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Cork Flooring - The Basics

Posted: 01 JUL 2002

Cork floors have been around for thousands of years. Cork flooring is attractive and extremely durable, but it is also a renewable resource! This is a big advantage with all of the environmental problems we face today.

Where does cork flooring come from? Cork floors are produced using the bark of the cork oak tree. The first harvest of the bark from these trees occurs after the tree is 25 or more years old. After that the harvesting occurs about every nine years. After each harvest the bark grows back with a smoother texture. Since these trees can live more than 200 years, they can be harvested over and over again with no damage to the trees and no negative impact on the environment.

If you were to look at cork under a microscope, you would see that it resembles a honeycomb. Each square centimeter is made up of 40 million cells. The cells and the space around them are filled with a gaseous mixture similar to air. This gives cork flooring it elasticity and many other benefits. See our article titled, “Benefits of using Cork Flooring”.

Are cork floors durable? Absolutely, they are by far one of the most durable floors on the market today. There are some cork floor installations that are more than 100 years old! That’s a long lasting floor. Since cork floors have a cellular composition, they are not affected by impact or friction in the same way a hard surface floor would be.

With its natural look and appeal, combined with extreme durability, cork flooring is hard to beat. We feel it’s a great choice for just about any interior flooring scenario. These days there are many different types and styles of cork flooring to choose from. One of the more popular is the type that gets installed using the floating no-glue method. It simply lays on the floor and clicks together. This is a very easy choice for the do-it-yourself customer that wants to install a room or two over the weekend.