The Cork Forest • Cork is an eminently renewable resource harvested from the living bark of the Cork Oak. • Cork is harvested in a steady cycle that promotes healthy growth to the tree over its expected lifespan of over 200 years. Though the Cork Oak can flourish in many climates, the conditions that favor commercial use lie in a fairly narrow swath that cuts through Western Europe and Northern Africa along the Mediterranean coast. • Typically, virgin cork is not removed from saplings until the 25th year, and reproduction cork (the first cycle) may not be extracted for another 9-12 years.
Ecology • Cork is an ecological product. • At a time when the Earth’s resources are being depleted cork is a material which is totally natural and does not harm the environment. • Bark is harvested every 9 years, therefore it is renewable. • The harvesting promotes healthy growth to the tree over its expected lifespan of over 200 years. • It enables the tree to flourish without the intervention of herbicides, fertilizers and irrigation.
Cork Flooring Advantages • Environmentally friendly • Thermal regulator • Impact noise insulator • Easy to install • Simple maintenance
Sound Proofing • Very effective insulation against sound. • Frequently used in recording studios, libraries, museums and galleries. • Ideal for apartments and two-story homes. • Used in schools and government buildings.
Thermal Insulation • Cork is a very effective thermal insulator. • Corkboard is used to insulate external walls and roofs in buildings. • Can be used in cold and hot climates. • Used in Japan on refrigeration vehicles.
Comfort • Cork flooring is comfortable to walk on. • Air cell structure provides a high level of comfort underfoot. • There are over 100,000 cells per cubic inch. • Maintains an even temperature year round.
The characteristics that make cork soft and comfortable also makes it safe. Non-slippery surface makes it safer when stepping out of a bath. ADA approved Gives better grip underfoot. Causes few breakages from fallen plates, glassware, etc. Cork flooring is used in gyms because it lessens the risk of injury in case of a fall. Useful in retirement homes and any place where there are children. In the event of a fire, smoke from burning cork is non-toxic. Cork does not conduct electrostatic charges making it ideal for computer environments. Safety
Durability • Cork has been used in the United States since 1890. Installations still in use date back to 1924. • Used in churches, homes, hotels and public buildings. • Can be used in all domestic situations as well as in commercial applications such as offices, stores, schools etc. • Under normal circumstances, cork should last for decades without much maintenance.
Anti-vibration • Expanded corkboard, baked cork specially made for industrial and insulation applications, is also installed under machinery to cut down on the vibration.
Humidity • Cork flooring is suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. • Cork is a humidity regulator, it can be in contact with normal levels of humidity without problems. • While cork does not act as a vapor barrier, in its natural form it does not suffer from contact with moist environments. • An example of this quality is the cork bottle stopper. Bottles are normally kept horizontally, sometimes for decades, and cork is in permanent contact with a liquid without deterioration.
Cork Products Floating Floor Parquet Tiles Cork Rolls
Floating Floor • TONGUE AND GROOVE SNAP ON PLANKS • DIMENSIONS: 915 x 305 mm. (3’ x 1’) • THICKNESS: 11 mm. (7/16”) • 3 LAYERS: • 2 mm. CORK UNDERLAYMENT • 5 mm. HIGH DENSITY FIBREWOOD CORE • 4 mm. UPPER CORK LAYER
Parquet Tiles • CORK TILES TO BE GLUED ON THE FLOOR • DIMENSIONS: • 610 x 305 mm. (24” x 12”) • 305 x 305 mm. (12” x 12”) • THICKNESS: 4.8 mm.(3/16”) & 8 mm.(5/16”)
Cork Underlayment • Residential and Commercial Applications • Underlayment between substrate and flooring • Sheets: 2’ X 3’ • Rolls: 4’ X 50’ • Thickness: 1/8”, ¼”, ½”, 1”
Other Products • Cork giftware, a new arrival to California, is also available in a very wide range of fashion. Products include: handbags, ties, briefcases, wallets, belts, cosmetic bags and umbrellas. • Wall Tiles are available in 12” X 24” X ¼”, in 20 different patterns and colors. • Wall Paper is available in rolls in 10 different colors and patterns. • Cork upholstering material.
Ease of Installation and Maintenance • Installation and maintenance compares to that of wood flooring. • For proper protection and extended wear the application of a commercially rated water based polyurethane is highly recommended. • On finished floors, stains such as coffee, wine and sauces can be removed with a damp mop and mild detergent. • Cork flooring is factory urethane-coated.
Summary • Grown almost exclusively in South East Europe, due to favorable climatic conditions, cork trees have been harvested for human use for over two thousand years. • In the United States cork has normally been associated with cork stoppers in wine bottles but has become increasingly popular as a flooring product. Used in homes from Florida to California, it also used in churches, offices and public buildings such as the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. • In Europe it is associated with wine bottles as well but it is being used more and more as a flooring product as far as Russia. It is also used as a wall covering product for insulation and decorative reasons. • Recently new products have been made in cork, from office giftware to fashion accessories. Cork is a natural product which is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, as its amazing characteristics and ecological benefits become better known.