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The Green Benifits of Cork Flooring

It’s hard to improve  on Mother Nature, but  cork suppliers are doing  just that with new products that offer even  greater green benefits for the home  today as well  as commercial  applications. Put  simply, cork  is nature’s  gift to  the flooring industry. Long used in commercial applications for its durability, cork is  becoming a  hot choice  for residential  use due  to its  unique health  and energy-saving benefits. And, with more people becoming aware of it, more product options are being offered by cork flooring suppliers to meet the growing demand.

Once relegated  to the  kitchen because  of its  comfort, warmth and durability,
cork floors are now being installed  throughout the whole house as its  flooring
uses are being rediscovered. The natural attributes of cork also include comfort
underfoot, fire  resistance, insect  resilience, anti-microbial  properties, and
thermal and acoustical  insulation to help  reduce power consumption  and absorb
noise.

Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees — a member of the beech
family — in the  Mediterranean, primarily in Portugal.  The bark is peeled  from
the trees every nine years, a  practice that actually helps the tree  to thrive.
Trees are  not cut  down or  harmed in  any way  as they  regenerate; it  is not
unusual for a 200-year-old tree to continue to produce viable cork.

Today’s cork floors are  styled to  meet a  wide range  of decorating  needs. The look can be
fine-grained, marbleized or even show a wood grain appearance in various  shades
and colors, from light honey to dark walnut. It is also environmentally friendly
from a cleaning perspective  and needs only a  damp mop — no  chemicals. Because
90%  of  cork’s  tissue is  a  gaseous  matter, it  makes  a  great thermal  and
acoustical insulator, meaning it  is pleasant to the  touch with bare feet  on a
cold  day.  Cork’s durability  extends  to the  fact  that bugs,  mold  and even
termites  are  repelled due  to  a naturally  occurring  waxy substance  in  the
material  called  Suberin,  which  also prevents  cork  from  rotting  even when
completely submerged under water for long periods of time.

Lastly, cork does not spread flames nor does it release toxic gases during combustion




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