Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cork Floors

Natural Beauty and Environmentally Safe

Cork flooring is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the leading alternative types of flooring. Why? Because besides cork being an environmentally sound material it has a wealth of other natural features that appeal to homeowners. What's more, a floor made from this wonder of nature serves to provide style and class to any home that it is installed in.

Cork used in the manufacture of cork flooring comes from the bark of the Cork Oak tree. The bark is harvested by peeling it away from the trunk and branches every 9-12 years and does not necessitate the felling of the tree. Unlike other types of trees that may die when they have their bark removed, the Cork-Oak survives and will grow back its bark again within a decade. As these trees can live to 200 years or more it means that the cork can be harvested many times over, which makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of a wide variety of products, the most common clearly being cork floors and wine corks.

Cork has been used as flooring for centuries, however it is only in more recent years that it has been manufactured as consumer friendly tiles and planks with snap/click lock joints. This has made installation easier and therefore added to its popularity amongst consumers that may have shied away from it in the past due to the complexities of installing it.

One of the most outstanding features of a cork floor is its natural beauty. Modern manufacturing processes that compress the cork to various degrees add to the variety of textures and patterns available. Flooring retailers now offer a wide choice of patterns and colors that ensures there is something to suit just about everyone and also provides the ability to color coordinate with just about any color scheme in a home or commercial property.

The increased awareness of environmental issues has also meant that cork has become a preferred choice of flooring amongst environmentally conscious consumers. In addition to the obviously different look and feel of cork floors they are very unlike the hardwood variety, the manufacture of which involves the felling of hardwood trees that can take half a century or more to grow again. The saddest thing often being that felled trees are never replanted. Consumers can therefore buy a cork floor secure in the knowledge that their purchase has not been at the expense of the worlds rainforests.

Cork Floor Benefits

The benefits of cork floors are numerous, many of which are instrumental factors in attracting consumers to them in the first place. Firstly, cork provides natural thermal insulation and therefore preserves energy and can, it turn, cut heating bills.

Cork also has a natural ability to absorb sound and is ideal for use in an apartment that has neighbors above and below. In a house located near a busy road it can help to deaden the sound from passing vehicles.

Cork is naturally hypoallergenic and antistatic, as such, in the form of flooring it very much suits allergy sufferers.

Cork flooring has shock absorbing properties that appeal to the elderly or those that suffer from aching joints or back and bone complaints and gives an under foot level of comfort that simply cannot be matched by any other kind of wooden floor. Furthermore, despite its rubbery feel, cork is tough, durable and does not scuff easily.

A cork floor is great if you have kids too. Unfortunately children can have the occasional fall, cork in the playroom will probably mean that the effects of such a fall can be kissed away rather than require an ice pack on a nasty bruise.

Cork Is A Good Investment

There are other benefits too, for not only does cork flooring add an incredibly stylish touch to a home, it can also add value to it. Research has consistently shown that homes with a natural or wooden floor are considered to be of a higher value than those with other types of flooring. When actually selling a home, it has been shown in many cases that those with such a floor do indeed sell for a higher price.

With such a wide array of benefits, many of which are naturally inbuilt, isn't it time you invested in a cork floor for your home? It's a choice that is hard to beat and guaranteed to give you a look that is completely unique and most different to any other kind of flooring. And don't forget, you'll be doing your bit for the environment too!

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