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Green Flooring – Cork flooring

Cork Flooring

Green Flooring - Cork

Cork floors are made primarily from the bark of the cork oak tree. Cork bark rivals bamboo as one of the fastest–growing renewable resources used in floor manufacturing. Cork bark is gathered without the use of energy–intensive machinery, and is cultivated without pesticides or fertilizers. More significantly, cork oak tree forests are home to hundreds of plant and animal species, some which are endangered. It's been argued that the termination of cork production would undoubtedly result in the depletion of the cork oak forests, and ultimately, these ecosystems. All in all, one could easily advocate that cork oak trees are an essential part of the green movement.

Today, cork flooring is one of the most celebrated green flooring surfaces on the market. Cork bark is a renewable and sustainable resource and can be harvested every 9 to 10 years. To top it off, cork bark is biodegradable and recyclable. In terms of environmentally friendly flooring, cork gets top marks.


  • Made from a renewable and sustainable resource
  • Can be made from recycled cork stoppers and flooring
  • The cork oak trees help protect Portugal soil from desertification*
  • Cork oak forests are home to hundreds of animal species, including rare birds and some endangered species
  • Cork trees live approximately 150 to 250 years
  • Cork bark is harvested without machinery
  • Most cork flooring contains few to no VOCs
  • Fertilizer and pesticides are not used in cork oak tree cultivation

*Desertification is the gradual change of livable land into a desert.


  • The carbon output of transporting cork can be high, depending on where it's harvested and delivered (e.g. Portugal to United States)
  • Some types of composite cork expel high levels of VOCs such as formaldehyde, acetic acid and phenol

Green Flooring Tips – Cork

  • Choose a cork floor that's coated with a VOC–free finish