In appearance Cork flooring looks very little like the corks you find in wine bottles. Cork flooring can be found in hues from the lightest ash to the darkest chocolate brown with a lot of texture choices available as well. Cork flooring is considered to be as durable as most hardwoods, and is in a similar price range.
Cork tiles help hold in heat, reducing energy bills, and the slight give they retain even after finishing means they are comfortable to walk on, very easy on the back and legs, making it a great choice for the kitchen, where many of us spend so much time on our feet.
So Cork is a wonderfully eco-friendly choice for flooring but, as it comes from the Cork Oak tree, you may be wondering how that could be? Surely these trees have to be felled and what is so green about that? However, that is not the case, the Cork is harvested from the trees rather than having to chop them down and no harm at all comes to the trees themselves.
The Cork Oak is found all over the Mediterranean, most especially in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. Rather than being felled, which is in fact illegal in many of these countries, the Cork Oak is „farmed“ to provide the raw material necessary for making cork flooring.
Cork harvesting involves no machinery; it is performed by the skilled hands of humans instead. Only the bark of the cork tree is removed by several sets of highly skilled hands per tree, generally using only small axes and an awful lot of expertise. The bark regrows quickly, which is why cork is such an incredible renewable resource. On average, the Cork Oak tree has a lifespan of 150 to 250 years and it can be safely harvested up to twelve times during that period.
If you are thinking about adding new flooring to your home remodeling „to do“ list and are also looking to go green, speak to your remodeling contractor about cork flooring as an alternative to more traditional materials. It may just add a whole new dimension to your home that you had not considered.