Often I will walk into a home that already has cork flooring and think, “Oh, cork flooring”—great for the environment, but not always terribly exciting to look at. On a recent trip to the Green Depot, however, I found that there is actually a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns now available in cork flooring just begging to be experimented with in the right setting. The cork material in cork flooring comes from the hand-harvested and naturally-shed bark of cork trees—the same material used to make wine corks. These trees are predominately found and harvested in Portugal and southern Europe. There are strict harvesting regulations in place and a cork tree can live for up to 500 years, thus making it a very sustainable product. Cork flooring is extremely resilient, and has a naturally spongy, cushioned surface that makes it nice to walk on, even with bare feet. Its insulating qualities and ability to hold warmth makes it a good alternative to carpeting. And finally, it is resistant to invasive organisms as well as mold and mildew, making it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Again, the Green Depot offers a wide variety of styles as well as finishes, including water based finishes, which give it a durable, slicker look and also Osmo finishes (see my previous article “Safely Refinishing Wood Floors” for more on Osmo finishes) which allows for easy spot repair and gives it a natural, satin appearance.
Cork flooring is available at the Green Depot as well as at numerous suppliers throughout the area.
1950 6th Ave S., Seattle, WA 98134