Wood flooring is best for the environment: Researchers

Canadian maple for furniture and flooring

While wood-exporting countries may argue that their forestry products make the best furniture, they can at least agree on one thing: Wood flooring is the most environmentally friendly compared to other materials.

Wood coverings release lower emissions into the atmosphere and water, use less energy and generate less waste compared to flooring made of linoleum and vinyl, Swedish researchers found.

A German study on four types of wood flooring also found that these floors have significantly less impact on global warming, acidification and eutrophication of watercourses, photo-oxidant formation and ozone depletion.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in collaboration with the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Material (CORRIM) also reached similar conclusions.

They pointed out that wood is a desirable floor covering with respect to the environment due to lower emissions, lower water consumption and reduced use of primary energy. They also emphasised the floors’ durability.

“The shorter service life [of other coverings] means that they will have to be replaced more often, and that supposes new environmental impacts,” the researchers wrote. The study also focused on ideal end-of-life scenarios for wood from floors, and also on the renewable nature of the resource and net carbon balance of the material.

 

Source: The many virtues of hardwoods