Incredible as it seems, cork is an ideal flooring material. Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees throughout the globe, it flourishes easily in the right climate and is protected and cultivated wisely. In fact, cork oak trees are far more plentiful today than in years past thanks to rigorous forestry rules and regulations.
Cork is highly flexible and resistant to fire and damage from rot. It’s lightweight, expandable, and resilient. This combination of characteristics ensures cork is an ideal material for a myriad of applications. Did we mention that it also floats? Hence, it’s use in buoys and fishing accessories!
With all these fantastic uses, how could we NOT consider cork flooring? All of the above not withstanding; cork’s innate elasticity and resistance to wear and tear makes it inherently conducive as flooring material and in wall and ceiling tiles as well. Additionally, it is naturally insulating due to its low conductivity to vibration and sound.
So, back to wine…er, rather, wine corks. How on earth are wine corks recycled into flooring?
The corks are recycled and subsequently turned into floor tiles. The process is not unlike that of traditional tile creation. The recycled corks are cut into disks and mounted to a paper backing. Commonly referred to as “cork mosaic tile” its appearance is similar to the highly popular “penny” tiles (see previous posts), but far softer to the touch.
Cork can be substituted for any type of tile including wall, ceiling, and floor tiles making it a simple and obvious choice for the environmentally-minded. Consult your flooring specialist to see if cork is the ideal choice for you and your family!