Wood Waste Generated by Economic Region (based on information in draft SRREs)
|Economic Region||Tons of Wood Waste Generated||Tons of Wood Waste Disposed||Tons of Wood Waste Diverted|
|1. North Coast||25,551||15,611||9,940|
|4. S.F. Bay Area||834,375||654,855||179,520|
|5. San Joaquin Valley||351,511||338,168||13,343|
|6. Central Coast||95,298||84,781||10,517|
|7. L.A. Area||1,640,774||1,504,663||136,111|
|8. Inland Empire||334,080||284,573||49,567|
|9. San Diego Area||298,633||276,230||22,403|
Note that 65 percent of the urban wood waste entering the municipal waste stream originated from the Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay reg
If you are building green and looking for LEEDS points, please double check with any flooring manufacturers for verification. This is especially true of Wood products. Most Manufacturer/Distributor websites will have the LEED’s certification on line. When you are purchasing FSC wood products there should be a FSC label on the product packaging.
Did you Know:
- Hardwoods can take up to 100 years to be harvested
- Bamboo can be harvested within 4-5 years
- Cork: can be harvested about every 9 years.
Top 17 Things to Consider About Eco- Wood/Bamboo/Cork Flooring
1.) Sustainability : Where did it come from? Is it Certified by FSC? Is the product made with salvaged or recycled materials? Does the company have a commitment to sustainable practices?
2.) Quality : Part of Sustainability is having the product last. It only goes to say You get what you pay for in all materials.
3.) Look and Style: What is your look? What do you want to achieve? Do you want individual looks and support small companies, or do you want big box looks?
4.) Traffic and Wear: What material will be the most durable, especially in high traffic areas.
5.) Moisture: Are you in a damp area in which moisture leading to mold could be a problem? Is your area prone to flooding? Are you in an area where rot could be a problems? You would want flooring that does not absorb water.
6.) Cost: The cost is not just in the materials. Cost is in installation, preparation of current floor, types of grout, sealants etc. Don’t forget molding, baseboards, sub-floors and in some cases shipping cost.
7.) Height: Will the height effect doors and other installations you may have. Are you going to have to go back and shave off the bottoms of your doors?
8.) Long Term Investment: Selling, renting or keeping the house? Go to Green and Save to give you some ideas on your ROI (Return on Investment.)
9.) Acoustics: Do you have alot of people in and out? Do you want to hear everybody’s conversations and footsteps?
10.) Slip Resistant: Polished, glossy tile on the floor in the bathroom means very slippery and possible future medical bills.
11. Warranty: Is the one?
12. Indoor Air Quality: What type of VOC emissions not only in the product but in grout sealants, glues, adhesives, stains and paint. What about Formaldehyde? According to the Sustainable Home Blog the Indoor Air Quality is worse than outside.
The type of flooring and installation materials may affect the health of your family. This not only includes the actual flooring itself, but the glues, sealants, stains and paint which all release chemical odours. These emissions can be harmful to those with allergies, asthma or sensitive to chemicals.
13.) Ease of Maintenance and Cleaning: I don’t know about you, but I hate to clean. I want maintenance and problem free materials. Does the product conserve natural resources by reducing energy and water? What type of cleaning products will you have to buy to maintain? Are those products available in non-toxic form? You can tell if on the label is says anything like DANGER, WARNING, POISON.
14.) Radiant Heat? Not all flooring will accommodate radiant heat floors. Is Radiant Heating for You, is a great article from Low Impact Living.com
15.) Your Climate: What Climate will be best suit your heating or cooling needs? For instance here are some remarks from About, that talk about pros and cons of dry climate woods.
16.) Current flooring and slab: For instance, living in California, we all have cracked slabs (earthquakes), should we consider concrete floorings? Double check on your current foundation to see what might be the most feasible for your house.
17.) Will you be doing this yourself? If so, what is the ease of installation? Will you be considering a swap or barter for materials and labor? There are several website including Craiglist that are swap sites.
Types of Flooring:
In previous posts, I listed Tile and Non-Tile types of Flooring with links therefore will just focus on other types of flooring. Please NOTE: that there are many suppliers of the below types. You will be able to get a general idea of what to look for. Always CALL first and consider suppliers local to your area.
- Relatively low price
- Easy installation
- Sound Adsorbent
- Toxic: trap dust, and dirt
- Not as environmentally Friendly
- Susceptible to damage
- Durability dependent upon quality of care
- Hold Moisture
Less Toxic Carpets: Use wool (more expensive) or buy carpet tiles which can be replaced instead of a whole carpet replacement.
- FLOR: Dealer locator on website
- Natures Carpet: Has a ‘Green’ Spectrum on website. Dealer locator on website.
