Eco-Friendly Wood Flooring: The 6 Most Sustainable Choices

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What is it that makes some wood sustainable, and puts others on the “do not buy” list? For starters, sustainable wood is legally sourced. In 2008, the U.S. banned the import of timber from illegal sources—but of course, it still happens. If the supplier you’re buying your wood from can’t tell you where it originated, chances are it did not come from a source that manages forests responsibly.

Secondly, sustainable wood should carry the seal of the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC is devoted to ensuring that forests are regrown, biodiversity is preserved, and air and water quality are protected. The non-profit’s stamp of approval indicates that forest operations met 57 criteria ranging from protecting local wildlife to minimizing use of toxic chemicals to letting loggers unionize if they want. Wood products from forests managed to FSC’s standards bear the FSC logo, as well as a “chain of custody” number which makes it relatively easy to trace them back to their source.

And finally, FSC-certified wood does not come from clear-cutting (which is among FSC’s standards, but bears singling out), or from forests in which “high conservation values” are threatened. Selective harvesting protects the soil and the forest ecosystem. Clear-cutting leaves areas open to insect infestations, disease, and mudslides. Plus, it has a negative impact on climate change. A study done on forests in the northern US found that soils there store up to 50 percent of the ecosystem’s total carbon. That carbon is more easily released when the trees are cut and essentially scraped off the land. With these criteria in mind, what are the types of sustainable wood available if you need a new floor?

Wood from FSC-Certified Tree Plantations

Tree plantations help relieve the pressure to harvest natural forests, as long as those forests aren’t replaced with plantations. One advantage of domestic tree plantations is that they produce and ship locally, reducing the carbon emissions otherwise generated when lumber is shipped from another continent.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood comes from sources like old warehouses, boxcars, military structures, underground piers, dismantled houses, and even logs pulled from the bottoms of rivers where they sank on their way to the mill.

Typically, reclaimed wood is more expensive due to the extra labor required to retrieve the wood, clean it, re-mill if needed, and remove the nails that still may be embedded in the wood. But if you can afford the price, this is one of the most eco-friendly options available. It keeps the wood from rotting or ending up in a landfill, it reduces the need to plant and harvest more trees, and it perpetuates the reduce-reuse-recycle formula that is such an important part of the sustainability equation. Since reclaimed wood is considered recycled content, it meets the “Materials & Resources” criteria for LEED certification.

Companies like Oldewood Reclaimed Wood Flooring showcase the beauty of reclaimed oak, maple, Douglas fir, and heart pine here.

Salvaged Wood Flooring

Many trees are bound for the waste stream because they’ve become too “old” or diseased, because they stand (literally) in the way of development, or because they suffer from storm damage—but all of these trees still make great planks. In fact, these high-performance FSC-certified floors (pictured above) were repurposed from salvaged shipping crates made from tropical hardwoods.

In communities ranging from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Los Angeles, California, local entrepreneurs are turning fallen trees into flooring and furniture, too.

Bamboo

Bamboo is replacing wood for many consumers who want both the beauty and the durability of wood without the potential environmental impacts that come from harvesting forests. The plant fiber is naturally anti-bacterial, water-resistant and tough. Plus, bamboo is so fast-growing, it won’t diminish hardwood forests that have taken decades to mature. Bamboo is 13% harder than maple, and 27% harder than northern red oak, while expanding and contracting 50% less.

Cork

Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, which can be safely harvested so as not to harm the tree. In fact, the bark regenerates within three years for harvesting anew, which makes it a particularly renewable resource. Because it’s dense and a little spongy, cork is particularly good for rooms where you might do a lot of standing or need some noise absorption, like kitchens and basements. You do need to protect it from fading in intense UV light, so don’t install it in a sunroom or in front of a big bank of windows. Also, cork expands and contracts depending on humidity levels, so it wouldn’t be ideal in a more tropical setting.

