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American Hardwoods Enhance Healthy, Healing Spaces
Meeting the exacting requirements of aesthetics, sustainability, durability
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Advertising supplement provided by The Hardwood Council


Trend Toward Pre-Finished

In health care settings, the trend is toward use of pre-finished hardwood flooring, millwork and casework products. Reasons include improved quality control, cost-effectiveness and indoor air quality.

When it comes to indoor air quality in residential settings, Paula Baker-Laporte, AIA, Principal and Owner of Baker-Laporte and Associates, Sante Fe, New Mexico, stipulates that two groups of people must be considered when designing a healthy home: those who are chemically sensitive and those who aren’t, but desire a healthful space.

“For people who are very chemically sensitive, I recommend a factory U.V. floor finish so that they don’t have to refinish in their home. Pre-finished materials are off-gassed under controlled conditions and the client receives an inert product,” elaborates Baker-Laporte. “In the case of healthy people without chemical sensitivities, there are many low- or zero-VOC finishes that work within the parameters of healthy design.”



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The Hardwood Council serves architects, designers and builders by providing useful information about American hardwoods in sustainable design and building. As an independent, nonprofit organization, the Council advances better understanding of hardwood flooring, furniture, cabinetry and millwork, without bias toward specific products or manufacturers.

The Council's Web site,, offers basic information about dozens of American hardwood species, background on sustainable forestry, and overviews of sustainable specifying, design, installation and finishing practices.

For more information about the Hardwood Council, and American hardwoods, please visit or contact us at:

The Hardwood Council
400 Penn Center Boulevard, Suite 530
Pittsburgh, PA 15235


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