Save a Tree – Cork Flooring

Cork Tree
Cork Tree

Cork is an amazing material – it is 100% sustainable. It provides people with work, it encourages forestation, helps supporting wildlife and harvesting doesn’t harm anything or anyone.

Cork is the outer layer of bark of a tree called the Cork Oak. It is a beautiful evergreen oak very popular in Portugal, Spain and some African territories. As the tree grows it forms a thick bark cambium layer. It is its natural protection from forest fires and naughty animals.

Although a relative to our immortal druid oak, the cork oak lives approximately 200 years, still it is enough to have up to 20 harvests during its lifetime.

Although the main usage is within the vine industry, green building is another sector that sees a high demand in this natural material. The most widespread use of cork is in insulation – you can buy rolls or sheets that get glued to the inner surface of your rooms, below the wallpaper. Another use is flooring. It is possible to lay cork tiles directly onto concrete or wood; it is sturdy and feels very nice to a bare foot. Cork flooring might be a little more expensive than carpets but then you don’t get any VOC (volatile organic compounds) from a natural material, whereas carpets are the worst contributor of VOC you might have in your house.

Remember to recycle vine bottle corks if you can. Recycling a sustainable material makes it even more valuable for our planet. /pic by Francois Schnell/

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