Cork is becoming a popular Wood Flooring choice thanks to a greater awareness of the practicality and health benefits of this durable material. Cork is an environmentally friendly choice because it is naturally sustainable, and it is also a healthy choice because it is entirely non-toxic, fire-retardant and anti-fungal. Many people are opting for this material to use as flooring in their homes. Here is some information about cork.
Harvesting the Cork Tree
The cork tree is officially called the Quercus suber tree. This magnificent tree can continue to live for 250 years. In order to take the cork from the tree, it has to grow for 25 years before being stripped down by hand to remove around 50 per cent of its bark. This process of removing the cork can be repeated every nine years or so with very little effect on the tree’s health. In fact, harvesting the tree can actually stimulate it to produce even more bark, which comes back thicker and stronger than ever.
A Renewable Material
Only the outside of the cork tree is taken to make the flooring, unlike the damage done by creating wooden flooring wherein the whole tree has to be cut down. Cork is an entirely renewable material, making this perfect for domestic and commercial use for a flooring solution. During the manufacturing process of producing cork for flooring, all the raw materials are used as product or as energy. The dust and trimmings are burned in order to produce heat to bake the tiles, so even the wasted products are used in the production process.
Cork is Safe and Healthy
As a modern décor choice, cork is ideal because it is not only environmentally friendly but it is also healthy. Cork does not absorb allergens such as dust or pollen. It is also antimicrobial, so it will not irritate allergy sufferers and is not a place where mildew can grow comfortably. Highly insulating, cork is naturally warm, which makes it energy efficient.
The bark of the cork tree contains a chemical called suberin. This is a wax-type substance that is waterproof and acts as a natural insect repellent. In addition, cork is also very safe for the home because the suberin protects cork from fire. If cork does burn, it does not release toxic gasses.