Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cork! How…Where…Why

We are currently working on a sunroom remodel and our clients have chosen to use cork for their flooring. I'm so excited that they went that direction!  Cork is an eco-friendly renewable resource, it is soft underfoot, helps with acoustics and provides a unique look unlike other flooring products.

While I was at the flooring store selecting samples to bring to my client I was able to look at some actual pieces of Cork Oak bark, which is where cork comes from.



The Cork Oak tree grows in countries that run along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; some of these include Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France & Italy.

Cork Oak tree after the cork bark has been harvested, you can see the layers of cork from past harvests. Photo courtesy of tree-species.blogspot.com

Cork is eco-friendly because of how it is harvested and used.  The cork bark is harvested every 10 years from the Cork Oak, and it is only removed from the main trunk and lower branches so it won't hurt the tree.  It is first used for wine bottle stoppers, afterwards the scraps are ground up, molded and baked in ovens to make other cork products, such as flooring.  Little to none of this product is wasted!

The benefits to using cork:

  • Renewable Resource - need I say more
  • Excellent sound absorption - for floor or wall application
  • Soft under foot - great cushion especially for elderly people or young children
  • Long lasting & easy to clean. It can be cleaned with a vacuum or a broom, the finish it comes with keeps it protected for many years. However it is not advised to clean with a wet mop, special cleaning products can be used for stain/soiled areas.
  • Anti-Allergenic & it has natural insect repellent qualities
  • Variety - cork comes in numerous patterns, shades, colors and sizes
Cork flooring in a wood plank pattern.
Photo courtesy of www.wilsonsinteriors.com
Solid cork flooring in this kitchen, this is similar to the look my clients floor will have.
Photo courtesy of Houzz.com
Love the rich color in this flooring!
Photo courtesy of corkflooringpros.com 
Check out the awesome checkerboard floor made from cork tiles.
Photo courtesy of corkflooringpros.com

Photo courtesy of corkflooringpros.com

Now here's an idea… renew old cork wine bottle stoppers into fun art!
Another way to reuse this renewable-resource.
Photo courtesy of projectrowhouse.blogspot.com (check out the blog to see how to make this)!




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