As with nature all things cycle around. Well cork is now making a comeback as a flooring material. Why? Because technology and innovation have stepped in to give cork a face lift and made it available in a wide range of colors and shapes. A far cry from its past. |
Cork has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years, from bottle stoppers to fishing net floats. But it wasn’t until the end of the 19thcentury that the demand for cork as a resilient floor covering began to grow.
Into the next half century, cork flooring continued its popularity. It was installed not only in homes, but in churches, banks, educational institutions, and government buildings. Including Chicago’s First Congressional Church, Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC – all three of which are still walked on today. One of the world’s most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, also incorporated cork flooring in several of his housing designs.
During the 1950s, cork flooring faded as easier-to-maintain floor coverings like linoleum and vinyl were introduced. Both gained popularity for their wider range of colors and designs. However, in the late 1960s the public’s ongoing desire for new design ideas led to nostalgic concepts, and cork was back in favor until the early 70s.
As we come into the 21st century, the ever-increasing concerns over protecting the environment and preserving natural resources has brought cork once again into the spotlight. The reason for this being that cork is a “green” product.In other words, it’s environmentally friendly. Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. Only the bark, which is carefully stripped from a still living tree.Its supply is essentiallyunending. In fact, there are trees still reproducing bark that are estimated to be two hundred years old.
In addition to its remarkable regenerative aptitude, cork bark has other outstanding attributes.As a floor covering, it’s hypo allergenic, does not produce static electricity, and is flame retardant. New finishing techniques used during manufacturing have made it even easier to care for than its early versions. As an all-natural product, it is non-toxic. And the cork itself is anti-microbial, and resists mold, mildew and insects.
Initially, cork was desired for its unique appearance and for its sound deadening properties. Today, cork’s aesthetic appeal is still going strong, but its very nature has taught us how much of an asset it is both to the environment and to our building needs.
Cork floors are making a huge comeback because of the many benefits that they offer. You can find a fantastic range of Cork floating flooring at iCorkFloor. Check them out today.
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