The ideal flooring product needs to offer design, durability, safety and [most importantly] sustainability. Cork ticks all of the boxes.
We all think that we know about cork but, if it were discovered today, it would be hailed as a wonder material.
It's uniquely renewable. The bark of the cork oak is carefully stripped every 9 years. The tree continues to grow healthily and this cycle of growth and harvesting continues throughout its life - around 200 years.
It's highly carbon absorbing. The bark absorbs around 73 times its own weight in CO2 as it grows. So, cork is a natural carbon sponge. Any products made from cork benefit from this in-built sequestration. The Montado - the cork forests of Southern Europe - sequester over 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
End of Life. Cork is biodegradable and, because it's biogenic, the CO2 is absorbed within the natural carbon cycle. And, cork flooring can be reused or recycled.
The environmental benefits alone would make cork a material of interest in construction but that's not where the story ends.
The unique cellular structure of cork also offers a unique set of performance benefits as a flooring material:
Acoustics. Over 70% of sound waves are absorbed by cork so transmitted and reflected sound are significantly reduced.
Indoor air. Cork is a zero-emissions material - it doesn't contain any of the chemicals present in other materials - and it's naturally hypoallergenic.
Comfort. The elastic properties give it cushioning qualities so it's comfortable underfoot.
Durability. The inherent elasticity also delivers impact resistance which gives cork surprising durability.
Safety. Cork is a natural fire retardant - it’s used as a heat shield on space capsules - and it has a natural resistance to slip.
These characteristics make cork ideally suited for wine stoppers but also are also perfect for flooring applications.
There is a wide range of innovative flooring materials that are made from cork. Some look like cork but others have a very different aesthetic.
Pure Cork has the widest range of natural cork looks with over 200 design options which creates an organic, biophilic environment.
Print Cork is a cork floor with a supercharged design difference - the innovative use of high-resolution digital printing.
Recycled Woven is an award-winning flooring innovation. It's a blend of recycled cork and rubber in a range of woven fabric designs.
Liquid Lino reinvents the linoleum flooring category and has a high cork content so benefits from the inherent characteristics of the original material.
Ceramic Cork is a clever hybrid combines the robust resistance and commercial performance of ceramic tile with the unique benefits of cork,
Wood Cork is an innovative combination of two of the most sustainable materials - wood and cork - in a floor that works in any busy environment.
Lino Cork delivers the sustainability and performance of linoleum and cork in a modular construction.
Cork is increasingly being hailed as an ideal material in construction - insulation, exterior cladding and interior finishes. There are tangible benefits in the use of cork as a flooring material and the range of design alternatives are extensive.
Research the full range of cork flooring options here.