Wood is one of the flooring options that does not usually end up in a landfill after its service life. Wood is recyclable – materials are salvaged from a variety of sources, including old barns, factories and riverbeds. Many leading health associations recommend the product as ideal for healthier living. There are no emissions of methane or nitrogen oxide and minimal emissions for carbon dioxide.
Cork flooring is environmentally sustainable, non-toxic and healthy – perhaps the most environmentally friendly of all flooring surfaces. Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree every nine to ten years. The harvesting has little to no affect on the health of the tree. For people with allergies, cork flooring is an ideal surface. It is antimicrobial and less likely to be affected by mold and mildew. In addition to the health benefits, the insulating properties of cork flooring contribute to energy efficiency.
Environmentally, bamboo is a great flooring choice. Bamboo grows abundantly and replenishes quickly. It can be harvested in as little as three years, regenerates without re-planting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides. The most durable bamboo comes from plants that are harvested after six to eight years and is manufactured in a “strand” configuration.