Why Is Floor Sanding Sustainable?

todayJanuary 24, 2022


Hardwood floors are well-known for their durability, beauty, and timeless appeal, and they are used in both commercial and residential settings. But perhaps you never thought about why wood floor sanding is a sustainable solution.

According to studies, hardwood flooring rehabilitation has a positive impact on the environment because it can reduce the carbon footprint by up to 75% when compared to replacing the floor.

Rather than replacing hardwood floors, consider refinishing them

You can save money over time by renovating rather than replacing boards by selecting a high-quality hardwood board that will last. Designers should advise clients on how to achieve long-term durability, as well as the costs associated with the decision to refinish their floor.

According to the Swedish Institute for Environmental Research (IVL), renovating flooring can reduce its carbon footprint by 78-92 per cent when compared to replacing it. These figures, combined with the high quality and variety of wood-based coatings and flooring on the market today, imply that designers and architects must carefully specify the right materials while keeping durability in mind, as well as the flooring’s intended use. Factors to consider include the type and volume of foot traffic on the flooring, the maintenance required for surface cleanliness and preservation, and the client’s short and long term budget.

Pre-finished and finished hardwood has environmental benefits

Solid pre-finished hardwood, with its thicker wear layer, allows for multiple sanding and finishing options, deep cleaning, and is an excellent choice for commercial applications when properly acclimated. Pre-finished engineered hardwood is a low-cost option with a long life cycle and high durability, especially when properly protected with a wear layer.

Hardwood is appropriate for all environments and is increasingly being used in retail, commercial, healthcare, hospitality, residential, and wellness settings. Hardwood flooring is well suited to these environments because it is a natural, renewable, and sustainable resource that, when installed and maintained correctly, can be carbon offset, can be renewed by sanding and refinishing, can be refreshed by colour changes or the addition of borders or medallions as a design element or for wayfinding in commercial environments, can last a lifetime, and provides a positive and sustainable air quality for all who inhabit the space.

The finished hardwood is sanded and finished on the job site after installation, resulting in a flatter floor and more colour and stain options. It’s also more adaptable to last-minute changes than pre-finished hardwood. To create a unique custom floor, finished hardwood is available in larger widths and lengths to achieve a distinct aesthetic.

The most environmentally friendly option is to use water-based solutions

Because water-based solutions dry faster and have lower VOC levels than oil-based solutions, construction workers or homeowners can occupy the floor surface sooner. Water-based solutions dry in two to three hours per coat and fully cure in 72 hours, whereas oil-based solutions dry in eight to twelve hours per coat and fully cure in a fortnight.

Water-based stain finishes and natural penetrating oils outperform other finishing options in terms of performance and environmental friendliness. Water-based solutions have numerous environmental advantages, including low VOC emissions, no harmful fumes, no need to leave the job site, and they are safe for chemically sensitive individuals.

Proper care and maintenance will help to extend the life of your hardwood

Architects and designers must ensure that maintenance personnel, owners, and end-users understand how to properly maintain the floors on which they will live and work, including deep cleaning, basic cleaning, and coating, to extend the life of the floor and respect the environment. Stakeholders must also be aware of the costs and consequences of continuing with substandard maintenance.

Commercial and residential flooring require regular maintenance to remain healthy and long-lasting. Cleaning (materials and products, frequency and tools used), coating (frequency and padding around the screen), repairing and sanding are all examples of maintenance that will differ depending on the products installed and the solutions used.

Use a long-lasting, non-hazardous adhesive

Ascertain that the adhesive manufacturer employs environmentally friendly adhesive manufacturing practices and provides third-party verification. It is also advised to specify an adhesive that not only has moisture control properties but also employs a moisture barrier to ensure that the adhesives support the installation’s maintenance and life cycle. Moisture barrier tape is a continuous layer of water-repellent film.

The proper application of adhesives is critical for extending the life of a floor. Adhesives are commonly used to install and repair wood floors in places where nailing is impossible, such as on concrete slabs, and where sound transmission is an issue, such as in multi-family dwellings and high-rise buildings. Adhesives are also recommended when installing pre-finished wood, as nailing can damage the wood surface, and when installing glued plank floors (larger widths reduce the number of nails per square foot).

Some people do the floor sanding work themselves in which case they need to hire floor sanders from a suitable company.

Written by: Nicolas R

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