Armstrong’s Center, Texas engineered hardwood manufacturing plant received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification.
According to Daniel Call, vice president, Wood Product Management, “FSC certification is a measure of our commitment to environmental stewardship, which includes sustainable forest management.”
Built in the early 1950s, the Center, Texas facility is Armstrong’s oldest hardwood plant. The 200-plus employees make residential and commercial flooring for the Armstrong, Bruce and Capella hardwood lines.
Now the plant can produce FSC-certified products in multiple domestic species, including oak, maple, hickory and walnut.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency welcomed Shaw Industries, Inc. as its newest WasteWise partner.
WasteWise partners are organizations that voluntarily set goals to reduce municipal solid waste.
Shaw is joining EPA’s WasteWise program as it is launching a project to better track its efforts in reducing the amount of post-industrial waste produced in all of its carpet, rug, hardwood and laminate manufacturing facilities.
The total post-industrial waste produced will be compared to the amount of finished production, and Shaw intents to significantly reduce that percentage over the next three years and beyond.
EPA provides WasteWise partners with technical assistance and helps promote the achievement of its partners.
Shaw is a leading recycler of post-consumer carpet, and the comprehensive Shaw Green Edge Recycling program reclaims and recycles carpet nationwide.
Shaw also manufactures a line of wood flooring from post-industrial recycled wood that uses 50 percent less harvested wood than comparable engineered wood flooring.
Carpet scraps, along with all waste generated from laminate manufacturing at Shaw’s facility in Ringgold, Ga., is diverted from landfills and used to generate fuel. An innovative waste-to-energy technology converts carpet and wood waste to steam energy through gasification.
WasteWise is a voluntary partnership program launched by EPA in 1994 with more than 2000 partners. WasteWise partners not only reduce waste, but also are addressing global climate change. By decreasing the demand on raw materials through waste reduction and recycling, these organizations are improving operations, reducing costs, and minimizing their environmental footprints.
Hardwood flooring can be a major investment in your home. You want to make the decision for hardwood floors that’s right for you. One of the biggest decisions when selecting hardwood is whether to go with pre-finished hardwood flooring or finish in place hardwood flooring. With hardwood flooring, you have the option to have your floors pre-finished, meaning they come to you in a box already finished from the factory or they are finished in place, meaning the stain and finish are applied in your home once the floors have been installed.
Time – You save more time by selecting pre-finished floors because once they arrive they are ready to be installed. With finish in place floors, several sandings and coats of stain and finish have to be applied over several applications.
Warranty – Pre-finished floors come with factory warranties. These warranties can be as much as 25 years. Finish in place floors come with the warranty provided by the installer that applies the finish and typically only cover one to a few years.
Stains – With finish in place floors you can create any stain color your mind can imagine. You can use a ready made stain or you can mix stains to create a custom color that is unique to you. Pre-finished floors come only in the colors that the manufacturer has created. Since the protective finish is applied on top of the stain, there is no changing the color without removing the factory finish.
Finish – The finish on a pre-finished floor is harder and more consistent than a finish in place floor. The manufacturer can control the variables in the stain and finish environment where as they cannot be controlled as well in the field. The biggest problem with finish in place floors is dust and pet hair getting trapped in the finish. One benefit to finish in place floors is that you can perform a task called re-screening where you lightly sand the finish of the floors rather than completely refinish them. This gives you the opportunity to remove light scratches from high traffic areas. You can re-screen some pre-finished floors, but you void the warranty in the process.
Re-finish – You are a lot more likely to refinish a finish in place floor rather than a pre-finished floor. With a pre-finished floor, you paid for the warranty you receive with that floor already being finished. Disrupting that finish by sanding it off would be a waste of the warranty you’ve invested in. Because of the quality of finishes for both pre-finished floors and finish in place floors, most people never find the need to refinish their floors. However, if you do, it makes more sense to refinish a finish in place floor.
Maintenance – Because pre-finished floors have cracks in between the boards that are not sealed at the time of installation, these can be harder to clean. Floors that are finished in place have the edges or cracks between the boards sealed at the time of installation.
As you can see, there are advantages to both pre-finished floors and finish in place floors. The right floor for you depends on your taste, needs and lifestyle. Hopefully, these points will help you make a more informed hardwood flooring purchase!
Are you thinking of making a flooring purchase? Are you wondering if you can make that purchase and make it a green one at the same time? Green flooring is defined as any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound).
Below are some things to consider when thinking green about flooring:
- Cork is a harvested resource which is better than a renewable resource because only the bark is harvested from the tree.
- Because of the way cork floors are made, they are considered a recycled product.
- Cork trees are not damaged or destroyed when the cork is being harvested.
- You can install cork floors with water based adhesives with low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource (maturing in three years) that regenerates without the need for replanting.
- To grow, it doesn’t need a lot of fertilization or pesticides
- According to the Carpet and Rug Institute: The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new “3 Rs” which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle. When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, ranging from roofing shingles and railroad ties to automotive parts.
- Carpet fibers, dye, VOC emissions and recycled content are all factors that determine is a carpet product is green.
- If you want to ensure that you are purchasing the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion, look for The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute
- It’s a natural product
- Stone is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to be replaced often
- It’s easy to care and maintain
- Stone can be recycled and reclaimed
- Hardwoos is a natural resource that is also renewable and recyclable
- Suitable for a “healthy home” environment
- Most forests are managed for replanting
- Made from all natural, biodegradable materials that can be recycled
- The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are abundantly available
- These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption.
- Linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place.
- Can be installed with water based adhesives that are low VOC or VOC free
- Maintenance products do not include harsh chemicals
- More and more products contain recycled content
- Tile is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to be replaced often
- Requires little maintenance and cleaners are not harmful
- Can be made from100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
- Can be made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
- Can be made with no CFC’s, latex or chemical additives
- Can be made with 100% recycled tire rubber carpet pad. Withstands temperatures from 40 to 120 degrees. Free of toxic materials such as PCB, mercury, and formaldehyde
- Can be made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber
- Water based adhesives with low VOC’s can be used
- Acceptable adhesives are listed here: http://www.greenhomeguide.com
- Choose low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Choose adhesives that do not contain formaldehyde
- Choose adhesives that qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label