Posts Tagged ‘cork flooring’

Cork Mosaic Tile….So cool!

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Cork Tile from Portugal is sustainable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is rapidly renewable, being that the bark of the tree is peeled from the trunk, and then tree is left to regenerate. This provides an almost limitless supply of cork bark, assuming that once the tree is beyond its’ useful life, replacements are planted (which they are). This heavily protected species also carries with it tremendous mechanical and functional properties, most of which are related to the fact that the cork bark is made almost entirely of cellular pockets of air (200 million cells per cubic inch). These cells of trapped air inhibit the passage of sound (making it one of the best acoustic insulators known), and are known as a thermal insulator, separately an often cold floor from the warmth of your foot. In addition, cork is anti-microbial, has tremendous “bounce-back” properties and forgiveness, and offers one of the greatest slip resistances of any natural material. Despite common wine industry myths, cork availability increases every year (despite minor ups and downs related to weather), and is one of the true really sustainable raw materials in its unaltered state. Post-industrial wine corks are cut into 1/4″ pieces. The resulting discs are affixed to a durable and flexible paper backing, and are then ready for installation. As with tile and stone mosaics, Cork Tile is affixed to the substructure (subfloor or wall), with either a thin set or glue, and is then grouted.

Cork Tile is very versatile. Cork Tile comes either prefinished with 2 coats of a water-based urethane, or unfinished, which can then be stained any color. Not only can the color of the cork be customized to suit any aesthetic, but there are dozens of grout choices to create your unique look. Any standard “sanded” grout can be used with Cork Tile.

Cork Tile can be used in any traditional flooring application, as well as in “wet” applications such as in showers, saunas, and pool surrounds. Due to the stability of cork, its inherent impermeability, and the fact you are taking a resilient product and adding to its stability and durability with grout, the result is a product which is durable and versatile. It can be used in almost any interior finish application, however demanding the environment.

Technical Data:

Manufactured with rapidly renewable raw material

Minimum 30% rapidly renewable material in Coconut Tiles

Coconut Tiles are manufactured using wood from sustainably managed forests.

  • Dimensions: 12” x 24”
  • Sq. Ft. per tile: 1.82
  • LEED Pts:
    • MR 4 (Recycled Content- 30% to 40% recycled, post-industrial)
    • MR 6 (Rapidly Renewable Material)
    • IEQ 4.4 (Low Emitting Material)
  • Also achievable with installation:
    • IEQ 4.1 (Low Emitting Materials: Adhesives and Sealants)
    • IEQ 4.2 (Low Emitting Materials: Paints and Coatings)

Cork Mosaic Tile

Cork Mosiac Tile

Cork Mosaic Tile Installation

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Fabulous Cork!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Cork tile has quickly become one of my favorite items! It is not only unique but eco friendly as well. Cork Tile is a wood based mosaic made from cork harvested from the cork oak trees in Portugal. Cork Tiles are made from 100% post industrial cork; they come either prefinished with 2 coats of a water-based urethane, or unfinished, which can then be stained any color. Its not only eco friendly but a natural thermal insulator with great acoustic properties! Cork Tile can be used in any traditional flooring application, as well as in “wet” applications such as in showers, saunas, and pool surrounds. Can’t wait to use this on one of my projects! Check out these cool installations:

Cork Floor: Bathroom

Cork Floor: Restaurant

Cork Tile: Stairwell

Cork Tile: Bar

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Cork Mosaic Tile

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Seen on and Apartment Therapy cork mosaic tiles may seem like the new thing but cork as flooring has been around  since the 1920’s.  Cork flooring keeps coming back because it acts as a natural insulator, is extremely resilient, reduces noise, and keep our backs a little less achy due to its buoyancy.  But most recently cork tiles have been touted for their sustainability as a green flooring material.

Cork comes from the thick outer bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber).  Mainly produced in Portugal the removal of the cork layer is a delicate operation and has been a way of life from before the 13th century.  The largest harvest of cork  is  for the manufacture of wine corks.  The first two harvests of cork from the cork tree are not suitable for wine cork production but are necessary to reach the cork that is, rather than being wasted the excess material from these first two harvests is used to create cork flooring and cork mosaic tiles.  The cork tree will continue to prosper and will be harvested every 9 years for wine cork production until its maturity at about 150 years.  Many countries like Portugal enforce laws that require the replanting of cork trees and have contributed greatly to deforestation.

Its almost like the perfect material!  I think my favorite part would be waking into the kitchen in the morning and my feet not freezing :)   So the benefits are great but what does it really look like installed…

All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Cork Mosaic Tile Bar

Cork TFlooring Restaurant

Cork Flooring Restaurant

Mosaic Cork Tile Shower

Mosaic Cork Tile Shower

Yep, it can be used in the shower.  There are so many uses and benefits to this tile!  So here is your introduction.  Next week we will go over the installation.  Till then check out the cork page on Design For Less – Cork Tiles

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