Wood flooring has been the standard for centuries. In palaces, churches, homes, and industrial buildings, builders have used wooden planks of all lengths, hewed from every conceivable specie of tree. In recent decades, other products have come to the fore, and concerns about the responsible use and reuse of wood building materials have led to many technological advancements in the production of floors. But environmental concerns have also led to some purely natural discoveries.
Duro-Design is a 35 year-old company in Quebec, Canada, that specializes in environmentally friendly flooring, such as bamboo, European eucalyptus, engineered oak, and cork. And while Duro-Design speaks highly of all of their eco-conscious offerings, they describe cork flooring as “the ultimate green flooring material.”
Cork as a building product is truly remarkable. It is a completely renewable resource, harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, without harming the tree at all. And when used for making floors, cork presents itself as an anti-microbial, insect and water-resistant, and hypo-allergenic solution. Cork also is an excellent sound and impact absorber, stays warm, and remains resilient under foot. There is no other natural, renewable material that offers such an amazing list of qualities.
Over the centuries, cork has been used so extensively for the creation of wine bottle stoppers, that the word for the stopper has taken the name “cork.” Duro-Design is not involved in the harvest of tree cork at all, but gets 100% of its flooring material from post-industrial bottle stopper production, further evidence of the company’s commitment to leaving a small environmental footprint.
Environmental issues aside, Duro-Design competes in today’s flooring market with two distinct types of floors, six cork patterns, and an array of 54 rich colors. The flooring can be ordered as glue-down cork tile, or as click-together floating planks. The resilience of cork wood allows it to be installed almost anywhere, over a uniform plywood sub-floor, over smooth concrete, and even over a reasonably flat existing floor.
Duro-Design boasts top-quality pigments used for every one of its 54 brilliant colors. They use an MP765 polyurethane top-coat for a highly-durable, scratch-resistant, and resilient finish. And clarity is crucial in order to enjoy the striking patterns, known as Baltico, Barriga, Cleopatra, Cleopatra Negra, and Marmol.
Visiting the Duro-Design site on the Web will reveal their full complement of flooring options, but this is one company who definitely takes advantage of the remarkable qualities of eco-friendly cork.