The Quiet Beauty of Cork Flooring

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The cork oak tree is remarkable in that its outer bark (cork) can be stripped off allowing new bark to grow in its place without harming the trees.  The harvesting of this cork can be done numerous times over the course of the 200 year life of a cork oak tree, making it a sustainable, renewable material.  This unique quality, along with it’s resiliency and softness under foot, makes it an ideal flooring material in many applications.

Most of the world’s cork forests are located in the Mediterranean.  Chemical pesticides and fertilizers are not normally used in the cork forest.  Harvesting is a delicate process which is done by hand.  Once it is made into cork flooring tiles, planks or floating floors, it can be installed in residential and commercial spaces.

Cork flooring is available in a wide variety of unique patterns, natural hues and beautiful colors.  It has sound-absorbing qualities, it can last for decades with proper maintenance, plus, it doesn’t easily stain.  Keep your cork floors looking their best by:  using chair leg protectors to prevent scuff marks and indents; by damp mop cleaning (no harsh chemicals needed); and by occassionally buffing the natural, caranuba wax or polyurethane finish.

Be sure to have your cork flooring installed (over concrete or plywood) with adhesives that do not contain urea-formaldehyde to maintain good indoor air quality.  Also, keep the UV rays of direct sunlight from fading your floor with the use of window treatments and possibly a UV protectant on nearby windows.

photo courtesy of the Environmental Home Store

Tag(s): Green Furnishings


One Response to “The Quiet Beauty of Cork Flooring”

  1. James on February 22nd, 2011 3:37 pm

    This is a great read! I never knew that cork actually came from the Mediterranean. Cork is indeed becoming a top choice for the every day home owner. I was referred to a friend about this stuff- he recently had his whole living room and basement done by TORLYS Cork Flooring. He’s a drummer, and said he actually noticed a big difference in volume. Apparently it does quite a good job at sound proofing the house- who would’ve thought 🙂

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