Cork flooring is becoming more and more popular and is being more and more used because of its spectacular appearance. Not only does it provide a dazzling aspect to any room due to its unique design, it also possesses many sought-after qualities.
What is a cork floor?
Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, which belongs to the same family as the beech and the oak. This species is mainly found in Portugal, Spain, and some areas in North Africa such as Algeria and Morocco. Portugal alone counts for over 50% of the world cork production. Cork is harvested exclusively from the tree’s outer bark, which can sometimes be as thick as 25 cms. Cork is harvested approximately once every decade.
The cork generally found in cork flooring production is a derivative of wine bottle corks. The wastes resulting from wine bottle cork production are collected, shredded and combined in a high-pressure press so as to create the flooring.
Above all, cork is an excellent naturally insulating material against potential heat losses, which is why it is so much sought after for basements. Cork is also a most comfortable material, as it is never really cold to the touch because it reflects body warmth instead of absorbing it. It also possesses impressive sound absorbing proprieties. The acoustic insulation provided by cork stem from its sound reverberation and vibration absorbing characteristics and makes it the ideal product for home theaters and condos. In addition, cork is an extremely resistant and durable material because of its elasticity and is therefore perfect for homes where pets are present.
A 100% renewable material
Cork is also one of the most eco-friendly materials on the market. Because it is harvested only from the outer bark of the cork oak, it does not require felling of the tree. Moreover, harvesting does not damage the tree and as a result does not impact its growth in any way. Cork is therefore considered as a natural, 100% renewable resource.
Product Specifics and Finishing Options
Cork tiles come in several dimensions and colors. All cork floors generally have a gloss finish because of the protecting coat. This wide range of options will allow you to select a floor that will match the style of your room.
Installing a cork floor
Installing a cork floor is done by fitting the pieces together, somewhat as a puzzle. Assembling can be done over any existing floor, whether wood, concrete, ceramic, linoleum, hardwood, etc. Because the method is a floating installation and the floor is therefore not attached to the existing surface, prior removal of the existing floor is not required, providing that the surface is level and that a thin membrane is installed over it.