This blog is all about sustainable flooring. Sustainable flooring is quite simply flooring made from a sustainable resource. Thus flooring made from newly felled hardwood trees does not qualify as sustainable flooring, but reclaimed hardwood flooring and antique flooring because it is from recycled or upcycled wood does qualify.
Cork flooring comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. The cork oak takes 25 years to mature and then can be harvested every 9 to 12 years for its bark or cork cambium. The bark is peeled off by hand without machinery and does not damage the tree. Thus, cork flooring is from a renewable resource and is most definitely sustainable flooring.
Until a few years ago the biggest commercial use for cork was making wine bottle stoppers. Sadly, for wine lovers this custom is on the decline. Those wine producers that still use cork stoppers contribute to sustainable flooring because often used wine bottle corks are recycled and made into cork flooring.
It is very easy to recycle cork. It is ground up and compressed with a low VOC adhesive and shaped into cork flooring tiles and cork underlayment. So often cork is not just from a renewable resource but also from a recycled source. That makes cork flooring doubly earth friendly and a great example of sustainable flooring.
Cork flooring isn’t just great because it is sustainable. It also provides great flooring. It is soft underfoot and great to sit on and yet it is strong and capable of withstanding high traffic situations. It comes in a variety of colors and styles and is easy to stain or dye.
Furthermore cork flooring is water resistant, fire retardant (the cork is one of the few trees that can survive forest fires), anti-fungal and mold resistant. It is also a great insulator that helps reduce heating bills and deaden the noise of people walking on the flooring.
Cork flooring is simply corking. It is great for the environment, for green interior design and for people who want beautiful flooring that will last a long time.