Eco-friendly Hardwood Floors, for a Stylish and Sustainable Home

When it comes to renovating your space, we know that balancing the budget without sacrificing style is essential. Equally as important is the desire to reduce our environmental footprint by choosing sustainable building materials.

Living Room
Photo by Shaw Floors

Nowadays, eco-friendly flooring does not have to come at the expense of style. Increased demand from environmentally concerned homeowners means that healthier, more sustainable products are now available in a wide range of beautiful designer looks.

Living Room
Photo by Shaw Floors

We believe in providing high-quality, sustainable options, and our eco-friendly hardwood flooring is manufactured under these guidelines:

EnviroCore™, the high-density core board found in Shaw’s Epic products, is made from recycled post-industrial wood fiber and harvested from well-managed domestic forests, using 50% less newly harvested wood than conventional engineered flooring.

GREENGUARD Certification ensures that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds into indoor air.

If you are committed to making the healthiest choices for your family and the environment, our eco-friendly flooring is ideal for a home that is both sustainable and stylish.

Should You Consider Hardwood Floors For Your Homes Or Offices

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Should You Consider Hardwood Floors For Your Homes Or Offices?

Investing in hardwood flooring implies a significant investment that can turn out beneficial in the long run. Though there are sources suggesting that modern bamboo flooring is as effective as hardwood floors with a hardness rank comparable to oak, nothing beats hardwood floors when it comes to class, elegance and structural strength. Go further through the post in a bid to acquaint yourself with benefits of installing hardwood floor in your homes or offices.

You might as well be browsing a number of sites including wikipedia.org Interior Design and http://www.designerhq.org in a bid to get a hang of the modern interior designing concepts and ideas. But before going in to details – know for a fact that the flooring would be counted as an integral part of the project and its only advisable that you acquaint yourself with its nitty-gritty.

Convenience of Installation and Easy Maintenance

Superior hardwood floors are engineered to offer a homogenous and steady fit. Those who have due experience in DIY flooring would hardly find it difficult to install it. It turns out to be a more sagacious investment than carpet as its color might start waning with time. Additionally, hardwood is considered to be hypoallergenic as it does not retain debris that can lead to or aggravate your allergies as carpet does. As it doesn’t retain dust you can settle for regular but easy cleaning processes including moping, vacuuming and drying.

Versatility

No matter how diverse or unique your needs are, hardwood offers you variant choices in terms of appeal- styles, stains, species, colors, finish etc. In fact, it can safely be claimed that no two hardwood floors are the same. Additionally, wood is naturally equipped with versatile patterns.

It’s Healthy!

Hardwood flooring unmistakably makes for a healthy interior choice. It does not have embossing or grout lines that would allow pollen particles, dust, allergens or animal dander settle on it, thereby bolstering overall air quality. There are immediate health benefits associated with this attribute as the debris-free air in the house proves conducive for people with respiratory illnesses.

Problems and Solution

Cupping and buckling is a recurrent problem with hardwood. You need to ensure that you’re familiarizing yourself with these concepts before installing the hardwood in your home or office.

It’s phenomenon which refers to a malformation or warping process that is caused by absorption of humidity. Now, “how would your indoor flooring would be exposed to humidity?” Yes, it’s possible. There are several ways whereby the wood becomes vulnerable to moisture. Both the normal ground water saturation levels at your home or else the outdoor humidity levels in the geographical area you’re residing in, make for the standard sources of humidity. Additionally, if the burst water pipelines remain unattended to, for a considerable period of time, the internal structure of your home might be considerably damaged as well. Therefore, as a homeowner if you have noticed cupping or buckling in the floor, make sure you’re identifying the source of water and attending to it immediately.

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Flooring Options for which you dont need an expert

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A common practice seen nowadays is that most of the homeowners have started doing repair, renovation and up-gradation of their homes on their own. Homeowners are less dependent on the experts for these jobs as the market is flooded with products that are easy to use, irrespective of the skill set they possess. A common task which has gained immense popularity among DIY enthusiasts is floor installation. Proper floor installation is vital to enhance the aesthetics and render a completely new look to the abode.

There are several flooring options available in the market, amongst which there are few that are easier for homeowners to install. The flooring options that most of the homeowners opt for while doing installation on their own are laminate, engineered wood, cork and vinyl.

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Laminate flooring is generally chosen by DIYers as it is quite simple to install. Most importantly, it does not require removal of the old flooring, which is quite time-consuming. Laminate flooring is popularly known as floating floor as it floats above the floor and is not permanently attached to it. These are available in a wide range of choices that suit the budget and preference of almost every homeowner. Besides, laminate flooring can be engineered to resemble wood or stone flooring that are quite time-consuming to install as well as expensive in comparison to the floating flooring.

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Another flooring option that homeowners often choose for their homes while doing the installation themselves is the engineered wood flooring. These come as tongue and groove installation system that is extremely easy to install and does not demand any expert guidance. Homeowners have to install this flooring over an underlayment that is mostly rubber-foam. This type of hardwood flooring is considered durable and comprises three layers. The wooden cross-band is sandwiched between the veneer bottom layer and pre-finished hardwood exterior layer.

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Cork flooring has also gained immense importance as a preferred DIY flooring option as it is not only easy to install but offers various advantages as well. It is soft, long-lasting and natural insulator, along with being resistant to irritants like mold and mildew. Besides, homeowners can render a unique look to their flooring with the help of numerous stains and finishes. Many homeowners think twice before using this flooring option as it is one of the most expensive flooring options. However, it is one of the flooring options that actually add value to the house and is thus considered as a profitable investment.

