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CORK FLOORING a sustainable choice
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  1. CORK FLOORINGa sustainable choice Alicia Westgerdes HCIA 302 Professor Matthew Ziff March 2, 2009

  2. What is cork? • Cork is the outer bark of the trunk of cork oak trees, which typically live for 200 years • Cork is often used for wine bottle stoppers, a fairly lucrative industry; the cast-offs make up sheets of cork used in flooring

  3. What are the characteristics of cork flooring? • Cork is durable, light, elastic, and has low conductivity • Cork can be installed on almost any floor • Cork is easy to clean, requiring only damp mopping

  4. What are the benefits of cork flooring? • Cork is naturally hypoallergenic • Cork is naturally mold-resistant • Cork contains a naturally-occurring waxy substance called suberin, which repels insects, mold, and fire • Cork is soft and more comfortable to stand/walk on than other flooring choices

  5. What are the benefits of cork flooring? • The air trapped inside the cellular structure of cork provides natural noise reduction and thermal insulation

  6. What are the benefits of cork flooring? • Cork is 100% biodegradable • Once installed, cork lasts for decades • Cork is naturally flame-retardant and non-combustible

  7. How is cork harvested? • Cork is harvested from cork oak trees, usually growing in the Mediterranean, without killing them • The outer bark can be harvested and will grow back every nine years

  8. How is cork harvested? • Environmentally-managed cork oak forests aid in soil conservation, reduce desertification and water table recharge • Cork oak trees are immune to forest fires

  9. Where is cork harvested? • Cork oak trees only grow in a very specific microclimate in Portugal, southern France and Spain • Attempts to grow cork elsewhere, including North America, have been unsuccessful

  10. What design choices do cork provide? • Cork can be produced to appear fine-grained, marbleized, or wood grained • Various shades and colors are available, from light honey to dark walnut; some manufacturers even offer brightly colored-cork

  11. What design choices do cork provide? • A variety of patterns can be created with colored or natural cork tiles

  12. What design choice do cork provide? • Jelinek Cork Group sells cork mosaic “tiles”, made from recycled wine corks, cut into discs, then glued down and grouted

  13. Other benefits of cork • The cork industry, a true cottage industry, provides financial viability for countless families in small villages in Portugal, Spain, and southern France • Colorings and adhesives are water-based, and therefore healthier for humans and the environment • Specifying cork flooring can be an easy way to accrue LEED certification points

  14. Installation • Cork can be installed as a floating floor, in sheets, or as adhesive-backed tiles

  15. Works cited • • • •