We’ve already talked briefly about cork floors here at C&H. They’re an especially good option for your kitchen because they provide a softer, more shock absorbent surface that’s ideal if you find yourself standing for long periods of time.
While at Surfaces 2011, we toured a cork flooring exhibit created by Real Cork Floors. The material for their flooring is harvested from a vast forest of cork oak trees in Portugal. Every eight years, the trees are stripped of their lower bark (the upper bark remains on the tree so as not to disturb animal habitats), which is then used to make wine corks. The remaining cork, which might normally be thrown away, is instead ground into a fine powder that is then transformed into cork flooring.
Other benefits of cork? It absorbs more warmth than other floor types, is naturally anti-static and hypoallergenic and is also incredibly durable.
While on the tour, we had a chance to appreciate not just the eco-friendly properties of cork flooring, but also its design diversity. The flooring is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, thanks to techniques like heating, which changes the look and pattern in the cork.
To further demonstrate cork’s versatility, HGTV’s Candice Olson created several vignettes, all of which use cork floors (one of which is pictured at the start of the post.) Whether you want a sleek bathroom, a welcoming living room or a functional study, cork flooring just might be the answer.
Products from Real Cork Floors are available at a number of independent retailers. Visit the site’s store locator to find a retailer near you.
What are your thoughts on cork floors? Do you already have them, or if not, would you consider installing cork in any of your rooms?