The Value of Going Green with Cork Flooring
Global Warming. Mountains of Trash. Suffocating Sea Life.
What is the value of looking to greener products and processes for our world?
Make ‘Go Green’ a new mantra for your home. Building or renovating a home that is not only comfortable and elegant but also easy on the environment has become imperative in this modern era. Too many machines, too many synthetic and chemical goods, too many non-biodegradable products are slowly corroding our natural environment. It’s time to work with the earth, or risk the loss of life as we know it. Each one of us can contribute to a greener living approach. Using less chemicals and more regenerative and recyclable products is an absolute must for a healthier, happier future.
Cork floors in your homes can be the first step in this direction. Cork is a sustainable product that does not emit any harsh gases or pollutants even when burnt. Procuring cork is also an environmental friendly process; there is no cutting down of the trees involved. Cork trees naturally shed their bark every 9 to 12 years, so it is this bark that provides the source material. In the Mediterranean Region, forests of these cork oaks have been in production for centuries. In fact, a single cork tree can outlive two human lifetimes. Cork harvesting involves this bark being skillfully peeled by laborers. The cork tree is not harmed in any manner and is ready for the next harvest in a decade’s time. As only the bark is used, you really cannot get more regenerative and earth-friendly than that.
While installing a cork floor for environmental reasons is in itself a big motivating factor, the fact that this floor is also extremely comfortable and easy on the eye is an added bonus. Agglomerated cork, which most cork flooring is made of, looks like the staple cork board, but new technology and innovation have allowed for a variety of veneers and finishes that give cork flooring the ability to visually mimic its competition. Marble, granite, natural stone, cement, and other hardwood grains can be had and quite beautifully too. So it is only your imagination that will limit the décor of your home.
Cork is a highly buoyant substance as its cellular structure, much like a honeycomb, allows for millions upon millions of air-tight chambers. This makes the flooring function in manner similar to memory foam, it is also shock absorbent and very comfortable to walk on.
Currently cork flooring comes in two installation styles. Glue down tiles and floating floors. While floating cork flooring is an easier install, cork glue down tile flooring will be laborious and time consuming. These floors are very durable and require very little maintenance. A daily sweep or gentle vacuum accompanied by a monthly damp swabbing is enough to keep your floors looking sparkly clean for a long time to come.
Nature has bestowed innumerable bounties on us, now we can give back by putting them to better and more environmentally sound use. A ‘green’ home would not only give back to the earth, but also be a healthy place to live.