Is laminate wood flooring environmentally friendly?
We break down laminate wood flooring’s impact on the environment
Homeowners and specifiers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their material choices. These days, sustainable, recyclable and renewable options are outshining other products that are chosen simply for their looks.
One product however can offer both excellent environmental credentials and aesthetic appeal: laminate wood flooring.
Laminate wood flooring is a popular and easy to install floor covering made from multiple layers of timber, a transparent top layer, a ‘printed’ or patterned layer to achieve an incredibly natural look, and a dense underlayment to help cushion and absorb sound.
Because it offers such a life-like look, it creates the impression of a natural texture, without the heavy use of raw materials.
For example, traditional floorboards require a large amount of energy-intensive farming and tree-felling, and stone tiles are made from a product that requires substantial quarrying and mining operations. Laminate offers the beauty of natural materials, without the intensive environmental cost.
What makes laminate flooring eco-friendly?
1. Laminate is made from renewable materials
Made from a byproduct of the commercial timber industry, laminate wood flooring is manufactured from a waste byproduct of fast-growing renewable species such as pine.
As it is only harvested from renewable plantations, the raw wood products used to make laminate do not contribute to the deforestation of old-growth hardwood forests.
Additionally, because timber isn’t being harvested specifically to make laminate flooring, it does not contribute additional energy use and CO2 emissions to the environment. The pine plantations are being harvested for wood furniture and the like, and laminate producers simply make use of an existing byproduct that would otherwise go to waste!
2. Laminate can be recycled
Laminate itself is recyclable, and it is made with repurposed natural resources including the pre-consumer waste from timber mills.
This includes wood chips and sawdust from milling processes – recycled content which in some cases can help designers and specifiers achieve LEED standards for homes and businesses.
Plus, because laminate flooring planks simply click together, they are as easy to uninstall as they are to lay down, meaning you can pull up the laminate and reinstall it in different areas.
3. Laminate makes for healthier indoor air
Laminate has historically had a bad reputation because of concerns around the glues and binders used in the manufacturing process.
However – the binder used in our products, known as melamine resin – is water-based, which means that it contains no organic solvents. Plus, once it is cured, it provides a surface that is extremely resistant to chemicals, water, light and temperature.
No harsh chemicals need to be used to prepare the base floor, because the laminate planks simply click into place. Once installed, laminate floors are easy to clean with simple soap and water, which helps to protect indoor air quality and makes them an ideal flooring choice for anyone suffering from asthma or allergies.
Eco-friendly laminate flooring options
Woodland Lifestyle carries a wide range of different laminate flooring options, from reputable international manufacturers including Balterio and Vitality.
All Balterio laminate floors are PEFC-certified to ensure the preservation of forests. This certification ensures that the wood used to make a product has come from sustainably managed forests. Plus, both Balterio and Vitality branded laminate contains 10 times less formaldehyde than the required European Standards, making them healthier for the environment.
In fact, Vitality laminate wood flooring is rated A+ by the indoor air quality regulator, Emissions Dans L’Air Interieur. This means less harmful VOCs in your home or business, and a better overall result for the environment.
To top it off, Woodland Lifestyle’s laminate flooring carries the EU Ecolabel, an award for environmental excellence, and our laminates are among the first in the world to achieve this standard.
Laminate wood flooring: the eco-friendly choice
Call the friendly team at Woodland Lifestyle to find out more about our hard-wearing, beautiful and eco-friendly laminate flooring.
Our team can provide homeowners, architects and specifiers with all the necessary technical information, as well as product samples and easy to follow installation instructions.