Call us Toll Free


A Love Sonnet to Cork

How do I love thee? Let me state the ways.
I love thee for your warmth, cushion and might
My feet feel cold, when stepping out of sight
The end of day is far too far away.

I love the to the fall of every step
Most quiet nights, from noise to aid my rest.
Your lovely tones bring life into my nest
And liven up my home with zealous pep.

I love thee for your ease when time to cleanse
And for the way that you defend my home.
From you I never ever wish to roam
Because dear cork you calm and bring me Zen.

Comfort, splendor and ease you give
While in my home together we shall live.

Just How Easy Is It?

We have said over and over again how installation of our cork flooring and cork wall tiles is something that you can do on your own without much difficulty. Dare we even say that it is easy to install? Yes, we dare. And yet, we have taken the simplicity one more step by helping you calculate, from the comfort of your couch, exactly how much of each type of product you will need to take your project from dusty boxes in the hall to swoon worthy completion.

To begin, we must discuss the type of flooring and wall coverings our company offers to ascertain exactly what you will need to plan and purchase. We proudly offer two types of cork flooring. Our floating floor planks are designed to click and lock without the need for additional adhesives. Furthermore, the underside of each plank has a built-in cork underlayment. Thus, no further underlayment is needed for our floating plank floor installation. This type of flooring typically comes in cartons designed to cover 21 sq feet. Next, our cork floor tiles are glued to the substrate using an adhesive. Cork underlayment can be purchased for added shock and thermal controls but isn’t required for installation. If you are on the fence as to whether or not to install a cork underlayment subfloor, we highly recommend taking the plunge and installing it as you cannot go back and add it later. It is the difference between silk and satin; they are both shiny and make you feel pretty, but one is finer and more coveted than the other. Our cork floor tiles typically arrive in cartons designed to cover 36 sq feet. And lastly, our cork wall tiles are also installed using an adhesive, like the cork floor tiles. They are boxed and shipped in carton that will cover 22 sq feet of wall space.

Now that we have gotten the introductions out of the way, let’s get to the fun part – MATH! How do you calculate the quantity of supplies you will need to ensure that you will not run out of cork or any of the installation materials before you have completed your project? We have taken that worry (and possible fear of math), and thrown it out the window! On each product detail page, we have included a calculator for your shopping pleasure. Simply enter the square foot area you wish to cover, and our calculator will do the rest. The calculator computes not only the number of cartons you will need to order to cover the square footage you provided, but it will also include any additional materials you will need in the appropriate quantity including adhesive, applicators, prep & finish materials, and the correct number of cartons of cork flooring or cork wall coverings you will need for the square footage provided. Seriously, there is NO guesswork! We have literally given you the EASY button with this calculator! The hardest part you should have is the decision over which of our fabulous products you want to install in your home or office first! Get started today and make your imagination come to life!

So What Is Passive House Anyway?

You may have begun seeing the term in headlines. Your architect may have mentioned it to you in the development phase. Still, you aren't really clear as to what Passive House is other than a term you don't have time to research. We can help! Passive House is not a particular brand of home, but rather a construction metric for the world's leading standard in construction that provides unique energy efficient metrics. The standard of the Passive House construction provides quality, comfort, and an energy efficient design. The motto on the US Passive House Institute’s website is “Comfort. Quality. Efficiency. Resiliency. Affordability. Now.” Compared to code standard buildings, Passive Building can dramatically cut energy consumption by up to 60-80%. Wait! What?? A 60-80% decrease in energy consmption?? Tell me more...

Passive House construction is a bit of a misnomer as it can and is being applied to the new construction of commercial buildings as well as to private homes. The term Passive Building is actually beginning to emerge in the construction vernacular, quickly replacing Passive House as a more accurate description of this construction movement.

Constructing a new Passive Building typically only adds approximately 5-10% to the overall building costs than conventional construction costs – not that much when you consider the personal benefits, as well as the environmental benefits, that occur from such strict standards. As more large scale manufacturers come on board with Passive Building components , and construction design begins to influence savvy builders and buyers, we expect to see these prices decrease, keeping them more in line with current construction costs.

