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The ecological parquet: choice of wood and laying

Parquet flooring, as everyone knows, is by definition a floor covering composed by the assembly of wooden boards. It is therefore frequently associated with a natural building image that respects the environment. But on closer inspection, nothing is less certain... In fact, the wood in its commercial version can cause many problems and be contrary to any measure of protection of nature. It is probably to avoid any amalgam that has emerged recently, in addition to ecological concrete and ecological paint, the name of "ecological floor", which handyman duudie chose to devote his investigation this week

What is an ecological parquet?

What makes a parquet is really ecological is, above all, its composition and origin. Wood, of course, but not just any wood. Exotic woods, available in limited or low renewable quantities are the first to avoid if you want to install a parquet floor at home without harming nature. It is therefore a question of choosing the essence of the parquet floor but also to find out where it comes from. In fact, in terms of respect for the ecology, all woods are not equal, including those of the same family and the same name, because the pollution in relation to the amount of gray energy expended and in particular that due to the transport can vary greatly. Wood from local production is therefore the best choice for not increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In addition to the question of wood, two other factors will be decisive for your carefully chosen parquet to maintain its vocation and its ecological legitimacy. One of them results in the method of installation that you choose and which should not come to soil its structure. The second is more related to the composition of treatment and maintenance products, whether you buy it raw or not.

ecological parquet: the choice of wood species

bamboo, the most ecological wood essence

In terms of development and sustainable logging, preferred timber is those whose life cycle and growth, coupled with the systematic practice of reforestation, ensure a rapid renewal of available resources to maintain balance. Increased consumption of slow-maturing trees, on the other hand, takes on the nature of speed and causes known misdeeds of species depletion and other deforestation problems.

In this sense bamboo is a perfect wood for an ecological floor. Its rate of growth and therefore renewal is extremely fast, worthy of the record, and its great strength is perfectly suited to the expectations for floorings subject to frequent passages. For all these qualities it is besides and also the only type of wood presenting a positive eco-balance despite its exploitation outside our borders.

In terms of local production, the most common types of wood used in eco-construction are oak and chestnut. At the same time, robinia, also known as "false acacia", is emerging more and more on the market. His case is a little more particular in that it has both advantages and disadvantages. Its presence on the territory and its speed of growth postpone its favor, as well as its solidity, but the fact remains that the robinia is part of the invasive type of trees, which develop at the expense of other species and smother the surrounding ecosystem if it is allowed to proliferate. So his exploitation must remain in good custody. In addition, the quality of its wood in terms of implementation and maintenance over time remains of lower quality than its predecessors in the sense that it contains many knots and is more subject to deformations due to moisture, like warping.

The importance of laying parquet

The choice of wood and its provenance are therefore essential, but that's not all. For a wood to remain ecological, no toxic agent should be affixed to it, under penalty, of course, of "contamination". For the installation of your parquet meets this criterion, all toxic glues based on chemical solvents must be already eliminated. Also the preferred type of installation of ecological parquet remains the installation on the joist, which is fixed with the help of nails.

Be aware that there are also ecological and natural glues which a whole range is specialized in the installation of parquet floors. While these glues have a longer setting time but they will guarantee the installation of your floating floor without any new fumes.

Carefully choose the protection and maintenance of your parquet

an ecological floor goes through the choice of protective products

Always in the same logic, make sure that treatments and maintenance actions do not pollute your material. One of the main enemies of wood is moisture. It is therefore essential to waterproof it, even for your interior woodwork. To ensure effective and healthy protection to your floors, nothing beats the choice of oiled parquet. This type of flooring is obtained by applying a vegetable oil, usually flax, which impregnates the wood in depth while making it water repellent. It is then effectively protected against the attacks of fungi and other molds. But anyway, the maintenance of an oiled parquet is relatively simple. Simply apply twice a year with a natural wax (bee or vegetable), use a broom for the usual household and a damp cloth or slightly soapy to remove the stains.

Also, if you do not opt ​​for the purchase of a wooden floor, be careful and learn about the types of treatments that have been used to protect your wood moisture and its other sworn enemies, the fire and xylophagous insects. In this regard, the most natural treatment is that of boron salt, which provides complete protection on the surface, creating a protective barrier that makes it rot and flame retardant, prevents the phenomenon of blueing wood and defends against attacks from parasites.

As for vitrification, there are still no perfectly ecological products to date. It seems nevertheless important to point out that a lot of progress has been made in this area, so much so that some viticators have even been granted an eco-label.

The alternative of reshaped wood.

The principle of retified wood, discovered by a Frenchman in the 1970s, had to wait more than 20 years before his industrial application began to develop. Based on a modification of the physicochemical structure of the wood, the reified wood is rendered completely rot-proof and unattractive for its usual parasites. From a technical point of view this transformation is obtained by a treatment in an inert atmosphere which subjects the wood to high temperatures around 260° C. All moisture and nutrients naturally present in the wood are then simply removed. A kind of sterilization in fact, which operates without the slightest external toxic agent.

In terms of price, the reworked wood also knows how to be competitive. This high temperature treatment certainly increases prices by 10 to 20% on the species it processes, but the cost of purchase remains lower than exotic woods. In addition, a wood is a wood that has also gained strength and stability. It therefore displays a longer life and will not need further processing. It is also resistant to this point that it is not very sensitive to the weather and can very well be used for an outdoor parquet. And of course, it is fully recyclable.

Another, equally ingenious and increasingly popular process known as oletherhemia or thermo-oiled wood offers an almost perfect compromise combining heat treatment and protection with natural vegetable oil.. This technique also allows to benefit at home from a real ecological floor.