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Taking a Closer Look At Selecting Healthy Flooring and Finishes

How intentional are your choices these days? What kind of building and finish materials do you live with? I watched a little girl  say “yes” to the CVS clerk when asked if she wanted a bag for her purchase the other day. The little girl had purchased a single pack of  (already) packaged gum. Out she ran with the bag around that oh so heavy and certainly awkward pack of gum. The store clerk didn’t get it and the little girl was taught absolutely nothing about conservation. From small purchases to larger ones the “compromise meter” should be leaning more towards “smart” than “stupid”  by now. Take the flooring industry for example.  By now most everyone knows that  toxic chemicals are present in many flooring products and finishes  on the market,  or perhaps we don’t want to wrap our minds around the fact that that “steal of a deal”  floor we’re interested in may have been manufactured where unjust labor practices take place, or perhaps lurking behind that “green” label is a company that is  wasteful and compromising on every other level. The ARCH chooses to work with companies with the highest environmental standards.   For more information about the companies and products we work with we invite you to check them out or give us a call and we will share what we know about sustainable practices. Whether you’re looking for a floor that is FSC- certified, LEED compliant, reclaimed or recycled,  whether the company maintains high standards for fair labor practices, high quality control, The ARCH has made an intentional choice to work with reputable flooring and finish companies.

Eco Timber Recycled Woven Poplar Flooring

Here are a few of the companies and their environmental standards that The ARCH is proud to be working with:

Eco Timber

Merida Meridan Natural Fiber Rugs

Vermont Natural Coatings

American Clay

January is a good month to think about detoxing your home. As noted in a LOHAS blog (Lifestyles of health and sustainability) the average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals resulting in indoor air quality that is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air

How about inviting more positive intentional changes into our environment?

S.E.E.EXPO The ARCH Exhibits Sustainable Products

 
 
 

S.E.E.EXPO EVENT

The S.E.E. EXPO and Celebration is this weekend, August 20th -22nd, at the Agricultural Center in Asheville.   The ARCH is exhibiting for its sixth year and it is a good feeling to continue to support sustainability and be among advocates of environmental  issues and positive change.  The SEEEXPO has innovative exhibits and workshops for building, agriculture, and technology. Located in the new air-conditioned Exhibition Hall The ARCH has on display FSC-Certified EcoTimberflooring, Reclaimed Wood flooring, American Clay Earth plaster, Vida Cork, Merida Natural Fiber flooring, information on the new St Astier’s Natural Hydraulic Lime, Concrete Counter samples made locally, Forno |Bravo Wood-fired oven information, a sampling of art tile and more. Most of these products contribute to LEED points. Jim Erskine is available to discuss application and masonry interests. We also have a space to try your hand at troweling  American Clay Earth Plaster on sample board surfaces.  Below is a photo of an enthusiastic participant from our exhibit in 2009.

From our 2009 exhibit: Exploring American Clay fun for all ages

Reclaimed Flooring Takes Me Back to Hawaii

The Arch can provide you with a beautiful reclaimed flooring of Heartpine, Chestnut, Oak, Maple, and Red Gum to name a few. These are just a few examples of the possibilities that you can admire under your feet.

It’s interesting to me that nearly twenty eight years ago (yikes) when I was living on the Big Island the decision was made to include a reclaimed floor in a home we built. We chose to purchase a wide plank tongue and groove pine floor from an old warehouse that was torn down in California. Nearly everything shipped over to the islands in huge “containers” by boat and California was about as close as we could get for flooring. When it arrived it was nearly black with years of dirt but the boards were long and a true two inches in thickness and so what if it required a serious sanding. To see the old wood come to life was a joy. I looked for a photo and came up with a couple from an old photo album.  My girls (Tracy on the bucket, Roxanne with the cup in her teeth) had a couple of  big rubber gymnastic rings hanging from reclaimed beams (from the same warehouse) and they would spin in circles and have the best time. The photo of the other girl is a friend in the neighborhood. Of course I didn’t think ahead to the present day for photographs of floors).  I always felt good about that floor. Great in fact and still do for the lucky soul that lives there now.  I didn’t have to worry about the occasional dent or scratch because it had that wonderful patina and worn appearance from the beginning.  It was great for raising kids and with three bull terriers at the time it never worried me at all.  Though, in Hawaii, all shoes are left at the door- which adds to the life of any floor, not to mention keeping things clean. I wonder just how old that floor was?

The flooring we can obtain for you won’t need near the work that that floor did and you can get an up close and personal view of the samples we have in our showroom.

There’s always a home, studio, addition restaurant, you name it, that is fitting for reclaimed flooring. Consider it!

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