Palm Wood

Palm trees that no longer produce coconuts are getting a second life as a building material. This variety of palm flooring (shown above) includes Flat Grain, Edge Grain, Sugar Deco and Red Palm. Both palm and bamboo floors may be bound together with formaldehyde or other chemicals you wouldn’t want off-gassing in your home. Before you buy, find out what kind of binders were used to manufacture the floor. If the floor must be installed using glue, make it water-based. And finish the floor with a low- or no-VOC finish.



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From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Laminate Vinyl Flooring Benefits for your Home

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Want to know the Laminate Vinyl Plank Flooring Benefits for your Home. You will find many benefits of laminate Vinyl Plank Flooring for your Ohio home. At SemBro Designs we stock many different styles and colors for you to choose from, come see for your self.

Laminate Vinyl Flooring Design

Convenient Packaging: Natural hardwood flooring comes in planks that are 8 or 10 feet in length, and sometimes even longer. By contrast laminate vinyl planks that simulate hardwood are sold in convenient 4 foot strips. They are also available in tile form in varying sizes.

Versatility: Today laminate vinyl flooring can simulate the look of dozens of different natural hardwood materials. The printing process can also reproduce the appearance of a variety of natural stone, and ceramic flooring materials. With EIR embossed in register texturing they are even able to somewhat reproduce the surface texture of these natural materials.

Cleaning: The wear layer of a laminate floor protects the material from stains and some spills making cleaning and maintenance relatively easy. Typically the only regular requirement is sweeping or vacuuming of the floor to remove grit and dirt which can slowly erode the floors wear layer over time.

Installation: The installation of a laminate vinyl click together floor is one of the easiest do it yourself flooring projects you can undertake. New innovations in the manufacture of this material have made it so you do not even need to use adhesive. You just roll down a sheet of underlayment material, and then snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another. An entire room can usually be finished in just a day or two.

Underlayment For Laminate Vinyl Floors

Goes Anywhere: With the exception of carpet, laminate vinyl flooring can be installed over almost any existing floor in the home. As long as a moisture barrier is in place and water prevention measures are taken it can also be installed at any grade. This removes the hassle and expense of having to remove old flooring installations before installing new laminate vinyl materials.

The Elements: Laminate vinyl flooring is resistant to many of the outdoor agents that can discolor other flooring materials. The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges due to dirt and mud making it a great material for hallways and entryways. It also resists fading from UV light exposure making it popular in sun rooms.

Health: Laminate vinyl flooring is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. It can also be treated with special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Expansion: The nature of the installation process means that the flooring material is not adhered directly to the subfloor. Rather all of the pieces of the floor are interlocked, or adhered one to another. That means that the material can expand, or contract, due to changes in pressure and temperature, without buckling and snapping against the subfloor.

Acclimation: Hardwood needs to sit in an environment for 3-6 weeks so that it can acclimate to the temperature and pressure of the area. Laminates vinyl planks can be installed in as little as 8 hours overnight acclimation.

Look for our Laminate Vinyl Planks Floor Buyers Guide coming soon.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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kitchen cabinets that go with oak floors

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There are SO many colours of oak in the world – virtually every colour in the rainbow it seems! And while some colours of oak can be quite timeless, there are also many versions that can be challenging (understatement) to modernize and update.

And why do I call them colours of oak not species of oak? Because oak is often stained a different colour than its roots (literally) suggest – so we’re going to base things on the overall ‘colour’ that you see – not the chronological history of the tree!

The Best Paint Colours to Update Oak Cabinets, Flooring, Trim, and More! This is going to be TREE-LY exciting, so let’s get started!

Before you get in to the nitty gritty, you need to decide whether you want to accent your oak or whether you want to blend or camouflage it a bit.

(The photo above shows a colour that lightly accents the oak cabinets)

To Accent Oak or Wood

Cool colours such as green, blue and neutrals with those undertones may accent your light oak, making it appear more colourful. If you love your oak and want to play it up then this is good. If you want to neutralize your wood, this is not
Paint colours that are a few tones lighter or darker than the wood tone can also help to accent. However, simply painting the walls a cooler colours regardless of depth will do a good job
To Blend or Camouflage Oak or Wood

Most warm colours and neutrals with warm undertones will blend a bit more with oak, lowering the contrast and reducing the overall effect of them. So if you aren’t loving your oak, then a warm toned colour might hit the spot!
Neutral paint colours with very subtle purple undertones can complement many oaks without accenting or blending
Keeping the paint colour a similar depth to that of your wood is a great way to keep things seamless, but can be a bit bland feeling if you choose a warm or neutral colour. It’s better to go just a bit lighter OR darker than the depth of your wood.

