Cork Flooring - the Ideal Eco-Friendly Floor
Cork flooring or floating cork floors, are a simple and eco-friendly solution for replacing that tired-looking or worn out floor surface in your home. Cork flooring can be installed directly over any material other than carpeting, which makes it an ideal solution for the do-it-your-self oriented person. Cork is one of the best sustainable products that you can buy because it is pealed from trees every 9 years. The harvest does not affect the tree and in fact most cork-producing trees live for approximately 200 years. Another environmentally friendly fact about cork flooring is that most of the tiles and sheet flooring are made from the cork scraps left over from the manufacturing process of cork wine-stoppers. This is known as pre-consumer recycling and is doubly eco-friendly.
Some of the benefits of the cork floor are, its beauty and durability along with its ability to dampen sound and be extremely easy on your feet. This is of particular importance if you are on your feet in the kitchen for long periods of time. Since I suffer with a lot of allergies from inorganic substances, one of the most compelling factors of cork flooring is its anti-allergenic properties.
Cork flooring comes in basically 2 different forms. Cork tiles, which are available as small as 6" x 6" to as large as 24" square and cork mounted on planking, also know as floating cork floors. There are a variety of colors available and the colors are monolithic or consistent throughout the thickness of the product. Cork tiles are adhered to the existing subfloor with an organic glue that adds no VOC's (volitile organic compounds) to your indoor air, adding to its eco-friendly nature.
Floating cork flooring is a great alternative to hardwood or carpet flooring as it is incredibly easy to install. There are no mechanical anchors or adhesives and as the name implies, it just floats over the existing floor surface. Floating cork flooring can be cut with ordinary hand-operated power tools, such as circular saws, contractor saws, jig saws etc. and it can be installed over any level surface, with the exception of carpeting.
For information on another eco friendly flooring option, check out this article on Bamboo Flooring.
Great info! We're thinking about what type of flooring to put in the kitchen and I'm going to check further into cork now.