Have you ever considered the environmental impact of traditional refinishing methods?
Let’s explore eco-friendly options for hardwood floor refinishing and discuss the benefits of making environmentally conscious choices that celebrate our social and environmental responsibility.
Join us in the Hudson Hardwood mission to make home improvement projects kinder to our planet.
Eco-friendly hardwood floor refinishing
Eco-friendly hardwood floor refinishing is a process of restoring old, worn-out hardwood floors without the use of harmful chemicals. Instead of using traditional solvents and finishes, eco-friendly refinishing uses natural and low-toxicity products as alternatives to polyurethane, such as water-based finishes and oils derived from plants.
The process involves:
- sanding the hardwood floor to remove the existing finish
- cleaning the floor with a neutralizing solution to remove any remaining residue
- once the floor is completely clean, an eco-friendly finish is applied
The eco-friendly finish can be either a water-based polyurethane or an oil-based finish.
Making environmentally conscious choices in home improvement projects is crucial
Here are 4 reasons why choosing environmentally conscious choices is so important:
- Reducing carbon footprint: Home improvement projects that utilize natural materials can help in reducing the carbon footprint of the house. This is a significant step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.
- Increasing the value of the property: Eco-friendly home improvements can increase the value of your property. Potential buyers are more likely to be interested in homes that have healthy wood floors, energy-efficient features, and sustainable building materials.
- Preserving natural resources: The use of sustainable materials helps in preserving natural resources. It can help protect the environment and save our limited resources.
- Healthier living: Using eco-friendly indoor air quality products in home construction, such as paints, flooring, and carpeting, can reduce the amount of harmful toxins released into the air. This can help provide a healthier living environment for everyone in your house.
Making environmentally conscious choices in home improvement projects can help to create a sustainable future.
The environmental impact of traditional hardwood floor refinishing
Traditional hardwood floor refinishing involves sanding, applying toxic chemicals like solvents and sealers, and generating a lot of dust and waste. These steps can have negative environmental consequences, such as:
The sanding process can release fine particulate matter into the air, which can affect air quality and harm human health. The use of chemicals like solvents and sealers can also emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, contributing to smog and climate change.
The disposal of the waste generated during the refinishing process, including sanding dust and used chemicals (like wooden floor varnishes), can contaminate water sources if not handled properly. The chemicals can seep into the soil and groundwater, harming aquatic life and posing health risks to humans.
The traditional refinishing process involves using machinery like sanders and vacuums, which consume energy and add to carbon emissions.
The disposal of old or damaged flooring and the production of new materials like finishing products and replacement boards generate waste and deplete natural resources.
Eco-friendly hardwood floor refinishing methods
There are many eco-friendly wood floor finishing methods and polyurethane alternatives for refinishing floors. You can utilize less-abrasive techniques as well as energy-efficient equipment in the refinishing process.
This method uses water-based hardwood floor varnishes that have a very low amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful chemicals that can be released into the air. Water-based, low VOC floor finishes are also odorless and dry quickly, making them an eco-friendly option and the most durable of the eco-friendly hardwood floor finishes.
Dustless floor sanding
This method uses specialized equipment that captures the dust and debris generated during the sanding process. This helps to prevent airborne dust and contamination, making it an excellent eco-friendly option.
Refinish only what’s needed
Instead of completely sanding and refinishing the hardwood floor with low VOC polyurethane, you can decide to only refinish the rooms that truly need it. This reduces the amount of hardwood that is removed and minimizes waste.
The best wood floor sealers can be natural! Using natural floor oils like tung oil, linseed oil, or beeswax as a hardwood floor coating can be an eco-friendly non-toxic wood finish option. These oils are natural and biodegradable, and they don’t contain any harsh chemicals.
Low-pressure machine buffing
Instead of sanding the hardwood floor, you can use a low-pressure machine to buff the surface. This method doesn’t remove any wood, and it can leave the sustainable flooring finish looking shiny and new.
If you want to change the color of your hardwood floor, consider using VOC-free stains. These stains don’t contain any harmful chemicals, and they’re safe for the environment.
Eco-friendly finishing products
- Water-based polyurethane: This is one of the most eco-friendly finishing products available for refinishing flooring. The best water-based polyurethane for floors is low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and produces no toxic fumes. It is also easy to clean non-toxic polyurethane varnish up with water and dries quickly.
- Natural oils: Natural oils are fantastic hardwood floor sealants. These oils provide a natural, matte finish and are non-toxic. They penetrate the wood fibers, protecting them from moisture, dirt, and wear.
- UV-cured finishes: UV-cured finishes are eco-friendly and durable. They use ultraviolet light to cure the finish, making it less harmful to the environment than traditional finishes. They also dry quickly and do not emit any toxic fumes.
Benefits of eco-friendly refinishing
There are many real advantages of eco-friendly refinishing, such as:
- Reduced Environmental Impact: Eco-friendly refinishing methods deprive the need for hazardous chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Eco-friendly refinishing methods use fewer toxic chemicals, which leads to improved indoor air quality, making it safe for you and your family.
- Cost-Effective: Since you aren’t wasting materials, eco-friendly refinishing is cost-effective in the long run.
- Durability: Eco-friendly refinishing produces long-lasting and durable results.
- It Saves Time: Eco-friendly refinishing is much quicker than traditional methods, meaning that your home or business will be back in operation in no time.
- Customization and aesthetic results: Eco-friendly refinishing methods offer several options for customization, allowing you to create a unique look for your home or office space with the best floor varnish for you.
How to find an eco-friendly hardwood floor refinishing professional
There are several things to look for when finding an eco-friendly hardwood floor professional.
Ask questions, like:
- What eco-friendly natural hardwood floor finishing methods do you use?
- What hardwood floor refinishing products do you utilize?
- How do you handle waste disposal and waste reduction?
- Do you offer low VOC floor stains or no VOC polyurethane finishing products?
Then do your research! Use search engines and review websites to find companies or contractors that specialize in eco-friendly floor refinishing. Get referrals from family, friends, and social media groups or local community bulletin boards for natural wood floor finishing.
Eco-friendly options for your hardwood flooring
Eco-friendly hardwood finishing is not only good for the environment and your health, but it also is a long-lasting, beautiful option that adds value to your home.
With your next home project, consider eco-friendly, sustainable floor finishes. It is your environmental responsibility, and it benefits both your home and our planet.
Hudson Hardwood aims to protect our planet. We are here to guide you on all of your eco-friendly flooring needs!