Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits to the environment that sustainable flooring provides. Bamboo is a popular option because it’s quick to reach harvesting age and is just as durable as many hardwoods. However, you needn’t be limited to bamboo. There are many other exotic options for sustainable flooring that are still suited to green living.
Just to fill you in, sustainable flooring comes from renewable sources like a variety of hardwood trees. Not only are the sources renewable, but they are also harvested responsibly and have a long life cycle. Responsible harvesting ensures that the entire farm isn’t wiped out from harvest. Long life cycle ensures that the material being used won’t need to be replaced often, letting the majority of the harvest go towards new buyers.
Cork is actually made from the bark of the cork oak tree, so it is highly renewable if harvested properly. Cork is a unique form of flooring since it gives a little when you walk on it. Thus, it is more supportive. It’s also very resilient as it almost completely springs back to its original volume after being compressed. It is a good insulator of both heat and sound. Cork is not good for kitchens or bathrooms as it tends to absorb water. Also, you will need to take precautions in installation. If you aren’t laying it on a perfectly smooth base, then imperfections will be visible. All in all, cork is an affordable and unique choice should you choose to go that route.
Grown throughout South America, lyptus is a hybrid of two types of eucalyptus trees. It grows to harvesting age in a remarkably short time of 15 years, 5-10 times faster than many other hardwoods. The growers of the lyptus tree say it most closely resembles mahogany or cherry. It can be dyed, but it is susceptible to growing darker over time if exposed to sunlight. Lyptus is heavier than other hardwoods, but it is also much sturdier. Whether you’re looking for a low price, good looks, durability, or sustainability lyptus is a great option for exotic sustainable flooring in your green home.
Coconut is another quick-growing tree. It reaches maturity in only 6 years! While this might make it seem like coconut wood would be in great supply, coconut trees are used for something else: growing coconuts. So even though they CAN be harvested after 6 years, most people wait to cut them down until after they are finished producing coconuts some 80 years later. Coconut wood comes in a wide variety of shades and density. High quality coconut is darker and harder, but you’ll end up paying for it.
Want the look of exotic hardwoods but aren’t willing to compromise your eco-friendly standards? Consider Strandwoven bamboo. The makers of Strandwoven bamboo take bamboo fibers and mold them together and dye them to make them look like genuine (sometimes unsustainable) exotic hardwoods. If you’re looking for hardwood, this is definitely a new option to consider.
Green living is a choice, but that shouldn’t mean giving up on style on personality. By choosing sustainable flooring, you’ve reduced your carbon footprint; by choosing one of these exotic wood floors you’ve shown that “green” can be any color you want.