We live in a world that is highly conscious about the concept of sustainability, especially when it comes to corporate practices and the products we use. This is why cork flooring is such a great option for the modern home owner.
Cork wood is highly renewable, unlike other types of trees. Although trees do grow back and are technically a renewable resource, they take a long time to grow to a usable size. Cork trees are different and the wood is harvested differently, making them much more efficient and environmentally friendly as a building resource.
Cork is a particular kind of oak tree, and cork wood comes from the bark of that tree. At 25 years of age, a cork tree’s bark can be harvested without cutting down and killing the tree. The bark regenerates every 8 to 14 years, depending on the tree and where it is grown.
Prepping cork for the building industry does not require as much work as other woods do. On top of that, very little waste is produced in the process. This means a reduction in energy usage and a reduction in the manufacturer’s carbon footprint. What you may not realize is that cork flooring isn’t a primary by-product of cork oak trees, in fact, cork oak is primarily used to fashion wine bottle corks, with all the excess and trimmings being refined into cork flooring – this is why there is so little waste.
Let’s not forget comfort is king
Cork floors are naturally soft on the feet. The wood has a spongy quality to it, and this translates into a cushioned and comfortable flooring surface beneath your feet. Cork is available in a variety of shades too, so not only can you get genuinely comfortable flooring, you can find it in a variety of warm and inviting shades.
Don’t be fooled – soft can also mean strong
It may be soft on your feet, but cork flooring is very durable. The wood is impermeable to liquids and although a piece of furniture may leave a slight indentation on your cork flooring, the wood will bounce back and that indent will disappear all on its own. When properly maintained and cared for, cork floors can last up to 40 years.
The healthy choice
Cork is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and termites. It is not a product that gives off gasses as it ages and it will not shed and fibres that may make their way into the air. This is the perfect choice for any home where air quality is a top priority, or where a damp climate is normal.
Cork is not considered a highly combustible wood. In a fire, cork is highly fire resistant and only prone to melting or burning at very high temperatures. When burnt or melted, cork releases less smoke and fewer toxins into the air than wood flooring alternatives like vinyl or laminate.
If you’ve been looking for an alternative flooring material, then you have found it. Cork is available in tiles and planks and in a large variety of colour options. If you are concerned about making environmentally friendly choices when building or renovating your home, cork is a natural decision with far-reaching and long-lasting benefits for your home and your family.