Developed in the 1970s through a grant from the US Department of Energy and the Canadian government, scientists and building engineers teamed up to create a standard that would take building construction as close as possible to the net-zero and net-positive lines by minimizing the energy load required to maintain the average home and/or building. Researchers have found that a single standard cannot be applied to the US Housing and Building markets as the differing climate zones will not allow adherence to a single standard. We expect implementation of new standards that address the individual requirements of the North American climate zones to occur in early 2015.

According to, Passive buildings must adhere to the following building-science principles:
• It employs continuous insulation through its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
• The building envelope is extremely airtight, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.
• It employs high-performance windows (typically triple-pane) and doors.
• It uses some form of balanced heat and moisture-recovery ventilation and uses a minimal space conditioning system.
• Solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes and to minimize it in cooling seasons.

While Passing Building focuses on the external construction of a home or building, we at AmCork tend to focus on the energy reduction and environmental impact our products have on the interior of your home or commercial building. Our cork flooring and cork wall coverings offer a wealth of acoustical and thermal insulation, hypo allergenic and mold resistant properties. Our products are made from a self-renewable material and bring a natural element that will either blend or stand out according to your own personal preference. When considering Passive Building construction, we encourage you to not just stop at the outside; go further and bring our products into your new construction project. They can also help you increase your net-zero/net-positive line by decreasing energy costs with their insulating properties. Shop today and explore our many options. We would love to help you decorate your newly constructed Passive House!

A Treehouse, A Free House, A Secret You and Me House

Have you ever wanted to live in one of those incredible tree houses we see on TV? Or have you ever wanted to slip beneath the bubbles in your garden tub and arise in the midst of a relaxing forest of trees, with the sunlight warming you? While we can’t create magic, we can help you create an escape that will truly make you feel as if you have invited the natural world from outside your window into the center of your home. We know you love the look and feel of cork, but take a moment and ponder our newest product – Tree Bark Cork Wall Panels. We absolutely love the uniqueness of this look! Both rustic, and yet elegantly refined.

Virgin cork bark is from the first harvest, which allows the distinctiveness of each cork oak tree to be highlighted in the product. Natural knots and pitting occur randomly on the Tree Bark Cork Wall Panels. The matchless quality of this product adds both sophistication and charm with an earthy, natural feel in any room.

This particular cork product is an excellent choice for a designer cork accent wall. It can also be used on ceilings, however it may create a bit heavy of a feeling for most tastes – only the bold should dare to try! Just as Mother Earth creates this texturized beauty in the wild, our Tree Bark Cork Wall Panels allow you to bring the woodsy feeling into your home to add to or help create your personal sanctuary. Many of our clients are adding this product to their “man caves” or accent walls in living areas to bring a touch of masculinity to an already saturated female decorating world. For many, this product can take the place of a large piece of artwork on an oversized wall or as a blank slate in the boardroom; it can even replace the need for a headboard, crafting an earthy oasis into the bedroom too.

But if it is bark, won’t it feel all dusty and scratchy? Not at all! Just like our cork flooring and cork wall tiles, which are produced from the underside of the cork bark exterior, our exterior Tree Bark Cork Wall Panels are soft to the touch. They are textured, but not to the point that the local bear community is going to be staking out your Tree Bark Cork Wall as a scratching post! The cork bark also retains all the other properties of cork that we love so much such as the thermal and acoustical insulating characteristics, as well as moisture and mildew resistance, and hypo-allergenic properties to name a few.

Just as our other products are easy to install, so is the Tree Bark Cork Wall Paneling. Our products are highly durable and easy to maintain. Watch the video to see just how easy you can transform your space with this timeless addition to your home or office. You can also use our calculator to help you figure out how many cartons, as well as all the necessary installation products to make sure your cork tree bark wall tiles are installed to last a lifetime. This way, you won’t run out of supplies before your installation is complete, nor have over purchased. We want you to be satisfied from the beginning of the sales process to many years in the future as you continue to enjoy our cork products.

With the sudden resurgence of cork on the home décor market, and everyone from corporations to community builders wanting to show that they are in the “green” business, we only predict growth in this product’s future. Restaurants, offices, and homes will benefit greatly from the installation of cork wall paneling as will their clientele and home owners. Be the Joneses. Install this fashionable, yet sophisticated product before everyone has it.


