Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Look of Cork

The cork used for wine-stoppers and for the production of cork floor boards comes exclusively from the bark of the cork oak tree. These trees produce Suberin, a waxy substance which adds to the versatility and functionality of the cork, making it a valuable investment. The Suberin possesses qualities allowing it to resist rotting caused by moisture, mildew, mold, and insect infestation. But still the question remains: Is all cork flooring really environmentally friendly? The answer is a kind of two-part answer. Environmentally speaking, Cork is environmentally safe, and can be seen as a renewable source of materials.
Cork oak trees are grown to be approximately twenty-five years of age before they can begin to be harvested. Using age-old techniques, the bark is gently stripped from the tree and generally sent to factories where the cork is processed and used in the production of wine-stoppers. The excess waste product that is produced in this process is then gathered and processed into sheets of cork, used in flooring or wall tiling. This process is extremely eco-friendly due to the fact that all of the cork is used either in the initial process or by gathering the waste using it productively. The on going production and the fact that cork is recycled down to the waste are the two main reasons cork can be seen as eco-friendly. Photos: This is Glamourous

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