The carbon absorbed during the growth cycle of a tree remains even after it is installed. The carbon will stay out of the atmosphere until eventually the wood becomes a source of fuel or recycled for other projects. People use recycled wood to build flooring from different sources like wood found in rivers, old warehouses, barns, wine barrels, boxcars, and mine shafts.
The National Association of Home Builders says that wood floors can last for hundreds of years, and will not need replacing nearly as often as any other flooring option available. Since most trees will take at least forty to sixty years to mature, the number of trees now planted won’t be used for at least another hundred years.
The National Wood Flooring Association issued a life cycle analysis of solid wood used for flooring purposes. The study covers the entire cycle from a seedling in the forest to the harvest process to the manufacturing process, to installation of the product, and until it is no longer useful for flooring.
The report also says, of all flooring products now available, wood flooring which comes from trees is the only renewable raw material available. Also, the manufacturing process that turns lumber into flooring uses less water and energy to produce than other flooring options. Moist often, the waste material left over from the product finds another use. Manufacturing plants will reuse the water to heat the boilers and burn leftover wood pieces and sawdust to produce energy for the manufacturing process. This means very little material ends up as garbage in landfills, and that which does is still biodegradable.
The strength and durability of hardwood floors is next to none. If you install a kiln-dried manufactured flooring, finished to high standards, it will last for generations to come. Refinished floors will last a lot longer than other types of flooring like carpet, tile, and vinyl. When other floors begin to look tired and worn down, hardwood floors become more beautiful and valuable as time goes by. Unlike carpeting and vinyl, you can refinish hardwood, and not have to replace when the finish has worn out.