- Tim McGrath
Hemp Wood Flooring: A New Wave in Sustainability
Going green is a priority for the flooring industry across the board. Cork and bamboo both provide a sustainable option, but a newer option surfaced in 2019 with HempWood’s launch of hemp-based flooring. Before we go any further, it is important to define what hemp actually is: a botanical class of cannabis sativa cultivars grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use.
Hemp is a fast-growing, renewable resource. Not only is this flooring sustainable, it is also harder than the hardest American hardwoods and provides a smoother finish. HempWood prides itself on the fact that all of the hemp used in their manufacturing process is sourced from farms within 100 miles of its Kentucky factory.
HempWood is even more environmentally friendly than bamboo flooring, which is typically seen as eco-friendly. HempWood is made with an organic soy adhesive, whereas bamboo flooring contains formaldehyde. The tradeoff here is that HempWood isn’t as resistant to water, so it cannot be used outside or for structural uses. However, if more water resistance is required indoors, acrylic can be used as an adhesive instead. Acrylic still gives off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but in far smaller amounts than formaldehyde.
HempWood meets all of the fire resistance, slip resistance and scratch resistance testing requirements for residential and commercial applications in the United States, but there are still biases against cannabis-based products as well as lack of understanding about it. As consumers begin to learn more about the sustainability of hemp and its many applications in the building materials world, demand is sure to increase. This type of flooring is sure to take off in the next few years.
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