If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that we’d like to leave the world in better shape for our kids than it is now. We might not all agree on the best ways to do that, but cutting down fewer trees so that old forests can thrive seems like a pretty solid start. After all, any Albertan that’s been out to Banff or Jasper has to admit that mountains, waterfalls, and old forest are pretty breathtaking. But if you aren’t going to use exotic wood to floor your home, what more sustainable option should you be considering?
Cork comes from the bark of one of the most interesting trees in the world. When cork is harvested, the tree doesn’t need to be cut down. Instead, the bark is stripped from the tree, and over time, the tree simply grows new bark. Over the decades, new bark can be harvested again and again until the tree eventually dies at the ripe old age of 200 years old. Because cork comes from bark, it has some pretty excellent properties. It’s naturally insect repellent and antimicrobial. It’s easy to maintain and keep clean, and it’s also more fire and water resistant than a typical hardwood floor.
Bamboo may look a lot like wood, but it’s actually a type of grass meaning it’s closer related to your lawn than a tree. And, just like you only need to prune trees annually but still need to mow your lawn once a week, bamboo grows fast. This makes it a great building material for Canadians with sustainability in mind. However, while it may grow like a grass, many of its other characteristics are distinctly wood like. The look and feel of the floor, the huge variety of colours available thanks to tints and oils, and its durability and easy maintenance are just a few of the great things bamboo has in common with hardwood.
Take a drive down any major highway, and you’ve probably noticed some abandoned farmhouses. A lot of those places are several decades old, in fact a number of them date back to the dirty 30s when farmers were forced to abandon their homesteads. Despite the age, a lot of the wood from those farmhouses is still in good shape, and it’s becoming increasingly popular to take old wood and repurpose it. We’ve seen reclaimed lumber used to make everything from stunning kitchen cupboards to beautiful hardwood floors. If you know of a source of wood that you could go through and collect the scrap, this project is guaranteed to produce interesting and unique results.
There are ton of options for sustainable flooring. You could choose from rubber, glass tile, concrete and more. Cork, bamboo, and reclaimed hardwood are our favourites, but don’t feel limited by that! However, if you are interested in renovating your floor with a sustainable wood product, TimberTown is here to help.