Cork Floor
Cork Flooring: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

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Installing new flooring in your home? Consider cork. Cork, like bamboo, is a renewable resource and an environmentally or eco-friendly flooring material.

Cork is derived from the inner bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber), which is native to Portugal. Cork oak trees thrive in Mediterranean climates such as Portugal and Spain. Cork oak trees are grown using sustainable farming methods and the cork is harvested using the same methods that have been used for centuries, which by the way, do not damage the trees in any way.

Cork flooring is actually made from the byproducts of the cork making process. The cork is harvested and then transported to a factory where it is made into corks. The waste material is ground up and combined using a special adhesive. The mixture is then formed into sheets, which become the flooring material.

Warm, resilient, and virtually soundproof and non-toxic--as well as stylish--cork is the perfect material for flooring. Priced by the square foot, cork is sold by the box as square tiles, approximately 12 inches x 12 inches x inch, or as "tongue and groove" planks. Planks are typically 36 inches long x 12 inches wide x inch high.

Cork tiles are available in various shades of "cork" ranging from light beige to darker beige-brown colors. Cork planks are sold in a wider range of colors from a bluish-white color to shades of beige and brown to dark reddish-brown.

Cork flooring is easy to install. After the concrete subfloor has been primed, an adhesive is applied directly to the cork tiles. Cork planks designed with tongue and groove construction and float above the subfloor. In this respect cork planks are more flexible than cork tiles and are better for floors where there is radiant floor under heating.

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