Whether you are embarking on a major house renovation, or you are planning a less ambitious project and want to revive the rather tired decorations in your living room, some key considerations are likely to be cost, design, and staying with eco-friendly choices.
People are much more savvy these days about researching the origin of building materials, and making sure that the wood for floors or wall frames comes from a sustainable source, or that the slate tiles for a porch have been quarried by a quality supplier.
One of the most popular looks in flooring at the moment is natural wood, with increasing numbers of interior designers and home owners choosing to go the traditional route. If you are considering laying a wooden floor, how can you make sure that its eco friendly?
· Research the different wooden flooring available. Wickes have a range of solid wood flooring in a wide range of different woods, including some more unusual ones like bamboo. This is fast-growing enough to be easily renewable, and makes for an interesting look, with the knots creating an attractive and naturally varied pattern. Bamboo is stronger than most hardwood floors, and makes a great alternative to some of the hardwoods where the source cant be guaranteed.
· Many manufacturers and suppliers now use wood that comes from sustainably-managed forests, so when you are choosing your new flooring make sure that you look at the labelling. The FSC label means that the timber has been certified as originating from woodland managed under the Forest Stewardship Council scheme. If in doubt ask the supplier to provide you with details of origin.
Real wood floors can be both stylish and environmentally friendly
· Dont just think about the wood that you will be using, but also do your research into glues and varnishes, many of which are formaldehyde based. Greater awareness of toxic emissions means that there are now choices of formaldehyde-free glues and finishes on the market.
· Where possible, consider using softwood rather than hardwood for your wooden flooring, as softwoods are faster growing and are more easily managed as a renewable resource. Youll need to check out the most heavily-trafficked areas of your living space to make sure that you wont need the greater durability of hardwood and dont forget that with the range of finishes now available on the market, you can create a lime-washed oak look from pine, at less cost to your pocket, and possibly to the environment.