I've Got to Get Away, I Want to Fly!

Vacations are your chance to get away from it all. Your escape into an alternate reality where you can let go of the daily struggles and stresses and relax in whichever fashion you desire. Some prefer a relaxing beach vacation, possibly even to a tropical island. Others prefer to explore the back roads of a foreign country. While the adventurous prefer to escape into nature and take a long, soul searching trek across the raw backdrop of any landscape, foreign or domestic. However you vacation, one thought probably hasn't crossed your mind too often, and that is what is the carbon footprint of my vacation?

When we “check out” to “check in” on vacation, we tend to forget all the things we have in place at home to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the green way of life. We use electricity in the hotels all day and sometimes all night because we can; we aren't paying that power bill at the end of the month! We travel on planes, rent cars, and drive a lot more than we would in our day to day lives because we are sightseeing, visiting, and making memories! We eat delicious food but tell the server, don’t worry about the doggy bag for leftovers because, really, how is that going to fit in the mini fridge?! The list of extravagances goes on and on because, let’s be honest, we are on vacation and have earned it! Not to mention, that all the while, we still have a home or apartment with the air running, the lights on timers so no one really knows we are gone, the refrigerator humming, and so forth. So it’s truly a double whammy of energy use!

Don’t get me wrong, you are entitled to a vacation of your own making. You work hard and save hard. So play hard.

The hotel industry has recognized that we, as consumers, are becoming more sophisticated and educated in our decisions. They recognize that while we still want to feel like we are escaping, there is a personal responsibility to Mother Earth that many of us do not want to relinquish just because we are on vacation. Marriot was the first major hotel chain to calculate their carbon footprint and launch a plan to improve their global impact through reduction and reuse. The MGM Grand has reduced their emissions of CO2E by over 100,000 metric tons annually. The Four Seasons launched their 10 Million Trees Initiative to celebrate their 50th anniversary in which the hotel chain planted 10 million trees across 24 countries to offset their carbon emissions and combat deforestation. The majority of hotel convention sites have numerous recycling options available to reduce water, electrical, and paper waste. They are beginning to make a difference in their business practices and we as consumers should applaud them.

We encourage you to do a little more research the next time you are in vacation mode. Look for hotels and resorts with an LEED certification or a Green Initiative in place, or even better, some cork flooring or wall coverings! How can you reduce your travel footprint? Using local transportation (bus, Uber, cab, trolley, etc.) rather than a rental car can sometime open your eyes to places you normally wouldn't know about by allowing you to talk with locals about the best places to eat and visit! What can you bring with you to reduce your waste? A reusable water bottle is an easy place to start (and easy to pack too!). These small changes can have a big effect on the ever changing environment and lessen the impact of travel on the environment. We live in a beautiful world that we want to explore on our vacations – let’s take care of it too!

Take a Tour of Portugal

At the end of August, we took our Facebook fans on a Tour of Portugal, highlighting many of the historical sites and cities of the country. We had such a great response to these postings that we wanted to share them here on our site. We hope to enrich your knowledge of this historical country, to illustrate to you how their cultural and environmental efforts have both protected the country’s heritage and culturally significant sites as well as protecting the cork oak forests from deforestation. 
We began at the border of Portugal and Spain, drifting down the Douro River. The Douro International Natural Park is a protected area, a home to  wildlife species including kingfishers, herons, eagles, ospreys, wild boar, and is also home to one of the last packs of wolves in this  region a few miles inland from the river. The White Stork and the Griffin Vulture are counted amongst the endangered species native  to this riverside area. The Douro International Natural Park is one of thirteen National parks in the country of Portugal. With a land  area of only 35,516 sq miles, the emphasis on protected land is evident. To put it more succinctly, Portugal is slightly smaller than the state of Indiana.

