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Can Hardwood Floors be Recycled?

It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of choosing new flooring to freshen up one or multiple rooms in your house, but a lot of people are left wondering what to do with their old flooring once they’ve pulled it up.

Many ask the question, can hardwood floors be recycled? Our experts have an answer for you!

With the effects of global warming becoming more apparent every day, people are starting to take more responsibility for their own contribution to environmental issues and are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

More people are keen to make sure they’re recycling when they can, so we’re here to tell you if your hardwood flooring can be added to the pile.

Can Hardwood Floors be Recycled?

Knowing this information before you get started on the job of replacing your flooring will help you better plan and prepare.

As well as recycling, we look at some other ways to dispose of your old hardwood flooring to make way for something new.

It seems a shame to waste it, and as you’re about to learn, it might not actually be the easiest or the most practical option. 

What Can You Do With Old Wood Floors?

There are actually a few ways you can offload your old wood floors that don’t involve throwing them out in your trash, which we definitely do not recommend doing.

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so you never know who may have use for them. 

If the wood floors have been removed with minimal damage to them in the process, you probably won’t struggle to get it taken off your hands. Some removal companies will even offer a discounted price to take out the old flooring if they can salvage it in the process. 

You could also post an ad on craigslist for a price or for free if your main concern is getting rid of it fast.

If money isn’t a factor, multiple types of wood flooring can be recycled through websites such as Freecycle or Freegle. This includes engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring, although the latter should last for a long time before it needs replacing. 

If your wood flooring is damaged or moldy, you shouldn’t try to sell it. Depending on how bad it is, it may only be fit to be discarded.

Whatever you do, don’t use old hardwood flooring as firewood. The treated wood could release harmful toxins in the air while it burns.

How Do You Dispose of Old Flooring?

So now you know you can dispose of your hardwood flooring - great. But how do you actually go about this? 

Some manufacturers, like Armstrong’s, offer a recycling program for old or leftover wood where they will even come and collect it from you!

This is a really useful service as some recycling plants won’t be able to take certain flooring, such as laminate, so it’s worth double-checking first. If they can recycle it they will be able to advise you how to do this. 

If you’re not able to recycle the old wood flooring for any reason, you can dispose of it through your local waste collection. You’ll need to see if you can arrange for it to be picked up from your house, but if this isn’t possible you might need to take a trip to the landfill. 

Of course, if you’re selling the hardwood flooring, you can simply arrange for it to be picked up by the buyer at a time that’s convenient for you.

Just to reiterate, because this one’s really important, don’t ever burn your hardwood flooring to dispose of it. 

How Do I Get Rid of Old Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is similar to solid or engineered hardwood floors in terms of how to get rid of it, but we’ll recap for you just to cover all bases. 

This type of flooring used to be quite difficult to get rid of, and due to the materials used in its manufacture, it wasn’t suitable for recycling for a long time.

Thanks to recent developments in manufacturing processes, these days a good 85% of laminate flooring is recyclable. 

Like with other types of flooring, you can also upcycle any leftovers or any salvaged planks with a coat of paint and some creative thinking.

If the laminate flooring is in good condition or if you have a lot more than you expected leftover, it’s definitely worth seeing if you can find anyone who would be willing to buy it off you. 

At the very least, if there’s nobody who wants to actually pay for it but you don’t want to waste it or go through the hassle of arranging a waste collection service, you might find someone who would happily take it off your hands for free. 

And again, like other types of hardwood flooring, DO NOT use laminate flooring as firewood under any circumstances due to it releasing harmful toxins that pose a risk to your health. 

What Can You Do With Leftover Flooring?

When you finish having your new flooring fitted, there might be a few small offcuts or parts and materials that were used for the installation leftover which are fine to dispose of in your regular household waste collection. 

Want to give these smaller pieces a new lease of life instead? Why not upcycle them to create pieces of art or turn them into gifts for your loved ones. From coasters, coat racks, welcome signs, and pretty much anything you can think of. You can get creative with it! 

If there are any larger pieces or if you have a few planks leftover, you can keep these and put them away in case of future use if you need to replace any parts of the floor. Scratches, stains, and water spots, for example, can all be easily fixed by changing the affected plank.

When there’s a lot of flooring leftover it might be worth selling it, as you hopefully won’t need to replace the whole floor anytime soon and the popular styles may change in that time, so you may want a different look when you do go to next replace it. 

Alternatively, you can choose to recycle or repurpose your leftover flooring in the ways we’ve already mentioned.