Creative Flooring Choices: Smart, Stylish and Sustainable

If you are of the belief that Earth Day is every day, you might be interested in exploring some wood flooring options that take into consideration weighty issues like deforestation and illegal logging. Here are a few eco-friendly thoughts to keep in mind when remodeling that will make you feel good about the surface beneath your feet.

Artistically Inclined

Dramatic effects with existing wooden floorboards are achievable when you use paint and a bit of creativity. A geometric pattern brings some excitement to a foyer, a playful palette gives the kitchen a splash of color and the illusion of a decorative area rug in a den or bedroom adds humor and depth. The possibilities are limitless. Rather than tear out a wooden floor that has seen better days, give it a brand new life by stripping it down and then dressing it up with some imagination.

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Cheerfully Repurposed

Stretch the powers of ingenuity even further and look to some more unconventional sources for flooring material, such as wine and whiskey barrels. This is a terrific way to upcycle that adds a bit of flair to your décor. The staves not only retain their appealing patina, they also bear cooper’s stamps and other special markings that lend the oak a personality all its own. No two pieces will be exactly alike – giving the floor a distinct richness and singular character.

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Certifiably Green

It’s possible to go with a brand new wood floor and still be environmentally conscious. Choosing products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – with a mission of protecting the world’s forests for future generations to enjoy – is a step in the right direction. The organization has developed a set of principles and criteria that must be met in order to qualify as “certified.” Appearance of the FSC logo on a particular product indicates inclusion on the approved list, and involves honoring goals such as preserving biological diversity and protecting the rights of forest workers and the local community.

Smartly Manufactured

Not only is it a smart choice in terms of durability and versatility, an engineered plank floor is also considered an environmentally responsible option. Less natural hardwood – which is derived from slow-growing trees – is required in its manufacture since it only comprises the thin, topmost layer. The rest of the slat is made up of layer upon layer of high-density fiberboard or plywood. A wide variety of looks can be had with the broad range of engineered products available, from oak, mahogany and hickory woods to surfaces that appear distressed or wire-brushed.

From front to back, and from floor to ceiling, there are any number of options for the home these days that make it easy to go green. When updating, take a moment to think about the overall effect of your renovation choices and decisions. And remember, it’s possible to employ impactful, powerful design elements without negatively impacting the Earth.