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Walk This Way - The Pros and Cons of Cork

Cork is bouncing back into the market at a feverish rate because of its many benefits, both to your health and to your home, as well as the environment. This type of flooring is extremely beneficial for high traffic areas due to its hardy and enduring nature. The self-healing properties, which we will discuss later, make it a wonderful flooring and wall covering alternative to tile, carpet or hardwood. And while there are many benefits of cork we will consider, we will also discuss the cons of cork today. Obviously, we are big proponents of cork throughout your home or office, but we want to be fair and give the full spectrum of information to our customers.
 
Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, quercus suber, which is found native in southwest Europe and northwest Africa. All of the cork distributed by Amcork is harvested from the cork oak trees of Portugal. The cork oak grows to approximately 66 feet in height, although it can become more stunted in its native environment. It also supports a diverse ecosystem. In Portugal, it is home to the Iberian Lynx, an endangered species. The tree’s bark is the only part of the tree to be harvested every 9 to 12 years. The cork tree itself is never felled. The trees live approximately 150-250 years, as the harvesting of the cork oak bark is highly regulated in order to maintain the renewable properties of the tree.
 
The naturally spongy nature of cork tile flooring allows for it to not only cushion your footsteps, but also absorb heavy foot traffic without showing as much wear as carpet. Along with giving you a little spring in your step, it also is a proven insulator, both of sound and temperature, so your toes can quietly stay cozy as you make that midnight bathroom run on a cold winter’s eve.

 

From a commercial point of view, the acoustic insulation is a prime choice for cork flooring and cork wall tiles. Restaurants are starting to look to cork for its insulating properties allowing both the noise in the customer area to become absorbed, but also in the kitchens - dropped dishes and glasses have less chance to break with the spongy characteristics of cork!

Its hypoallergenic properties are also overwhelming, making it an excellent choice for those who suffer from allergies. This is true for both the cork flooring planks and the wall tiles. Cork is innately resistant to mold, mildew, and even invasive microorganisms. This also makes cork a prime choice for commercial areas that need to remain sanitary such as hospitals, assisted living homes, doctors’ offices, and much more.

The rainbow selection of colors, patterns, and styles that are found in cork products can be vast, but choice is the name of the game, keeping it as a leading pro in the “pro/con” lists. This color spectrum comes from both man-made and natural designs. Decorators will find high end patterns and dramatic colors, while others looking for a clean palette can find a simple selection that blends seamlessly with an existing décor.

Now we would be remiss to you, our reader and customer, not to mention the few cons of cork, and I do mean few! Cork is naturally resistant to moisture, but if drinks or any liquid is spilled, you must pay close attention to cleaning it up in a timely manner to avoid the eventual absorption by the cork. Also, cork can be sensitive to light. The gorgeous coloring you selected may fade over time if it is installed in a room with full sunlight, though this is typically rare. There is also the cost to consider. While cork may be more expensive per square foot in the beginning with installation costs to consider as well, it will increase the value of your home over the long run. It’s naturally spongy nature can also be put to the test with heavy furniture and sharp objects. While cork is self-healing, we highly suggest that to increase the longevity of your cork flooring, that you use furniture pads to eliminate the possibility of permanent indentation. And, keep the knives away from the flooring as they may accidently gouge a piece upon impact.

Each room should be considered when thinking of installing cork flooring tiles or cork wall tiles. Consider the natural lighting in the room, the furniture to be installed, and how the room will be used in general. Overall, we feel that the pros of cork installation in your home or office far outweigh the cons. The increased value of the property, your own health and the health of our planet surpass anything bad you may find about the product.

If you have any questions about your personal cork needs or cork flooring benefits and disadvantages, please send us your queries or call us toll free at 1-888-955-2675. We would love to talk with you. Until then, uncork your natural design talents and creativity, and let us help you reinvent your home or office and possibly even the way you live!
 

Home Away From Home

Much like cork, our relationship with our clients tend to weather on and pass the test of time as we nurture and try to enrich their lives and their living space. We are a family run business and we consider many of our clients to be part of our cork family.

The Dome of a Home, located on beautiful Pensacola Beach along the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida, is a shining example of our products bringing eco-friendly options, warmth, and sophistication to upscale home décor. Owners, Mark and Val Sigler, wanted to use environmentally friendly products throughout the construction of their home whenever possible. They researched products they believed would promote conservation and serve a multi-purpose in the home. American Cork Products is proud to be one of the products they selected for their one of a kind home in paradise.  

The Siglers wanted the warmth and comfort that cork floor tiles provide, while also taking advantage of its insulating properties. “Sound is a major consideration in the dome structure,” said Mark Sigler. “Cork absorbs sound by reducing impact noise.”

With their home being constructed in the heart of Pensacola Beach, a small barrier island, the Siglers were also interested in finding a product that would withstand the elements. Sigler continues, “Our cork flooring was flooded in some areas during Hurricane Ivan. Yet, there was no insane rush to remove the cork flooring because it is naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and resistant to mold and mildew. We just let it dry out, and although a bit warped, we left it in place until we had the time and funds to replace it. Wet carpet has to be removed immediately because of the stench and the medium it provides for rampant mold and mildew growth. After seeing the product perform as touted, I am a huge fan of cork flooring. It is quiet, comfortable, and a perfect floor covering.”

AmCork worked directly with the Siglers in the decisions about style, color, and installation of the cork floor tiles. In the end, both sides were extremely pleased with the results! The house became a work of art, not only for its unique architecture, but also for the cork flooring planks which brought an organically dramatic feel into the home.

Guests of the home, previously on the vacation rental market, were also big fans of the cork tile flooring throughout the home. Greg and Melissa Williams, locals of Pensacola, FL, wanted to make their “stay vacation” a little more unique as they weren’t leaving their hometown. After a little exploration, they booked their vacation adventures to begin and end at the Dome of a Home. Says Melissa Williams, “We vacationed in the Dome of a Home for a week with our daughter who was 8 months old at the time. Needless to say, we were pretty picky about the flooring, as she was still in the crawling stage and on the floor all of the time. We loved the cork floor tiles for the warmth and ‘cushion’ they provided, while also being remarkably easy to clean and maintain for our baby."

We are thrilled to offer such a high quality product that can be appreciated for multiple reasons. We love offering a healthy alternative, not only for the people inside the homes and offices that use our cork tile flooring, but also to the environment. 

 

    


                         

Stick a Cork In It! We are done!

We are excited to bring you news you can use from the front lines of the world of cork!  We look forward to and appreciate your responses and questions!  Our primary goal is to give you informative news and information about cork floor tiles and cork wall tiles, and the industry that produces them, while also delving into the eco-friendly world of cork and the beauty it will add to your home and office décor throughout this blog feed. 

 

 

The benefits of cork within your home or office are overwhelming, which is why the industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few decades.  Cork flooring tiles and cork wall tiles entertain all walks of life in that they are not only a green product, but they are hypo-allergenic too; and from a sensory point of view, they are dynamically beautiful, adding texture, and a unique style and color to any surface. 

 

 

AmCork has been in the cork business for quite a long time and has seen many changes both within the cork harvesting industry in Portugal, as well as within the end-user’s decorating needs and styles.  They know their business inside and out!  At the end of the day, the beauty and enhanced lifestyle that comes from cork easily stands the test of time and will weather on (literally) for decades to come.  This re-emerging commerce is finally coming into the spotlight and being recognized for all the aesthetic and clean benefits it provides.

 

 

Stay informed on the pros and cons of cork installation, the current cork board decoration ideas, the health benefits, and much, much more. We are excited to begin this adventure with you and look forward to a long relationship with all of our clients.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day!