New! An “Eco-Friendly” Finish

What do you think of when you hear the word “whey”?  Do you think of the nursery rhyme of little Miss Muffet?  Or do you think of a health food missmuffetpictureprotein powder?  You probably don’t think about it in conjunction with hardwood floors.  If you are looking for an eco-friendly, “green” flooring option you should!

Hardwood flooring is one of the most eco-friendly flooring materials there are.  It’s renewable, and many manufacturers work with suppliers to ensure that the trees are harvested in a responsible manner.  Now, thanks to whey protein, it can be finished with the only finish made from a 100% recyclable material.

refinishing_floor1Typically, hardwood flooring is stained, and then a polyurethane top coat is applied to protect the floor.  The polyurethane seals and protects the finish on the floor.  There are two types of polyurethane used – oil based or water based.  Water based polyurethane dries quickly, provides a clear finish and has a low odor.  It can require up to four coats to provide maximum protection. Oil based polyurethane requires fewer coats, but the drying time is longer and there is a stronger odor.  It also lends an amber glow to the wood.  Oil based polyurethane tends to be more durable than water based.

A new product, PolyWhey® by Vermont Natural Coatings, combines the high durability of an oil based finish with the application advantages of a water based finish.  Plus – it’s made from a renewable resource!

CheeseWhey is a by- product of cheese making.  It is what is left after the milk has been curdled and strained.  PolyWhey® started as a collaboration among farmers, furniture makers, and the University of Vermont scientists to expand the value of Vermont’s agriculture and forest industries. What began as an interest in whey, as a possible ingredient in woodworking projects, has emerged as a revolutionary new science.  The whey acts as a co-binder and co-solvent, replacing other, more toxic substances.

Other than the ease of application and durability of PolyWhey®, the number one advantage to homeowners is that Polywhey® has the lowest VOC level in the industry.  VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds.  VOC’s evaporate into the air from many substances and can cause or contribute to many health problems.  Petroleum products, like oil based finishes, carpets and vinyl flooring can have harmful levels of these VOCS which are easily identifiable by their noxious smell.   The VOC level for Vermont Natural Coatings finishes is ≤180g/L (grams per liter). The toughest indoor air quality standard for wood finish in the United States is California’s 275g/L.

Here at Yankee Classic Flooring we are proud to add PolyWhey® Wood Floor Finishes to its line of floor finishes.  It is a beautiful finish that brings out the richness of Northern Grown Oak and Maple.  Available in a matte, satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish there is a look that is just right for your home.   With so many options, we can customize your floor any way that you want.  And with PolyWhey®, your floors can be refinished without the smell!

As always, Yankee Classic Flooring offers free consultations.  Give us a call, and we will show you how beautiful your wood floors can look.  For more information on PolyWhey® or any of our flooring options, call Tracey or Jerry at 608-467-2551 or email us at

Polywhey finish

I want my floor to be “eco-friendly”

Do you want your floor to be green?  No, I don’t mean green in color, I mean environmentally “green”.  Many of us have concerns today about the materials we use in our homes.  Are the raw materials environmentally friendly? Does the manufacturing process cause more pollution?  Do the materials release any toxic chemicals inside my home?

When it comes to flooring, there is a clear winner if you want to be eco-friendly, and that’s solid hardwood.

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Not only is solid hardwood flooring beautiful, it causes the least amount of damage to the environment.  While trees can be harvested specifically for use in floors, often when lumber is harvested for other uses, such as for making furniture or cabinets, the leftover lumber is made into flooring.  Wood is renewable, and many hardwood flooring manufacturers work closely with lumber companies to ensure that they practice responsible forest management.

Forests are essential to our eco-system. Not only do they provide a home for many species of flora and fauna, they naturally help manage our water supply by providing Blog 5 Deerfiltration and storage.  When a forest is responsibly harvested, trees are selectively thinned, not clear cut.  This then thins out the density of the canopy and allows sunlight and more water to reach the forest floor.  Not only does this provide a better habitat for wildlife, but it allows new seedlings and saplings to grow.  Evidence shows that a responsibly managed forest will release slightly more water for years after a harvest.
Bog 5 TrilliumLike all plants, trees are carbon neutral.  They absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and release oxygen. While the trees act as a filter to clean the air of greenhouse gases, the carbon is used to help the trees grow, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
Solid hardwood flooring uses the least amounts of fossil fuels in its production than any other type of flooring.  It uses less water, and fewer chemicals than carpet or vinyl, which not only use more fossil fuels in their production but often contain petroleum products themselves.  Once a tree is harvested, a drying kiln and saw blade are all that are required to produce the flooring.

If you live in the Madison area, look for hardwoods milled in northern Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. These have the smallest carbon footprint for delivery back to Madison.
If you are concerned about your indoor air quality, hardwood flooring is a wonderful choice.  Unlike carpet, hardwood does not trap dust and allergens, nor does it generally release other materials into the air in your home which can contribute to health problems.  It is easy to clean and maintain, keeping your home allergen free with minimal effort.
Finally, solid hardwood flooring has the longest service life of any flooring option.  A hardwood floor can last more than 100 years.  It can be refinished numerous times, to bring it back to its original beauty, or even to change the look.  When a hardwood floor is no longer usable as a floor, it can be used for other purposes.  It can be made into furniture, used as fuel or returned to the earth.  Hardwood will not sit for years in a landfill, waiting to decompose.  When exposed to the natural environment it will quickly decay.
So, if you are looking for a “green” flooring option, solid hardwood is a terrific choice.  And of course, if you want your floor to be “green” and GREEN, it can always be stained to whatever color you like!
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Yankee Classic Flooring is committed to helping you find the perfect flooring option for your home.  Give us a call today, and we will help you decide what options work best for you.