If you love the richness and warmth of Wood floors but are concerned about depleting the environment in the process, try reclaiming a bit of history to get those beautiful floors without ravaging nature. Using salvaged Wood is the ultimate in recycling, and it’s a growing trend that’s not only eco-friendly but stylish, too.
Sure you may be making a good choice buying some bamboo or cork flooring. After all both products are renewable to some extent. Bamboo grows extremely fast and can be replenished quickly by planting more. Depending on who you talk to the consensus for bamboo from seedling to harvesting is 5-7 years. Cork itself comes from the bark of the Mediterranean cork oak tree and is harvested every 10 years or so. It doesn’t harm the trees and does grow back.
Reclaimed Wood was harvested anywhere from 100 to 300 years ago and was used to build railroad trestles, old barns, industrial warehouses and other structures. Wood salvaged from the demolition of these structures can have a new life in your kitchen floor.
This Wood is denser, more stable, adds instant history to your home and is the only source for such by-gone species as heart pine and chestnut. If you have fallen in love With heart-pine flooring, salvaged lumber is the only way you will have such beauty in your kitchen since the old-growth long leaf pine is no longer around in any quantity, same for the beautiful American chestnut.
These are not just pretty floors but also a storytelling element.
The reclaimed Wood was originally harvested from the 1700s through the late 1800s, when the old-growth forests were exhausted. And that’s not a replaceable resource since old growth equals slow growth. It grew slowly due to larger trees above acting as a canopy and limiting sunlight and rainfall. That slowly grown Wood is much denser and stronger than other Wood, such as that from sustainable forests, which grows faster.
Bamboo Flooring: The other alternative
Bamboo is a grass which grows quickly. To obtain the height and quality of bamboo used for flooring, only five to eight years is needed before harvesting. Ease of growth and sustainable harvesting practices make this product a wise choice. Most bamboo for flooring comes from the Hunan province of China. It’s not a food source for pandas, which generally inhabit higher-elevation forests. Despite the long-distance transport of the product to the United States, the durability, hardness, and short regeneration time of bamboo provide justification for using it for flooring.
But, you have probably heard all about the benefits of bamboo floors. They are environmentally-friendly, durable, and beautiful. You are probably not aware of the various disadvantages of bamboo flooring. These floors are extremely easy to dent and scratch. They come only in two colors, this is because bamboo resists attempts to stain it. It is also very common for these floors to fade over time.