Is it possible to get hardwood or bamboo floors not finished with aluminum oxide? I'm concerned about dust upon refinishing.

Asked by Cynthia Cannady
Los Angeles, CA

I am concerned about dust upon refinishing and also possible dust when living with this kind of finish. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's so I won't use it in cookware. Why put it on the floors?


Usually you can get all wood floors without the aluminum-oxide enhanced acrylic urethane finish that protects the floor from scratches and changes in color. Just ask the manufacturer to leave it off at your own risk and wax the floor instead.

Check out companies like EcoTimber that go to great lengths to assure the pedigree of their products with the FSC label. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody (CoC), which tracks raw materials from the forest to the retailer, guarantees the safe and sustainable harvesting and production of forestry products for imported products as well as for domestic.

Domestic hardwoods, a great alternative to the fashionable bamboo, have broad leaves, produce a fruit or a nut and are dormant in winter. Over twenty species, from ash to willow, are readily available. Virtually any of the species can be found and verified through the FSC CoC program.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that almost twice as much hardwood grows as is harvested each year and that current supply is 90% more than it was 50 years ago. When this vast resource is governed properly, the hardwood forests are, at a minimum, carbon neutral. The next time you are in search of a sustainable hardwood for any building project, if you are considering bamboo, remember to ask the questions about how the bamboo is processed, finished, and shipped. But also, consider American hardwoods. The American Hardwood Information Center website has additional information.

For more information:

Read more about sustainable wood flooring and safe floor refinishing in GreenHomeGuide's green flooring Know-How section.

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