As the largest supplier of timber, laminate, bamboo and cork flooring in Australia, Premium Floors Australia is in a particularly apt position to promote the feats of sustainability that we are able to achieve with the ground we walk on.
Quick-Step is one such example of a product range that relies on innovative technology, respect for the natural environment and dedication to sustainable manufacturing. Products within the range – which comprises a broad selection of laminate, wood, bamboo and vinyl – have all been designed with ecological and ethical sustainability in mind.
All Quick-Step Laminate and Oak floors are PEFC-certified, while the Bamboo range has been granted independent environmental certification through FSC. Both are reputable independent certification schemes that ensure the timber used in our homes and offices has come from legal, sustainable sources.
Of course, sustainability measures cannot stop at the raw materials. In recognition of this, Quick-Step continues to seek new ways to recycle, reduce, reuse, recover and renew throughout the manufacturing processes. Sawdust waste from their timber milling and sawing processes are burned in an incinerator to generate the heat required for the production of their laminate and hard wood floors, ensuring that the production process is as energy-efficient as possible. As a natural product, timber also serves as a carbon sink by sequestering CO2 and converting it into biomass. This naturally reducing the levels of carbon dioxide present within the atmosphere.
The scale of this may not seem significant in comparison to the positive impact that a single tree has on the environment. However, this is an inability to see the forest for the trees. As the scale of sustainably sourced timber grows, this process will accelerate through reforestation.
While laminate floors do not have the best reputation when it comes to sustainable manufacturing or indoor air quality, Quick-Step’s range of laminate boards are made entirely out of chips from sustainable wood sources, which prevents virgin trees from being harvested unnecessarily. Furthermore, the quick and efficient Uniclic installation method means that no glue is needed during installation. This avoids the introduction of VOCs and associated health hazards, and reduces projects’ construction footprint.
Having attained the highly reputable California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2 Compliancy, all of Quick-Step’s laminate floors qualify as Environmentally Preferred Products in nearly every green rating system currently operating.
The manufacturing of Quick-Step’s vinyl products also takes place without the use of toxic phthalates, a common plasticiser used in PVC with well-documented effects as an endocrine disruptor.
“Regrettably, [toxic phthalates] are still used in very substantial quantities in vinyl flooring products,” says Quick-Step’s national product and technical manager, Kendall Waller. This, despite having been banned in children’s toys in the US and Australia in 2009 and 2011 respectively. In place of phthalates, all of Quick-Step’s vinyl is manufactured using a bio-based soy plasticiser. The brand also takes the opportunity to recycle as much PVC as possible in the process of producing the final flooring.
Quick-Step takes similar measures with its timber floors to ensure their impact on the planet is minimal. For instance, their engineered timber floors contain 60 percent recycled material. Furthermore, while the top layer of the brand’s hardwood floors are sourced from ecologically sound forests, their middle layer is composed of either HDF or timber sourced from rubber wood plantations – timber that would otherwise just be burnt off. After 25 years of growth, the rubber trees no longer yield sufficient latex and, in the past, were destroyed or left to rot, which meant the release of sequestered carbon back into the environment. By taking advantage of the leftover trees, the effective lifespan of the timber can be greatly increased.
All of Quick-Step’s timber floors are CE-labelled, meaning they have met EU consumer, safety, health and environmental standards. Kendall Waller has noted the status of Quick-Step as an industry-leading example of environmentally conscious products; a brand that adheres to some of the strictest industry standards for sustainable sourcing, emissions and indoor environmental quality.
“I am often asked about Quick-Step and the environment. From raw material acquisition to state-of-the-art production techniques and world-leading environmental certification, Quick-Step has it covered.”