Like any other aspect of interior design, fashions in flooring come and go. But as architects, designers and contractors deal with the complexities of choosing materials against a background of legislation and environmental impact guidelines, the ongoing trend for hardwood floors continues.
American hardwoods include a number of species for flooring, including American red oak, white oak, ash, hickory and maple, each has strong sustainability credentials.
There have been a number of studies done in the USA on the environmental impacts of hardwoods. In 2008, the National Wood Flooring Association Industry Research Foundation with the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) conducted a life-cycle analysis study of wood flooring, which evaluated solid strip hardwood flooring against other flooring alternatives such as vinyl, linoleum and carpet. The CORRIM study concluded that wood flooring had the least environmental impact of all the other materials studied.