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I love libraries. I love the smell of books. I love seeing antique and collectible books held in air tight glass display cases. And I still love the hunt for a great first edition! In the advent of the digital readers through iPads and Kindles, as well as the direct shipping to your door of any book you ever wanted through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and many more, the love of the library and of actual paper printed books seems to have gone to the wayside. But I wanted to tell you that the largest library in the United States LOVES cork! Only heightening our current love of libraries!

The Library of Congress as well as the Interior Library of the Department of Interior most notably use cork flooring in their designs. The list of cork benefits befitting such public places is obvious due to both the acoustical benefits of cork flooring, and also the hypo-allergenic properties as well. Cork is a natural insulator, both of sound and temperature. A quieter reading room is a happier reading room. The Department of Interior goes into great detail about the art and architecture of its Interior Library. “The original floors of the Reading Room are a checkerboard pattern of light and dark brown cork with marble borders. The Balconies also have their original cork floors with marble borders and bands between sections. Within each section is a cork border and large cork tile.” The images show the beautiful checkerboard display throughout the library as well as the definitive green cork borders. In many of the New York City Public Libraries, conservators have tried to retain the original cork flooring from the turn of the century for floor sound insulation. 

So, next time you are in your local library, whether your city is large or small, young or old, check out the flooring. You may just find the comfort under your feet holds a wealth of history and is a superb flooring choice. Cork flooring is extremely easy to maintain and will hold up in high traffic areas for many years to come. If you are searching for a flooring solution on your next commercial or residential project, we highly recommend the use of cork floor tiles. You can also add to the enjoyment and beauty of the room by adding cork wall tiles. I am sure we will see sound dampening panels and floor sound insulation popping up in many public establishments in the next few years for further sound absorption and cleanliness.

April 02, 2013

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