Why do you harp on Indoor Air Quality Certifications?Q. If cork flooring is a natural material, why do you put so much emphasis on whether the manufacturer has gotten the flooring certified through chemical emissions testing?
A. There are many natural flooring products on the market. But very few of them are made without chemicals and additives. Cork flooring is beautifully natural and sustainable. But it cannot be made without some extra ingredients – like adhesive.
After wine bottle stoppers are punched out of the bark of the Cork Oak Trees in and around Portugal, cork that will be made into flooring is ground up, mixed with pigments, and adhesive. Fortunately, cork producers in the Mediterranean region are known for their attention to environmentally sound adhesives and additives.
Once the sheets of cork are produced, more materials are introduced. If the cork will be used for engineered flooring, which is made in layers, the core of the floor with be HDF (High Density Fiber Board). And if the flooring – engineered or solid – will be prefinished, anything from a simple water-based polyurethane to a proprietary aluminum oxide or ceramic finish, to a high-tech nano finish, will be applied to the surface.
Consider origin, construction, chemical emissions, innovation and responsiveness when you choose cork flooringThe call was one no flooring retailer wants. The customer was furious. Her husband had damaged the cork flooring Cline’s Carpets had just installed in her home outside of West Lafayette, Ind.
“She was really honked off, not at us, but at her husband who had done something that took a divot out of the floor,” owner Cary Cline recalls.
But a strange thing happened when Cline’s installer went out the next day to make a repair. He couldn’t find any damage. “The flooring had healed itself,” Cline says.
Cork flooring, invented more than 100 years ago, is known for its ability to bounce back from abuse. Today’s construction -- which includes engineered flooring and an array of stronger finishes -- has led to a dramatic increase in sales during the past decade.