As people lean more towards Eco-friendly options, buying sustainable wood flooring can be an excellent option. Basically, there are three types: reclaimed wood flooring, bamboo and cork.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring is timber that has been salvaged from another property and can be reused.
• Pros: vintage wood will add value to your home, is aesthetically pleasing, generally very durable, and can be painted, white-washed or stained any colour.
• Cons: it can be costly, must be examined to ensure it does not have woodworm, can amplify sound (rugs can help reduce noise) and if you are not going through a company that has processed it, you may need to look out for protruding nails.
Bamboo is technically a grass but can be worked into hard-wearing floorboards and looks similar to natural hardwood but takes a quarter of the time to grow compared to hardwood trees.
• Pros: easy to clean, water resistant, inhospitable to dust mites, repels dust and pollen and strand-woven bamboo is tougher than oak flooring.
• Cons: prone to scratching, not water proof, some types have an adhesive containing formaldehyde that can release small amounts of volatile organic chemicals over time, darker bamboo has been through carbonisation which weakens and softens the material.
Cork Flooring comes from the bark of the cork oak tree which is harvested without harming the trees then ground up, compressed and formed into sheets bonded with resins.
• Pros: cork is a good insulator, absorbs sound, non-absorbent for dust or mites, durable and shock-absorbent, and naturally resistant to mould and mildew.
• Cons: unlikely to last as long as hardwood, subfloor needs to be properly prepared (clean, dry and level) and as it is relatively soft, can be scratched.