Sustainable Cork Flooring: Elegant and Eco-Friendly | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Bamboo, sustainably harvested wood, and linoleum made from recycled content  are all eco-friendly hardwood flooring options. Also available at most major home  improvement stores, cork flooring is competitively priced with other kinds of  sustainable flooring, and cork is a beautiful, eco-friendly material.

Cork products are made from the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus  suber). Much of the world’s cork comes from forests in Portugal, where the  trees’ drought resistance allows them to flourish. Harvesters cut and strip the  bark during early summer, a process that removes only the dead outer bark layers  while leaving the living cambium intact. The cork trees continue to grow  unharmed for about nine years before the bark gets harvested again.

Most of the Portuguese cork oak forests are owned by individual families who — when they’re not harvesting the oak trees’ bark — grow medicinal herbs,  produce honey, gather pine nuts, graze cattle, and raise prized Black Spanish  pigs on cork oak acorns in the forests.

Sustainable cork flooring is made by mixing an adhesive  with “waste” cork granules from bottle-stopper production. It’s available in a  range of finishes, from wood tones to tile look-alikes, and its natural  propensity to repel water and provide acoustic insulation are bonus qualities.  Keep your eyes peeled for other sustainable cork products as well, including  wall insulation that’s growing in popularity in Europe because of its natural  fire resistance and sound-proofing ability. If you’d like to learn about and  support sustainable cork harvesting, go to Amorim Cork, and choose wine with stoppers made of real  cork. Cheer

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