April 15, 2015
Everything I Didn’t Know About Cork Flooring
I was at a consultation the other day and I was asked if Cork floors were an ethical product choice….Hmm you know we’ve all heard these stories about how the world is running out of cork so the wine industry has adopted the screw cap right?…Well it got me thinking because I didn’t know the answer.
First, it seems that the shortage of cork for wine making purposes might be a bit of an exaggeration, and, in fact, the switch to other caps for bottles also had to do with breaking the bottle cork monopoly in Europe and contaminated corks spoiling wine. Some light duty investigation on my part suggests that cork is indeed a renewable resource that is sustainably harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree which can be re-harvested every 12-14 years. I found out that cork is anti-microbial and hypo-allergenic. It contains a substance called suberin that not only repels insects, and fends off mites, germs, mold, and mildew, but is also fire resistant. Who knew!
There are some beautiful examples of cork floors that are resilient and hold up to high traffic. They can have novelty finishes like these thin strips which are cool looking,
and this version has a concrete look yet the softness underfoot associated with cork.
You can get it looking quite light, even white…
or even select a product that looks like wood. Some are glued down and other products have a tongue and groove installation. It depends what you select. Cork is great for living spaces and kitchens but bathrooms can be challenging if there are moisture issues. And yes, you can install in basements as long as you use the appropriate moisture barrier.
All photos are from the Wicanders website. They produce beautiful sustainable cork products that are available here in Victoria. Contact me if you want to get in touch with a dealer.
If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!