Why Go Green
With an ever-growing concern for the environment and our health, sustainable and healthy products have become a main concern. Not only do the products we use today affect us, they also affect future generations to come.
When it comes to your home, there are many reasons for ‘Going Green’ when considering your flooring options. There are many options available to you with both refinishing and installations of your flooring. When it comes to refinishing your floors, one of the first questions you may ask yourself is either using a Oil-base or Water-base polyurethane. Here are some key factors of both finishes to consider when choosing:
Oil-base Polyurethane versus Water-base Polyurethane
• Amber finish – warm glow that darkens over time with the wood which produces a golden/yellowing effect
• Higher Solids – gives a thicker appearance (resin like) due to its higher solids content
• High VOC content (350 VOC) compared to Water-base
• Longer Dry Times (8-12 hours dry time for foot traffic, 72 hours for 98% cure rate and when furniture can be moved back and it takes 30 days to 100% cure)
• Off Gasses – Lingering smell can take weeks to dissipate
• Economical and Durable – its the most economical finish out there for its durability and ease of use
• Comes in four sheens – Satin, Semi-Gloss, Gloss and High Gloss.
• Self-Leveling – Self levels its self and easier to apply than other finishes
• Non Ambering Finish – doesn’t yellow or darken over time or darken. There are however Water-base sealers that produce an amber affect to the wood
• Low Odor and VOC content (200 VOC or lower)
• Quicker Dry Times (2-3 hours dry time for foot traffic, 48 hours to move furniture back and its 100% cured after one week).
• Lower Off Gassing – because of the lower odor and quicker dry time, water-base off gasses alot less and usually the low odor is gone within a few days.
• Comes in many sheens – Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss and Gloss.
• Durability: improved scratch resistance and chemical resistance compared to Oil-base
While choosing a finish can be difficult, Go Green Floors can help you choose the right finish for your project. We can help you choose the right finish to best suit your budget and your needs.
Safer for your Family
When choosing a finish for your floors, you may want to consider the toxicity and VOC content of the finish. This is especially important if you have a young family or planning on having one. Some traditional ‘Oil’ base finishes ‘off-gas’ for many days/weeks after they are applied and can be dangerous to small children and pregnant women.
Safer for your Home
The US Environmental Protection Agency, the American Lung Association, the World Health Organization and other public health and environmental organizations view indoor air pollution as one of the greatest risks to human health. Water-based polyurethanes have significantly reduced the health and environmental hazards of hardwood floor refinishing and finishing. If you are concerned about your homes indoor air quality, then choosing either an Low or Zero VOC finish is very important.
Safer for your Enviroment
Choosing greener flooring products for your home, not only helps your enviroment but also everyone else’s. Go Green Floors can help you choose the right flooring or finish for your home. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
Some customers prefer oil-based finishes because they can give hardwood an added depth and appearance that is not as evident with waterborne finishes. Oil-based can be more glossier and thicker than water-based finishes. If you are set on using an oil-based finish for your project, we still provide this option for our customers and would be happy to give you an estimate.
Environmental Benefits of Wood Floors
Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.
Check out these environmental facts about wood floors:
- Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
- Indoor air quality is better with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
- Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
- Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
- At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
- Wood floors last hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National Association of Home Builders)
- While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)
You can learn more about the environmental benefits of wood floors by downloading a copy of the University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions: Environmental
Does wood flooring promote a healthy indoor environment?
Yes. Bacteria, dust and dirt do not embed themselves in wood flooring, as they do in other flooring options. Simple regular maintenance—such as dustmopping, sweeping, or vacuuming—keeps wood floors dust-free.
My client suffers from allergies. Is wood flooring hypoallergenic?
Millions of people suffer from sensitivity to chemicals and toxins. Tests by leading allergists have proven that wood flooring provides a healthier environment for these allergy sufferers. Wood doesn’t harbor irritating dust and microorganisms.
Is the natural environment protected during the harvesting and manufacturing of wood flooring?
Yes. Far from a depleting resource, hardwood is sustainable and commercially more available now than ever before. On the 486 million acres of forestland in the United States classified as commercial, substantially more wood is added in new growth each year than is harvested. For hardwood species, 90 percent more wood is added annually in net growth than is removed through harvest.
Once installed, how often must wood flooring be replaced?
Every hundred years or so. In fact, the heart pine floors in historic Bacon’s Castle in Virginia are more than three centuries old and counting. Simple care and maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors need only to be refinished every 10 – 15 years or 10 – 12 times during a floor’s life. When a wood floor’s useful life is over, it’s completely biodegradable.
Is recycled wood flooring available?
Yes. Wood salvaged from a variety of sources, including old barns and factories, is a popular design trend. Wood recovered from riverbeds is another growing segment of the wood flooring industry. Logs that sank during logging operations years ago are being recovered by a number of companies and used to create truly unique flooring. Today’s only significant source for heartwood from long-leaf pine is through reclaimed timbers from warehouses and factories constructed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chestnut, hemlock, poplar, walnut, and cypress are other options.
Learn more about the environmental benefits of wood flooring.
Eco Flooring Zero Voc
What are VOCs and why are they important?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the gases emitted from certain solids or liquids – some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs can pose a wide range of health risks. Depending on the level of exposure and length of time exposed, one may experience adverse symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation as well as dizziness and headaches. Long or repeated exposure to VOCs can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. To learn more about the health risks associated with VOCs, click here.
A NATURAL FLOOR FINISH
ZERO VOC is a completely solvent-free water based aliphatic polyurethane finish. ZERO VOC can be used as a single component product or as two-component product after adding ZERO VOC BOOST. Produced with partially renewable raw materials. ZERO VOC is ideal for use in the green building sector and when applied directly to the wood it does not alter the shade and gives it a very natural effect. Available in matte finish or satin finish.