Flooring Certifications: When Being Certifiable is a Good Thing
If you’re making a flooring decision with the environment or your health in mind, then certifications are a great way to know what products meet your needs. But what do certifications mean to you, the homeowner? And how do you know a product lives up to what the company claims? We’ve got a few tips.
What Does “Green Certified” Mean?
First, it helps to understand how a product is certified. Green certifications aren’t easy to come by, nor should they be. They can involve a lengthy evaluation process, extensive factory and product testing, and more to prove that the rigid criteria have been met. When it’s all said and done, it is a feather in the cap of any company that can claim a legitimate certification.
And that leads us to our second tip: Just because a company places a certification logo on their website, it doesn’t always mean they’ve earned the certification.
Not many people realize that even when a company has one product that’s certified, displaying the certification symbol on their website can give the impression that ALL products on the site have this certification. This is called “greenwashing,” and it’s not only misleading and unethical, it puts the consumer in the terrible position of wondering if the flooring they have brought into their home is as green as they were led to believe.
For instance, some brokers and online-only flooring retailers source products from different mills in search of the best deal. Not all flooring is created equal, so buying from different factories can mean a distinct lack of continuity in quality and control over safety standards.
LIFECORE, on the other hand, has complete control over the quality and consistency of our products. We do this because we are the factory… milling and finishing every floor that bears our name.
More About Our Flooring Certifications
We also take great pride in having all of our flooring submitted for certification by some of the most prestigious third-party organizations in the industry. These include the Indoor Air Advantage Gold certification, which confirms that our engineered hardwood flooring is in compliance with the most rigorous indoor air quality emission standards in North America; and FloorScore which sets a standard for hard flooring surfaces and adhesives used in manufacturing, promoting better indoor air quality.
LIFECORE is also in strict compliance with government regulations that ensure high standards for indoor air quality and responsible forestry. CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulations ensure products stay well below acceptable levels of formaldehyde, and the Lacey Act prohibits trade in trees that have been illegally taken, transported, harvested, or sold. Our factory is also proud or our record with the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York (WCS) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), which conducts wildlife, biodiversity, and conservation research and surveys in our forests.
So what can you do to ensure due diligence when selecting a floor? If you find a company that claims certification, look for documented proof on their website. If you don’t find anything, contact their Customer Service department. You have the right to see the third-party’s certification letter to ensure that a manufacturer’s claims are accurate. Almost as important as knowing your flooring contributes to a healthy home and the assurance that you’ve invested your hard-earned dollars in an ethical brand.
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