Hardwood floors are one of the top requests when building custom luxury homes and office spaces. As such, many building companies simply opt for a quick-and-dirty approach to flooring that can lead to decreased quality and costly repairs.

The Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability measures laid out by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology inspect several criteria when grading flooring, including the amount of solid waste, natural resource depletion, and indoor air quality.

Using sustainably harvested lumber from reputable farms and careful designing and planning takes care of the first two, but indoor air quality is an often-overlooked aspect of interior design and construction. Some adhesives and finishes used in flooring installation can negatively impact indoor air quality. When laying a hardwood floor, it is essential to use natural and carcinogen-free materials to improve the air you breathe while indoors. Of course, there are more flooring options than hardwood. Bamboo has expanded in recent years as a fantastic alternative to traditional flooring, harvested from a fast-growing and easily collected source. PVC has also crept into the realm of flooring with tiling approaching the beauty of marble and with much better aesthetics and moisture sealing than linoleum. Whatever the material, the chemicals used in green floor construction must be non-hazardous and cost-effective to improve air quality and ensure the floor is beautiful and maintainable throughout its lifetime.

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