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Sustainable floor – How cork does sustainable
With global warming a major concern looming in our future it’s time to seriously consider seeking a better way to build and furnish. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style and beauty to achieve this. There are quality flooring materials on that market that does warm, comfortable and resilient without horrifically detrimental impact on the earth. One that tops the list is, Cork. Soft like suede, it has the insulating qualities and resiliency of carpet; the easy-to-clean surface of wood or tile; plus lush appeal from its earthy colors and rich visual texture. But did you know that cork’s number one property that makes it one of the best flooring option in the world is that it is environmentally friendly.
Forests of Quercus suber, the one oak species that produces cork, grow in the Mediterranean, primarily in Portugal. Cork is the protective outer bark of the cork oak. A 100% natural plant tissue, comprised of a hive-like cellular structure that contains a gas identical to air and coated primarily with a waxy substance called suberin. The material is acquired by stripping most of the outer bark from the cork oak tree. No tree is cut down during this process as the each is capable of self regeneration. In terms of a forest of trees, you’ve got an ongoing cycle that does not need to be replenished for decades as each tree can live for up to two centuries.
A newly planted tree will not be stripped until its 25th year, and reproduction cork may be extracted every 9-12 years afterwards. The stripping process happens in the spring or summer. During this time of year the old outer bark comes away easier because the tree is growing and the new, tender cork cells being generated break easily. Healthy and whole, the trees is left alone to allow the bark to grow back. During its lifetime a single tree can put out a harvest 8 to 15 times. Therefore these forests are sustainable and highly prized, and are often passed down through generations of families.
But a cork forest does more than shed its outer bark for our use. It contributes to the preservation of the environment thru soil conservation, regulation of the water cycle, reduction of carbon emissions and preservation of the biodiversity. In the Mediterranean region, where there are long periods of heat with little rainfall, cork forests play an important role in regulating water and soil conservation, providing protection against wind erosion, and increasing the rate at which rain water infiltrates and replenishes the groundwater.
But cork doesn’t stop there in being a green product and Sustainable floor. Just like the harvesting process, the refining and manufacturing process of cork material is geared to be earth friendly. Products used, such as water-based adhesives to coloring, are chosen for their low environmental impact.
With an understanding of how cork is such an environmentally friendly material and Sustainable floor, doesn’t it makes sense to add it to your home. Build with a product that helps sustain the earth. Visit us at www.icorkfloor.com. Give a little back to the earth and make your home a greener space. Cork it and watch the years go by. When it comes to cork flooring, we know what we’re doing. Join us.