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The green flooring blog keeps your up to date on all things eco friendly floor related. New to green living or already an expert on the subject? This blog is the place to share information and ideas on green flooring. Exchange green tips with other flooring bloggers and learn how green flooring can make your home more environmentally friendly. To view more flooring blog posts, visit the main floor blog at FindAnyFloor.com.

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Green Blog

Cork Flooring Textures

By FAF Staff Writer, (449 words) Posted in Cork Flooring on November 6, 2009
There are (61) comments permalink

Cork flooring has been used in Europe for over three centuries. It was introduced to the United State just over a century ago where it was used extensively in high-traffic areas. With the current emphasis on green buildings, cork has staged a resurgence, becoming increasingly popular as the awareness of its multitude of advantages becomes widespread. Apart from its durability, cork is comfortable underfoot, is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and resilient. It results in improved indoor air quality because of its inherent resistance to dust and common allergens from mites, mold and fungi. In addition, its content of a waxy, eco–friendly substance known as suberin makes it insect–repellant.

Cork is a derivative of bark from cork oak trees that are native to parts of Europe and North Africa. The harvesting process, which takes place once a decade or so, does not entail deforestation which makes cork an eco–friendly resource. Cork Oak trees on average live for between 150 to 200 years and can be harvested roughly 20 times in their useful life. At a time, no more than half the bark is removed which leaves the tree with adequate natural defenses.

Cork flooring is available in three types:

  • Solid cork flooring or homogenous cork comprises cork that has been ground then compressed into sheets and baked. The sheets are then cut into tiles. If thin enough, cork tiles can be sanded and refinished numerous times. Cork tiles can be installed on a concrete sub–floor with an adhesive.
  • Veneer cork flooring consists of 5 layers that come in both tile and plank form. The bottom most layer is a base of low–density underlayment above which is the stabilizing core of either medium density fiberboard (MDF) or high density fiberboard (HDF). This it topped with a cork core that provides impact absorption and sound insulation. The top layer of cork is finished with a UV coat of hardened varnish. This top layer is also known as the wear layer. Most cork tiles and planks are of the click and lock system which require no adhesive and can be installed as a floating floor.
  • Mosaic cork tiles are manufactured of recycled wine corks sliced into circular disks which are glued to a special paper backing. These are deemed eco-friendly being made of recycled material.

Cork floors come in different textures which are more for aesthetic appearance:

  • Small granules, that is cork ground into small pieces then processed for an evenly–textured appearance.
  • Medium granules comprising solid cork chunks blended with small granules.
  • Large granules of larger cork chunks with ground cork for a more textured appearance than small or medium granule cork.
  • Burled cork which is a combination of various chunk sizes mixed with ground cork for a wavy and unique look.
  • Peeled cork comprising strips of similar sizes laid parallel to create a symmetrical–looking floor.
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I am planning to try cork floors in our kitchen area.
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