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Oak Tree - How Cork Flooring Is Made

How is Cork Flooring Made?

Most of the time when people think of cork they think of wine bottles or bulletin boards, but one the the most unique applications for cork is as a flooring option. Like wine bottle cork most cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree or Quercus Suber in the Mediterranean. The bark is hand harvested every 9 years and the harvesters are careful to leave a protective layer to allow it to regenerate again.

Cork flooring comes in many different varieties. There are as many as 40 different colors and shapes ranging from rectangles to hexagons.

There are some advantages to cork flooring:

  • Extraction process does not harm trees
  • Very comfortable cushioned flooring
    Can be used over radiant heat systems
  • Can be installed over existing flooring systems such as wood or linoleum
  • Excellent material to be used on retrofitted buildings
  • Natural insulation material
  • Great performance under heavy furnishings
  • Superior sound attenuation characteristics
  • Very durable

As well as some disadvantages:

  • Comes in a limited color selection
  • Must be sealed every 5 years to remain waterproof
  • Can be stained if not properly protected
  • Sharp objects can damage cork flooring surfaces
  • Can have higher costs than traditional flooring materials

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