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10 things you must know about CORK FLOORING & informative cork sites

October 20, 2008

If you’re looking to buy or install cork flooring, this article is a comprehensive guide to the top ten must knows of cork flooring, and it will also provide you with 20 informative sites on cork.

10 things you must know about cork flooring:
1.      Cork flooring is made from the Bark that is harvested from the Cork Tree (Quercus Suber), the only tree able to regenerate after the harvest.  The bark can be re-harvested every 9-10 years without damaging the tree.  Regulated forests within the Mediterranean, mainly in Spain & Portugal, are the producers for the cork industry.
2.      Whether you use cork as your subfloor or main floor covering, if properly sealed/finished, the flooring will not rot, mold or mildew, for in its natural state, it is impermeable to liquid and gases.  Water-based seal/finishing such as urethane are recommended.  Because it does not release toxic gases on combustion, it is fire resistant.
3.      Cork is a wonderful insulator.  It is resistant to temperatures, so go ahead, take off your shoes and walk barefoot.  You won’t find the same cold experience as with most tile flooring.
4.      Just as the wine stoppers made from cork are light, your cork flooring will have this same amazing property.
5.      Cork has ‘give’.  It will bounce back as you move across the floor.  Cork is a wonderful alternative to ceramic tile if you have bad knees, joints, back, etc. 
6.      Similarly, cork has ‘memory,’ and will return to its previous form if a heavy object asserts pressure.
7.      Cork is extremely durable.  It will not collect dust, and in its natural state, it is fire resistant.  (Read up on your sealants/finishing making sure you are satisfied).
8.      Thanks to the absorbent value in cork you will find the sound in your home amazingly contained.
9.      Though it’s always a good idea to have a professional install flooring, cork floors are known to be simple to install and the perfect project for the DIY (do it yourself) crowd.

10.  The easy maintenance is another benefit of cork flooring.  It will not collect dust, and is therefore, hypo-allergenic.  It is an insect repellant, and anti-microbial, making it a great choice for your kitchen, bathrooms, and children’s play areas.

20 sites that are cork informative:

Jelinek Cork Group - A great history of cork and its uses, as well as a large list of cork products in addition to cork flooring.

Simply Cork /flooring - The one stop source for articles about buying & installing cork flooring.

CorkDirect – Has an About Cork section that offers a visual guide to the cork manufacturing process.

About.com – Tutorial on cork, its benefits, background, and construction information. 

BuildDirect – Site that offers quality building materials for less and publishes articles helping you make your decisions regarding cork flooring. 

AmCork – A great site for sample cork colors, patterns, and a wonderful photo gallery that offers many cork design ideas. 

WECork – Company with a long list of cork flooring installations, even high traffic areas.

iFLOOR- Purchasing information for DIY installers.

floorbiz – Information on the different choices in cork floor style (plank, laminate), as well as a good site for background cork information.

Natural Cork – Floating floor systems, as well as laminate cork flooring.

CorkStore – Buy cork rolls & sheets, wall coverings, fabric, closures, etc.

Green Building Center – Learn why they supply Expanko and Vida Cork.

Expanko – Glueless and floating cork floor systems.

Environmental Home Center – Learn how to install your own cork floor planks/tiles.

Sustainable Industries – Article exposing cork myths and giving more detailed information on cork flooring.

Global Sources – Suppliers and manufacturing resource list.

Flooring Area – News Articles on cork flooring.

Flooring – Online Guide to flooring, including cork floors, articles and tips.

Apartment Therapy – Article on protecting your cork flooring.

Wood Floor GuideCork flooring reviews.

Team Wicanders - this blog includes all kinds of innovative uses for cork besides flooring.  Some of the uses include furniture, home decor, purses, cottages (made of cork), and prefab building blocks for homes. 

(The photo was taken at Balance Massage & Wellness Center, located just outside of Park City, UT.  The Owner Marty, made ‘green’ choices when renovating the old home.  Balance is a wonderful example of green remodeling.)

 

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