With the coming of vinyl flooring in the floating floor format, vinyl sheet flooring has become one of the preferred choices of DIYers. Homeowners just have to lay the dimensionally correct sheets and install shoe molding at the meeting point of the wall and sheets. This is so simple that every homeowner can install vinyl flooring over the old flooring without any hassle.

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Thus, homeowners who wish to change the look of their house, but do not want to spend money on seeking professional help can do this easily by installing floor on their own.

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Floating Floor the Preferred Choice

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Flooring can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your house, provided it is appropriately installed. Right installation of the flooring is as important as choosing the right flooring material. Nowadays, people are increasingly opting for floating floor. Floating floor, a misnomer, is actually a floor installation method, which is wrongly confused by many as a type of flooring material. In floating floor, the flooring material generally consists of planks, which are installed without being glued, stapled, or nailed to the subfloor. Instead, of being fastened to the subfloor, the planks are joined to one another; allowing the floor to ‘float’ over the surface underneath.

Homeowners can choose amongst the different types of floating floors; such as the ‘glue together’, which is an older version of floating floor. The glue together floating floor is assembled with the help of appropriate adhesive and pressure applied on the planks, to bind it together. Another version of floating floor is the ‘click together’, which is also referred to as ‘enter click’ or ‘tongue and groove’. In this, the edges of the planks are so designed that these easily click together, when combined and tapped on the edge toward one another. This does not require the use of any adhesive, making installation hassle-free and time-saving. The latest as well as the fastest floating floor option is the ‘lock and fold’ system, which requires neither tapping of the planks nor sticking them with glue. In this type of floating system, the planks are attached with the help of a special milled interlocking system.

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The rising popularity of the floating floor is due to the various benefits it offers. The biggest advantage of choosing floating floor is that it is convenient and hassle-free, which saves both effort and time. This installation method is so easy that the flooring of the room can be completed in just a few hours; irrespective of whether the installer is amateur or experienced. In addition, the floating floor is available in a wide range of material, such as hardwood, linoleum, bamboo, cork and plastic laminate. Depending upon their preferences and budget, homeowners can choose amongst any of the available options.

Floating floor is an ideal choice for areas with high humidity or moisture problem. Most of the flooring options are affected by fluctuations in moisture and humidity. Wooden planks, for example, tend to contract when humidity is low and expand when humidity is high; thereby causing gaps and buckling, respectively. In contrast, since the floating floor is not fastened to the underlying surface, it contracts and expands as one complete unit without giving rise to gaps or buckling. Besides, spacers are left alongside the walls to allow for expansion.

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As floating floor is generally available as planks, homeowners only need to replace the damaged ones, rather than change the whole flooring. As a result, homeowners tend to save significant amount of money. Additionally, it is less expensive than most of the other flooring choices.

Owing to all these benefits, floating floor has become a preferred choice of more and more homeowners.

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Reasons to select engineered wood flooring

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A number of homeowners prefer using hardwood flooring due to its aesthetic appeal and high durability. However, the main concern with hardwood flooring is that it can be quite difficult to install as a ‘Do-it-yourself’ (DIY) project. It is for this reason that a professional flooring installer needs to be called to install hardwood floor, thereby adding to the total cost. On the other hand, laminate flooring offers a cost effective and ‘easy to install’ alternative to hardwood flooring, but it is not real wood.

For homeowners who want a cost effective and durable alternative to hardwood, engineered hardwood flooring would be the ideal option. Engineered hardwood is a combination of real finished wood on top and non-finish plywood underneath. This additional layer of plywood is laid in a cross-way pattern, thereby providing support to the main wood top and enhancing its durability.

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The choices available in the engineered hardwood category are almost identical to those available in the solid hardwood category. Some of the most popularly engineered hardwood options include Hickory, Oak, Bamboo and Maple. This wide variety ensures that homeowners are able to select an option as per their specific requirements.

Another major advantage of engineered hardwood is that it is pre-finished, i.e. it has already been sanded and sealed. This means that the floor can be used as soon as it has been installed. On the other hand, unfinished solid hardwood requires sealing prior to being used, thereby increasing the installation time.

One area where engineered hardwood scores more than laminate flooring is that it can be sanded at a later stage. Engineered hardwood can be easily sanded a few times in case scratches or stains develop on it. However, since engineered flooring has low tolerance for any mistakes during the sanding process it is recommended to avail professional assistance.

Although, wood flooring is not recommended for high moisture areas like the children’s bathroom; engineered hardwood flooring can be easily installed in low-moderate moisture areas. This feature makes engineered hardwood ideal for areas like the basement and the bathroom. Relative to other wood flooring types, engineered hardwood flooring would offer high durability in such areas of the house.

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Hardwood flooring typically requires to be nailed to the wooden sub floor for maximum effectiveness. However, there are a number of other installation methods available for engineered hardwood flooring. Along with nailing the engineered hardwood floor, it is possible to either glue it or to use it as a floating floor. These installation options make engineered hardwood an ideal option for ‘DIY enthusiasts’.

Finally, engineered flooring is naturally warm and does not result in unwanted noise as is the case with a few other flooring options. It is also possible to install a radiant floor heating system beneath the engineered flooring, thereby providing high value.

Although engineered hardwood flooring can be more expensive than laminate, it provides high value in the long run. Not only can it be sanded a number of times, it is more resistant to moisture than other hardwood flooring options.

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