As mentioned in a previous post, I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss floor coverings that are safer for the environment. In the last post I covered carpeting and in this post, I will discuss cork.
Perhaps the biggest reason that cork flooring is environmentally friendly is that it is renewable. Cork is harvested from trees that can be stripped of their bark without suffering damage. Once the bark is removed, the tree is left for 7 to 9 years to replenish the resource naturally. After this 9 year waiting period is complete, the tree is ready to be stripped again. Thus, the cork is renewable.
Additionally, any left over cork that is remaining after the stripping of the bark is used as well. The smaller pieces are collected and made into tiles that can also be used for floor covering.
These 'green' benefits are not the only reason that people choose cork for covering their floors. some non-environmental advantages to cork is that it comfortable to the bare feet, it is hypo-allergenic, and is fire resistant. These added benefits along with the unique look make cork flooring an attractive choice that carries much more appeal than just protecting the environment.