Posts Tagged ‘cork mosaic tiles’

11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen and Bathroom

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Follow these simple steps to an environmentally-conscious home:


1. Fix a drip.
Drip, drop, drip, drop. That leak in the bathroom sink is not just annoying. It’s costing you loads of cash in water and energy bills and wasted gallons. Get it fixed ASAP, and if you can’t get the plumber scheduled right away, use this old trick: Tie a string on the faucet and allow the drops to dribble silently down into a cup or small bowl. Use the collected H2O to water your houseplants.

2. Get clean.
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners in favor of natural cleansers (soap, water, vinegar, baking soda). You’ll do a favor for the environment and yourself.

3. Be water wise.
Low-flow toilets have come a long way. New models max out at 1.6 gallons of water per flush, but the very latest models can use even less.

4. Be water wise some more.
Tankless water heaters are a great energy saver. There’s no reason to keep a giant tank of heated water at your beck and call all day and night. Bonus tip: Go the extra mile when you turn on the shower by placing a bucket or other container under the showerhead. In the few moments it takes for the water to heat up, you can gather enough for the dog’s bowl and the houseplants. Don’t waste a drop!

5. Smell Sweet.
Cut down on harmful chemicals and gasses released into your home by using low- or no-VOC paints when giving the bath, or any other room, a fresh color.


6. Be water smart.
A simple hardware store doo-dad called an aerator on your kitchen (or bath) faucet cuts down on water consumption, sacrificing very little if any water pressure. For less than $15, you can install one of these yourself and save up to 500 gallons per year.

7. Vent a little.
Proper ventilation in the cooktop hood of your kitchen keeps bills down and air quality up.

8. Think small.
The kitchen is the energy gobbler of the home. If you’re planning a remodel, building new, or just replacing an old appliance, remember that bigger isn’t always better. In addition to looking for energy-efficiency ratings on your new purchase, consider going for a smaller model that uses less energy to begin with. Bonus tip: New drawer-style dishwashers help cut back on water use for smaller loads.

9. Lighten Up.
Opening up a kitchen with skylights and windows that allow natural sunlight to stream in not only helps your mood stay perky, it is a natural, free way to light your space. No budget to add windows? At least let the light in by removing heavy, lightblocking window treatments.

10. Divide and Conquer.
Dedicate a little space for recycling bins or bags to make living green convenient for the whole family. You can purchase color-coded units with separate compartments and lids, or create your own recycling center with inexpensive bins from the home center or discount store.

11. Go, greens!

Try your hand at going green by growing herbs or salad greens in the kitchen. Bringing in a natural element adds some coziness to your home’s busiest room, and naturally cleans the air you breathe. (And of course, nothing beats adding your own fresh basil to that pasta at the dinner table.


Written by: Suzanne Morrissey


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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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Bathroom Remodeling: Add Value to your Home!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

You’ve probably heard that bathroom remodeling and kitchen remodeling are the home improvements that are most likely to add value to your home. Whether you are planning to sell your home in six weeks, six months, six years or never, increasing its value can be a highly desirable outcome from any home improvement or home remodeling project. There are many great home improvement projects you can do, but remodeling the bathroom can be one of the most valuable in terms of the average home’s resale value. Consider the overall feeling of the space in your bathroom when planning a remodel. You probably already have some factors to work with. If you have limited space, you should innovate when it comes to storage. If you have a skylight, emphasize your bathroom’s light-filled airiness, and choose peaceful colors accordingly. If your bathroom has old fashioned features, you can still get modern faucets with antique grace that will add to your bathroom’s charm and functionality. Give your bathroom a new face by adding a new set of tiles. This can have an incredible effect on the value of the home. There are many wonderful tile designs that can have a significant impact. Simply changing the color or style of the tile in your bathroom can be a remarkably effective, and a remarkably inexpensive way to redesign your bathroom. As your bathroom remodeling plans go forward, it is important to give the room a unified look and feel. It is important that the colors, styles and designs you choose for your remodeling project fit well with each other, and with the overall design of the home. It is important to choose a single theme for the bathroom, be it contemporary, classic, modern or antique, and stick with it for all parts of the project. Taking the time to decide on a theme will make finishing the project a great deal easier and less of a hassle as well. A unified look and feel will also present a more attractive picture to all those potential home buyers. Here are some beautiful bathroom remodels that I am totally inspired by:

Frosted Blanco Bathroom Remodel

Cork Mosaic Bathroom Remodel

White Rapids Bathroom Remodel

Otago Grey Bathroom Remodel

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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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