We have all seen it in the news and watched the documentaries. We humans are a destructive force and our actions are now proving to be having a significant impact on the planet we call home alongside our fellow wildlife inhabitants.
One of the biggest culprits to currently be named and shamed for doing a massive amount of damage, particularly in our oceans is PLASTIC!
Now I am not here today to give you a lecture on using plastic. We all use plastic and let’s face it, in this day and age we have little choice as most products we purchase come wrapped in excessive quantities of plastic packaging!!
As a flooring supplier and installation company we offer a wide range of flooring products and yes, some such as vinyl tiles and polypropylene fibre carpets are made from the P word. But let’s look at some of our more sustainable products. To find them we need to go back to our flooring routes.
We don’t have to go back too far to remember a time where floors were predominantly covered in wool carpets or wooden flooring and these products are still around today and to be perfectly honest with you, they are amazing! There is a reason they have such good longevity and that is that you can’t honestly beat the wonders of nature.
Things have come a long way since the creaky floorboards and moth infiltrated carpets of yesteryear. Wood flooring is now predominantly engineered to provide a veneer of hardwood flooring such as oak on top of a ply or HDF core. It is false belief that this is a cost cutting measure and in fact this structure ensures limited movement in the flooring once it is installed to help counter the expansion and retraction problems faced with solid hard wood flooring, particularly in a country like ours with such extreme temperature fluctuations. Our wood flooring is ethically sourced and approved by the likes of the FSC, The Forest Stewardship Council who are an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests (with many thanks to Wikipedia for the definition).
Aside from the fact it is a sustainable product, is there honestly anything more beautiful than something nature has created?? Yes we can re-create the effect on vinyl and vinyl tiles and it can look amazingly realistic but it is just not the real deal. Every single plank of wood flooring is individual and unique. No two pieces will ever be exactly the same and you can either embrace that with a rustic grade product complete with knots and sap wood shades or opt for a select grade where carefully chosen pieces have been brought together to minimise colour variation. Once installed, if cared for correctly a wood floor can last you a lifetime and even beyond and it is noticeably warmer underfoot than it’s plastic replicas.
What about carpets? Well, yes polypropylene carpets are great to clean but they do not have the strength and resistance to everyday wear that wool has and they also do not have the same insulation properties. On a freezing cold day, what do you grab? Your manmade fibre jumper full of static charge or your lovely warm snuggly woolly jumper? The latter right? Let’s face it, on those cold winter days do you ever see a sheep shivering? Their natural habitat is up on our moors and even high up on the sides of mountains where it blows a gale, rains and snows and they are adapted to withstand those conditions with that lovely fluffy warm cloud like fleece that cocoons their bodies. Come summer, they love a good hair cut to bask in the sun and then those thick woolly fleeces can be put to good use and turned in to snuggly warm carpets for our homes.
Wool is also an amazing thermal insulator, aiding in the insulation of your home and therefore helping to reduce your heating bills which in turn saves on the use of fossil fuels.
Unlike plastic fibres, wool and wood are biodegradable. Eventually they will break down to nothing (I don’t mean short term, never fear, your floor is not about to disintegrate beneath your feet). Plastic will not. It will gradually break down in to smaller particles that then become micro-particles, blowing in the air we breathe and flowing in to our seas to exist pretty much forever, unlike the poor marine life being poisoned by it.
A big thanks for taking the time to read this article. It is here only to raise awareness and we promise you will not be judged in any way if you come to us for a plastic fibre flooring product but if you would like to know more about our wool, wood and other natural fibre products, please don’t hesitate to ask! ;)