Next we explored the sights and sounds of one of Portugal’s more famous cities, Lisbon. This city has amazing historical city sites and points of interest interspersed with the gorgeous natural coastline and more modern buildings bustling with a vibrant nightlife. Historical sites that have been listed as UNESCO World 
Heritage Sites include Belem Tower or the Tower of St Vincent, Jeronimo’s Monastery, and the Pena National Palace. All built between the 15th and 16th centuries, these amazing works of art were once fortresses of very different kinds defending a vastly populated country. Belem’s Tower was built by King John II to defend the mouth of the Tagus River from enemy attack. On the opposite front, Jeronimo’s Monastery was built Henry the Navigator to protect the hearts and souls of the countrymen. Vasco de Gamo also spent time here preparing for his voyage to India to discover a new trade route.
Lastly, the Pena National Palace is a sight to see. This site was originally just a small monastery, which fell into ruins after repeated earthquakes in the area and general downfall. In 1838, a young Prince Ferdinand became fascinated with the ruins and began construction on the Palace as it is seen today. At the end of the 20th century, the exterior paint was restored to show its original regalia. Touring these historic sites is like stepping through the looking glass into a time of kings, and queens, rustic castles and stoic soldiers. Most of the castles in Portugal remain unrestored, showing the true weathering of time and battles.

Another remarkable site that was built in the last century is the Monument to the Discoveries. This stunning work was created in honor of the great Henry the Navigator who led Portugal’s discovery expeditions to the New World in the 15th century. Jose Angelo Cottinelli Telmo designed the monument in 1939 with sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida. It was built as a temporary structure for the Portuguese World Fair. However, after the temporary sculpture was demolished, it was decided in 1958 that a permanent one be built for the city of Lisbon. This monument is constructed from concrete, rose tinted stone, and limestone, which shows sailors being, led out to sea on a vessel with the sails open with Henry the Navigator at the helm. The monument stands an impressive 171 feet tall.

Moving our Tour of Portugal to the township of Evora, we find Almendres Cromelque, a megalithic stone formation that dates back to as early as 6 B.C. The site was not rediscovered until 1966 when Henrique Leonor Pina was conducting field work in the area. It is believed, like Stonehenge, to be
 a site of religious ceremonial purpose or perhaps may have served as a primitive astronomical observatory. There are documented  angles and lines that point towards the sunrise on the Winter Solstice. The stone formation is organized in a circular pattern with  approximately 95 granite monoliths. The site underwent many modifications and additions as it grew into the site we see today. The  entirety of the formation appears to form two separate areas which each point to different directions associated with the Equinox.  There is a primal energy at this site seeming to flow from the stones themselves.

Throughout the week, we also delved into the structures at the Temple of Diana, the Mermaid Fountain in Rossia Square and the Square itself to round out historical monuments and locations as well as important advancements in Portugal’s environmental protection.

Aside from the historical significance of Portugal’s countryside, they are also leaders in producing the world’s finest cork products. We work hand in hand with our Portuguese suppliers to ensure that the products we receive to offer to our clients are of the highest quality. Not only that, but we also require full adherence with all national and international protective cork harvesting laws to ensure that this resource remains renewable.

There is something for everyone in this city. Explore the country where our beautiful cork products are birthed and harvested. You may fall in love with more than just our products!

Proper Cork Flooring Installation

“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air! I never thought I could feel this free-eee-eeee!” Remember this catchy song from the 80’s hit TV show “The Greatest American Hero.” Yeah… I honestly didn’t remember the name of the show, but the intro song has always been on my mental 80’s music track. And it is what you will be singing after you install cork flooring.

Obviously, you have done your research on flooring options and decided on cork flooring for a number of reasons, I am sure! One of the main reasons that people tend to choose cork flooring over any other option, besides being such a green building material, is the comfort it lends to your home. Your footsteps are cushioned; cold floors in the middle of winter are gone; and the visual beauty our flooring incorporates into your home is unsurpassed.
So, how do we reach this point of beauty and comfort from your current point of installation, which is probably a lot of boxes sitting around your home and your furniture all out of place? Let’s begin by opening the cartons. We ship only the finest Portuguese cork to our clients and stand by our product. Inspect your shipment and make sure it is up to par. Once you have inspected the flooring, you will need to allow the tiles to acclimate for 48-72 hours prior to installation. Why? The flooring needs to be acclimated to allow for any climate changes from the point where your product was shipped to the point in which you received it at your home or office. Cork must become accustomed to the temperature and conditions that will occur once the work is complete. Without proper acclimation, flooring could expand or contract after installation.

