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Sustainably-harvested wood flooring—consumer buying tips

QuestionWhat should consumers look for in green, sustainably-harvested wood flooring?

AnswerGood question! You just can't tell by looking at boards if they are sustainably-harvested flooring.

Lewis Buchner, CEO of EcoTimber in San Rafael, CA, has been working with the Forest Stewardship Council and sustainably-harvest woods since 1992. EcoTimer has introduced the first bamboo flooring manufactured without formaldehyde. This product has no out-gassing of formaldehyde fumes into the home or office.

EcoTimer understands that being green means harvesting their wood or bamboo sustainably, and keeping toxins out of the air in their customer's homes. Their goal is to remain on the cutting edge of what it means to be a "green" company, with their products and with their own operations.

With that said, this is what Mr. Buchner suggests what consumers should look for in green, sustainably-harvested wood flooring:

  1. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council certification on the wood flooring packaging, and also ask your flooring dealer to show you their invoice from their supplier which must state that that particular product is FSC certified (they can black out their cost—it's just the FSC description in the individual line item that you want to verify).

    Just because a brochure or a display shows the FSC logo does NOT mean that the flooring you are buying is FSC; it only means that the manufacturer is licensed to produce FSC flooring. What they are offering you may not be that FSC flooring.
  2. Check, online or by phone, with EcoTimber (www.ecotimber.com) to find out more about the wood species you are interested in and if it is available from an FSC forest. Many species of flooring on the market are becoming threatened or endangered and are not available as a certified product.
  3. If you are interested in reclaimed wood flooring, ask for verification that the planks really were recycled from old structures. Some reclaimed flooring is actually new wood, not FSC, and made to "look" old.

This information, in whole or in part, was provided by EcoTimber (www.ecotimber.com).

Copyright © 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.



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