- Helios: Wool carpet manufacturer, with ‘green’ practices. Seem to work mainly with designers (listed on website)
- Mohawk: Uses corn sugars instead of petroleum to process carpet. Some carpets made out of recycled bottles.
- Earthweave: They offer a biofloor which is 100% biodegradable. They do not have a dealer locator on web site, just have to call them.
- Shaw: Is now on the bandwagon and is trying to become a little greener. Offers carpet, hardwood and laminates. Dealer locator on website. For more information go to Think Space who used Shaw for commercial use.
- Consider Eco Carpet, which provides other choices.
Alternative to hardwood flooring. Harvested from fast growing trees. Durable. Resolves sustainability issues, but will need additional sealant or protective waxes which should be free of harmful VOC. Shop carefully so you can find Formaldehyde-free bamboo flooring. Not all Bamboo is the same, right now it’s a hot commodity but in order for it to be eco-friend it should be certified the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) So if you are going with Bamboo, shop around fro good vendors who are making an effort to encourage good stewardship.
- Environmentally Friendly if FSC certified
- Increase Value of home
- Some reports that may scratch easier
- Still have high VOC if finished with high VOC content product
Smith and Fong Plyboo: LEED’s, and no Formaldehyde. Dealer locator on website
Teragren: LEEDS certified. Flooring, butcher block countertops, panels and veneer. Dealer Locator on website.
- Floating Floor requiring no glues or nails, thereby reducing cost of installation
- Naturally mold and mildew resistant
- Softer surface leading to comfort
- Naturally resistant to fires and insects
- Acts as thermal and acoustic insulator
- Lack of durability
Natural Cork: Dealer locator on line
Globus: has a LEED statement online . Dealer locator on website.
Expanko: Cork and Rubber , dealer locator on website
4.) Linoleum, is made primarily fron linseed oil, rosin, sawdust, cork dust, limestone and jute. It contains no chlorine and other toxin. All of the ingredients are biodegradable.
- Variety of colors and styles
- Easy installations
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Comfortable to stand on
- May curl over time
- Some sheeted type of flooring is thin and can wear out.
- Minor problems may not be repaired quickly
Quick Review by Garden Web of the differences.
5.) Concrete: Due to shipping costs, you want to try to get concrete locally.
- Low maintenance smooth surface, won’t promote allergens or dust mites.
- Unheated concrete maintains a constant temperature year round and can help with energy efficiency. Adding to eco-credibility, concrete can be mixed with fly ash, and energy plant waste product.
6.) Reclaimed Wood : FSC Hardwood, Softwood, Laminates, and Reclaimed Salvaged lumber. Reused or reclaimed wood flooring is re-milled. Saves lumber from becoming waste, and does not impact living trees. When reclaimed wood is not an option make sure wood has been approved by the FSC. (Forest Stewardship Council)
Due to the Green movement companies are touting their products as ‘Green” or ‘Greenwashing’. THE ONLY FOREST CERTIFICATION SYSTEM THAT HAS THE SUPPORT OF EVERY ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP IS FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL. (FSC)
- Environmentally Friendly
- Saves from Landfill
- Advantages of Wood
- Natural insulator
- Easily cleaned
- Can increase home value
- Water Damage
- Need to protect high traffic areas as surface will stratch
- Refinishing is can be labor intensive
- Could contain VOC’s from previous use, although can use low VOC solvents
- TerraMai: Reclaimed woods around the world. Leeds Certified, FSC certified
- Eco Timber: FSC certified, wood, reclaimed and bamboo products. Dealer Locator on website.
- Pioneer Millworks: FSC, reclaimed and sustainable wood flooring.
- Hardwood Flooring Nut, provides more information on hardwood floors.
- No health or environmental concerns
- Easy to maintain
- Not much
8.) Stone: : Natural Material, quarrying costs are not energy efficient. Try using local distributors.
- Unique look
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- Little more costly
10.) Tile, Travertine, Ceramic , Porcelain, Eco Options listed on previous posts
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Non-Toxic, especially when using non toxic sealants and grout
- Keeps Appearance over time
- Good for radiant floor heating
- Easy to change look by adding rugs
- Can hold the cold
- Can be slippery
- Can Chip
- Doesn’t dampen sound
- Less comfortable to stand on.
Advantage: Less Expensive
Disadvantage: Not too much
- Free-Flooring: Lists some features and benefits of each type of flooring
- Cost Comparison: The Green Guide thegreenguide.com/products/Home_Improvement/Flooring/3
- Janka Hardness Test Values for Various Woods
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- U.S. Green Building Council