Friday, March 22, 2013

Sustainable Hardwoods for London Homes

Love your London home even more with eco-friendly Hardwood Floor Sanding that look great and don’t cost the earth. By choosing hardwoods that have been responsibly sourced and harvested London homeowners are saying YES to a fantastic range of hardwood flooring and NO to deforestation, pollution and illegal logging.

The Forest Stewardship Council

At the time of writing, the American continent leads the way with in excess of 40million hectares of forestry responsibly harvested and maintained across the US and Canada alone. The regulatory body, the Forest Stewardship Council, recognises the importance and is attempting to re-educate foresters to maintain an equitable balance of trees around rivers and canals, as well as consistent re-planting projects and social and enhanced knowledge of environmental culture. Only lumber that meets all the criteria is issued with an FSC certificate. This documentation allows the consumer to follow a paper trail from harvesting right through to end-user sale.

Now this proactive attitude is taking hold in the UK as well. There are a large percentage of homes across London which have been traditionally built using hardwood flooring, as well as an army of environmentally aware homeowners who want to repair or replace damaged boards or who are looking to lay a floor from scratch – but without damaging the environment. So here is a short list of the most sustainable types of hardwood.

Types of sustainable source hardwoods

Although ash, in particular white ash, is a popular choice for furniture, an ash floor can bring striking good looks to any room. Ash is a rough, porous wood with a well-defined grain that looks particularly good when finished with varnish, lacquer or wood stain. Ash is also finer than oak, which makes it more pliable and easy to work with. 

Popular as a fast-grower and planted across razed areas such as old mines and disused plants, 12-month old cherry saplings can quickly replenish dilapidated woodland areas. Black cherry is the most commonly used cherry variation for flooring, although consumers should be aware of this wood’s sensitivity to natural light and cherry will darken considerably if exposed to prolonged sun. Black cherry is relatively easy to sand and gives a smooth finish to any floor.

Perennially popular for its warm burnished sheen and timeless elegance, this tough tropical hardwood is a robust and beautiful addition to both family and formal rooms. Mahogany wood is best worked with fine tools and blades in order to cut cleanly and without tearing the delicate veneer. Mahogany polishes up extremely well.

Maple is extremely versatile and is available in both hard and softwood varieties. If you are looking for a light coloured flooring with a distinctive grain then maple is a fine choice. The density of the wood means pre-bored holes for nails and screws are a necessity. As with the mahogany, work with maple using only fine tools to avoid splitting and shearing. Maple is not the best wood to stain as it is not particularly porous, but it does look good with a coat of clear Floor Sanding and Varnishing as protection and polishes up well.

The epitome of strength and resilience, the mighty oak is one of the hardwood stalwarts and remains the most popular choice in UK kitchens and living rooms. Oak offers variety too, with white oak as light as pine, red oak, burnished gold like mahogany as well as the classically beautiful dark brown colour. The texture of oak is coarse and defined to the touch. Oak offers a wide range of looks and styles and can take wood stain, lacquer, oil and varnish finishings. Bear in mind though that white oak does repel water.

Whatever your choice of hardwood and whether you are purchasing whole flooring or individual planking, select only certificated hardwoods to ensure your floor is sustainably produced.

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