While the acclimation process is occurring, all substrates need to be cleaned, dried, and free from dust. Any holes, cracks, and joints must be patched with a cement based compound. If acoustic absorption needs to be increased from what the cork flooring naturally lends, consider laying our cork roll over the substrate prior to installation.

Our detailed cork flooring tile installation guide will instruct you on how to install over concrete, wood, and Radiant Heating systems. Plank flooring should be installed parallel to the direction of the natural light entering the room. This allows the joints to be less noticeable. For our parquet flooring, we recommend that you mix tiles from various cartons to maintain a natural variation of color and pattern.

We highly recommend that you download our PDF Installation Guide for exact How-To Instructions for your particular type of flooring and substrate, or view any of our cork installation guides online. We know that once your flooring is installed in your home or office, you will be singing, “Believe it or not! I’m walking on air! I never thought I could feel this free-eee-eee!”

The History of Cork Material and Fun Facts

This month, on our Facebook page, we have been discussing the use and history of cork material. Our intent was not only to inform you about the origin of cork, but also to visually share with you the longevity of cork and to showcase how this natural material is both resilient in nature and highly durable. We have seen images of a nearly pristine corked bottle from Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, which sunk off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. This  is a relatively new mention of the use of cork in the grand scheme of time and history. To really illustrate the longevity of cork, we can easily go back to the first century where Pliny the Elder speaks about how cork was so revered, it could only be cut off the tree by priests. Pliny the  Elder had many a career specialty in his time, but is especially noted as the author of his encyclopedic work Naturalis Historia. Naturalis  Historia became the model for modern encyclopedias. Furthermore, cork was uncovered from the excavated city of Pompeii. It was used to stopper amphorae, vessels used to transport and store primarily wine. It isn't assumed that it was used at this time, it was found! In a city that was obliterated for the most part by a volcano and sat undiscovered for over 1500 years. Amazing… Interesting fact as to how we know the exact date of the destruction of Pompeii. We know it from the writings of a historian you will soon recognize. On August 24, 79 AD, Pliny the Younger saw the eruption from a distance with his uncle, none other than Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Elder was also a commander for the Roman fleet and tried to rescue surviving citizens from destruction. This historical account by Pliny the Younger was discovered in a letter detailing the event. History fascinates me!

So, why the history lesson? We simply want to illustrate the point, that no matter the climate, no matter the interior design, no matter the use, cork will survive the test of time. You will not regret your decision to install cork flooring and cork wall tiles in your home. It will only increase the intrinsic value of your home, health, and lifestyle. It is visually stunning as well as a healthy and happy addition to your life. The hypoallergenic qualities of incorporating it into your life and home today are exponential. We offer designs that will boast drama and flair or clean and classic. Whatever your heart desires, we have something to suit your needs. Here’s an idea - check out Pompeii the Movie, opening this month, in your own home theater. Add our cork wall tiles for chic sound and temperature insulation.  I just love cork so much, I can imagine it in pretty much every setting… Go check it out! Have fun! Enjoy!

Don't Believe Us?

Take it from the King of Home Repair - Mr. Bob Vila!  This great article entitled "Eco-Friendly Flooring: 5 Ways to Go Green from the Bottom Up" showcases cork, bamboo, linoleum, 100% wool carpet, and renewable fiber carpets as green choices when upgrading your current flooring solution.  He states briefly that carpet, what you typically find in most homes across America, is usually "made from nylon, polyester, or vinyl—materials dependent on non-renewable fossil fuels."  Selecting a more renewable source is not only good for you and your immediate environment, but more so, it is better for the
planet's environment on the whole. We love the image provided for the cork flooring with this article! The creativity and ingenuity that can be displayed with cork flooring is endless!  As are the benefits for both your health and the health of our plant.  AmCork’s high quality natural cork flooring products are available in our floating cork floor planks and our cork floor tiles. Check our specials page for discounted cork flooring prices.