What Would a GBAer Do: Residential Flooring

Timber Sunburst by Sustainable Flooring

A new floor for baby Faraday.

I just had a second child, so we decided to convert our study from the “room that time forgot” to a child’s room.  The flooring in this room consisted of some extremely ugly and old brown carpet installed over pressboard, which was installed over original pine flooring.  On the rest of the second floor, we had refinished the original pine flooring in 2009, with gorgeous results. However, past-gathered intel regarding this room indicated that it was briefly a second floor kitchen (for reasons unknown), casting into doubt the quality and quantity of original pine flooring.

For this reason, we decided that we would install new flooring in this ~9.5’ x 11.5’ room.  Because we knew the space was relatively small (~120 square feet) and would be occupied by a child for ~18 years, we wanted to choose something healthy, durable, and from a sustainable source (salvaged, recycled, or rapidly renewable).  We investigated several options that met these qualities, ranging in price from $4 to $10.50 per square foot.

Now, you’d think that the one of us who actually works for a green building organization would have the most preferences in terms of flooring selection, but it turns out that wasn’t the case because there was never any question in my husband’s mind what type of flooring he wanted.  As we walked into the product showroom, he immediately said, “I want the flooring that Google has.”  Knowing that Google has a long history of choosing healthy products , I knew his comments would likely yield a very positive outcome, but my second thought was, “Of course he wants what is likely one of the most expensive options in this entire store.”  Even so, we looked at a variety of options:

If you click through all these links, you’ll be able to quickly discern that we were looking for flooring with a distinctive look that also met our healthy, durable, and sustainability requirements.  In the end, it turns out my husband’s memory is excellent and his preferences unwavering (Google Pittsburgh DID install some flooring on their Kennywood-themed floor in Bakery Square that made our final list – look for it under the flip- flops and near the Ticket Counter).

Because it’s simply a gorgeous floor that met all of our requirements and we didn’t want to have any “flooring regret” (which may only exist in people who work in the building industry….), we ultimately chose to install Strandwoven Timber Sunburst by Sustainable Flooring.  From a cost basis alone, this was the most expensive option.  BUT, because we both liked it so much and knew this would likely be the only time we install new flooring in any room in our house (besides the kitchen and bathrooms, but that’s for several other posts a few years from now), we made it happen.

For those of you interested in the details of the floor itself, this tongue and groove flooring is made from furniture industry poplar wood scrap byproducts “sorted by color, mixed with low-VOC/EO resin, and then aligned in a press applying 1,800 tons of pressure to the wood strands.  The result is a solid timber, over twice as hard as oak, all fashioned from used scrap.”

Post-install, it looks gorgeous, makes for a great demonstration of what I do for a living, and exemplifies how sometimes you just know what you like when you see it.

GBA does not endorse products or service providers, thus this article is a single example of a personal purchasing decision and none of the products or services reviewed in this article are endorsed by GBA or by the article’s individual author. 

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