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What Cork Floors Are Made Of





Cork is the raw material for cork flooring tiles. Did you know that cork has been in existence for over a thousand years? This means that there is virtually unlimited supply of cork.

Cork is also natural, which makes cork tiles a top of choice of many people because it is safe and environment-friendly. One can find over 2.2 million hectares worth of cork forests worldwide.

History of Cork

The raw material has been around for several thousands of years. It first found use during the age of antiquity. The Greeks used the material for creating wine bottle stoppers. In fact, cork retains that function even today as well as other functions. It was also a popular choice for flooring up until the 1950s, when it suffered from competition to other easy-to-maintain flooring like vinyl and linoleum.

Before it disappeared from public interest in the 1950s, cork flooring was used in several renowned buildings like the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Before, cork had limited aesthetic quality because of which it was shunned in favor of vinyl and linoleum, which had a wider choice of colors and patterns. However, after just 20 years, cork was reintroduced into the markets by manufacturers this time with an eye for aesthetics so it can compete with existing flooring types. Cork once again was famous thanks to its natural qualities and raw materials that are easy to procure. Cork is also famous because of its durability and its cheap price.

How Cork Is Harvested

Cork is harvested from the Cork Oak trees.

People do not need to cut the trees in order to harvest the needed material. They only strip the bark of the trees once every 9 years. It is renewable, because the bark grows back from the oak trees after being harvested. Trees that produce cork are known to have a lifetime of up to 200 years, and new trees are being planted everyday. That is why the world will never run out of cork to use.

Properties of Cork

Cork is very elastic.

It is also near-impermeable, which means moisture does not find its way easily into products that use cork as a raw material. It also has a natural anti-microbial property that protects you from disease caused by parasites. Cork is also resistant to many things that spell the bane of other non-natural flooring materials. Grime and dust does not easily get into floors done with cork tiles.

Cork is also fire-proof.

It is natural and the tiles do not have any chemicals introduced during production. This makes it very safe to use in place of asbestos if you wish to fire-proof your home. Because it does not have any chemicals, the cork tiles are able to improve the health of your house occupants including you.

Cork is a natural insulator.

It can retain warmth and keep your home warm during the cold weather. Otherwise it can also keep your insides cool during the warmer seasons. This means that, with cork floors, you will not have to install an air conditioner or a heater in your home.
About Author Jason Ashby :

Jason Ashby has over 25 years in the flooring trade. For more information go to http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/juliusp/archives/2008/12/cork_flooring_c.html


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Article Added on Sunday, December 14, 2008
LD
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