Cork may be the most naturally sustainable and renewable finish material available for home and work environments. Harvested from the peeled outer bark of the cork oak trees of Spain and Portugal, cork is manufactured without waster into durable and decorative surface amerial that offers great variety in appearance.
Cork is not a new finish material -its cultivation is an ancient tradition that has prevailed more than three thousand years because of its care, concern and harmony with nature. The raw cork material is obtained from the bark of the tree in a process called “unmasking”. The tree itself is never cut down and the bark regenerates itself after a few years. 100% of the harvested material is utilized; there is no residue or harmful byproduct going to the landfill. It can’t get more ecologically sound than that.
Cork is uses on floors, walls, ceilings and furniture for quiet, warmth and comfort. It has about 200 million air-entrapped cells per cubic inch that provide outstanding acoustic insulation, with an R value of 3.125. This same density also creates a low level of thermal conductivity, making cork floors comfortable in both hot or cold weather, as well as good controllers of humidity or moisture absorption.
In today’s market, cork is offered in sheets, rolls, tiles, or “floating floor” planks that easily assemble in tongue-and-groove configurations. It is a practical solution for any room that needs a sound barrier; studios, libraries, children’s rooms, or as a warmer more cushioned surface to stand on, as in a kitchen or bath.
So … it is natural and ecological, hygienic and easy to maintain, gives acoustic and thermal insulation, is comfortable to walk on, attractive in its variety of patterns, easy to install, and a very durable and proven building material. Cork appears to be a natural choice.