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A Perfect Home Improvement

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A More Perfect Home Improvement – No Matter What!

For the best your home has to offer, let Columbus Ohio’s Best Local Construction Company, Best Contractor and Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler for the fifth straight year guide your family on the home improvement journey of their dreams.   Here are some ways that working with Columbus’s most talented home design crew – SemBro Designs and Remodeling – will ensure your home design is a success for countless years to come.

  1. SemBro Designs and Remodeling uses the most straight-forward processes to completely plan every step of your home remodel and help ensure that it will be exactly as you hoped and more.  With a digital rendering process, it is possible to view how the finished look in your home will be before the work crew gets started!  If you aren’t happy with the projected changes, let our talented and award-winning designers know your concerns and help you plan a remodel you are sure to love for years and years.
  2. In our SemBro Designs and Remodeling showroom, get ideas for inspiration in your home from viewing photos of other Columbus home remodels completed near you.  Check out what the neighborhood is doing to its homes to make your remodel as similar or unique as you are.  And with all of the samples for wood and stone right on sight to put together in countless combinations, you will see how it feels to become excited for the beautiful new home that will soon be under your hands and feet!
  3. SemBro Designs and Remodeling was voted Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler with the Union Tribune for the past four years in a row.  That attests to our Columbus clients’ continued loyalty and support, and so does the fact that a high percentage of customers return for other parts of their home to be improved.  Whether you are looking to live more elegantly, get more function and durability for your kitchen or bath, or simply to increase your home’s value, you can’t go wrong with a stunning Columbus SemBro Designs remodel.
  4. Our SemBro Designs and Remodeling crew takes great pride in working for a company voted Best Local Construction Company and Best Contractor for the past four consecutive years.  And one of the reasons is because our crew members are so multi-talented.  We hire team members with a wide array of skill sets and experience to ensure that our clients know who is working on their home at all times, no matter what complexity the work entails.




Tell your friends bring them with you and let’s get this new kitchen project started today.

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Homes of The Future – Today

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Homes of the Future, Today

Every day, incredible new homes are designed and built.  They astound with their new perspective on what makes a home efficient, classy, and strong.  There are so many innovative advances that offer the possibility of taking your home to a level you never imagined possible, with the help of your SemBro Design and Remodeling team.  They can get you from dream to reality in less time than it would have taken 20 years ago.  Read on for some of the ways that they can make it happen, and make you glad all-over-again that you live in and around Columbus Ohio.

With a growing public consciousness about the importance of preserving natural resources and minimizing damaging effects on our environment, there has come an increase in demands for alternative types of material used in every element of the home’s design.  There are so many new options available for increasing the beauty of an area with materials that benefit the earth and the economy.  For necessities such as counters, cabinets and floors, look into remodeling with some responsible, cause-worthy elements and increasing the general character of your home at the same time!

Creative homes popping up everywhere means that sometimes older homes are looked at as having less personality, charm or even warmth.  You can bring all of the inspiring features of very unique places into your home when you work with a Columbus designer who knows the potential each home has and all of the tricks and tools needed to accomplish greatness.  Every part of your home can be re-purposed or re-situated so that it makes the most of the great view, natural sunlight, or even the air currents in your area.  With a more efficient home comes a more pleasing effect on the eyes and not only you will fall in love with your updated home, but so will everyone who visits!

With technology catching up rapidly to our quick shifts in tastes, preferences and monetary restrictions, it is becoming easier to accomplish design or construction feats that seemed impossible decades ago.  Additionally, technology is helping homeowners make the best design choices for their homes with an assurance they never had before: digital imaging.  It allows you to see what your home remodel changes would look like in your home before the work gets started, so that you can be sure the change will fit your tastes, lifestyle, and your home right from the beginning.