how engineered wood saves trees
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All engineered flooring is somewhat eco-friendly because it makes efficient use of the tree. For instance, if you factor just the top layer of wood that you see, a 3-inch-wide-by-2-foot-long solid board covers about half a square foot. The same board sliced into the thinner veneers for engineered strips can cover 12 square feet. The secondary veneer layers underneath are usually made with more plentiful, lower-quality wood that might otherwise be wasted. Here are three types of engineered boards that green up your floors even more:

Reclaimed: When flooring lumber is salvaged from old buildings, fewer trees need to be harvested from forests. And because the wood comes from old trees that grew very slowly, it's much harder and heavier than today's plantation-grown stock.

Certified: Floors stamped with the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) mark means that all the wood used to create the board comes from sustainably managed forests. This is of particular concern when buying exotic species from abroad, where logging practices may not be regulated.

Formaldehyde-free: Breathe easier with engineered flooring made without adhesives containing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. These boards are typically coated with no-VOC finishes, which also limits homeowner exposure to toxic, off-gassing chemicals.

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