releases them into the indoor and outdoor environments.  In fact, both these products release dangerous chemicals and carcinogens while they are being produced and while they are being incinerated.  These chemicals are highly persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic to both humans and all other living creatures. The process of production and their ultimate incineration in landfills generate some of the most hazardous pollutants known. 

Carpet:  Not all carpets are environmentally friendly.  That new carpet smell is a VOC called 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH), which is a by-product of the latex binder used to secure the "tufted" fibers to the backing. 4-PCH can linger after installation for up to a week, exposing homeowners to VOCs that are unhealthy and can lead to illness.  Do your homework when purchasing carpet, and look for products that are low VOC.

Laminate:  By now you may have heard of the risks of high levels of urea formaldehyde in laminate flooring.  As with carpet, it is important to do your homework before purchasing laminate flooring.  Don’t assume that just because the manufacturer or reseller tells you it’s low VOC or formaldehyde free that it is.