Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CORK FLOORING: A Naturally Green Solution for Designer Floors

by David McCowan
ProSource Wholesale Flooring, ASID Industry Partner

Since the early 1900’s, cork has been used as a natural alternative flooring surface. Cork flooring is a healthy choice that will perform to the standards of today’s consumer for years and years.

Constructed of a renewable material, cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork tree. This is very environmentally friendly, as the bark will replenish itself time and time again.

Also, due to the repeated intervals during which a cork tree re-grows its bark, it will absorb 5 times as much carbon dioxide as a tree with a full growth of bark. And, cork flooring is made from the leftover material used in the wine bottle stopper industry, thereby keeping waste out of the landfill.

Today’s cork floors are very durable. They are sealed with 5 coats of UV cured acrylic finish.

A few more reasons that cork is a great choice for flooring:
Sustainability. Cork trees live for over 200 years and can be harvested every 9 to 11 years.

E-1 Manufacturing Standards. Most cork flooring is manufactured in Portugal where there are very strict laws regarding chemical content, work environment, and waste material. These floors pass rigorous environmental standards set by the European E-1, which is the equivalent to the United States EPA.

Comfortable and Resilient. Cork provides a cushion underfoot and bounces back from heel and furniture marks better that wood, carpet, and vinyl floors.

Thermal and Acoustic Insulator. Cork reduces impact noise and therefore is a great flooring choice for high-rise applications. Cork is also a very good insulator. It’s warmer in winter and cooler in summer than many other flooring products, thus reducing heating and air conditioning costs.

Anti-microbial and Insect Repellent. Suberin is an inherent substance in cork and is a natural insect repellent. The underside of the cork plank is treated with Microban to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

For more information or to see the full line of Natural Cork Flooring, please contact ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings or visit http://www.prosourcefloors.com/.