You may not have heard of cork material being used as a flooring surface, but Amorim has been in the cork business for over half a century. Cork flooring is an incredibly resilient and eco-friendly surface that can add many health benefits to your home. From heat retention, natural insulation, and a Greenguard Gold certification for having next to zero VOCs, Amorim Group are the leaders in cork sustainability and healthy living.
Harvesting Cork Material into Flooring
We can start with the process of how cork is harvested and made into flooring. Each year, they produce nearly 200,000 tons of cork that can only be harvested from trees every 9 years. Not only is this a lot to organize on a logistic level to be sure they have the effective amount each year, but these trees take 25 years to mature and are under the protection of the Portuguese government. Cork oak trees thrive in humid environments and the bark used from these trees are harvested by hand thus making it difficult to commercialize on a large scale. Every 9 years, farmers will go out and strip the trees manually during the 3-month span that is best for harvesting. Outside of these 3 months, the cork refuses to detach itself from the trunk of the tree, making their timing that much more crucial. This process of harvesting has been passed down throughout the generations and provides a sustainable source of income for the farmers who have mastered the techniques.
From here, every bit of the cork material can be used. From cork stoppers which are produced at 26,000 per day to fashion and industrial products to wall coverings and flooring. Even down to the dust which is used to power the machinery around the plant. No waste is produced at this facility.
“I found interesting the carbon negative aspect that they talked about. They even use the cork to help fuel their plant. Nothing is wasted.” – Christian, Unique Wood Floors sales manager
“It was used on projects like space shuttles for its unique insulation qualities.” CJ, Unique Wood Floors sales consultant
“Cork stoppers are a good reference for how naturally liquid repellant cork flooring can be. If it can hold up to wine, it can hold up to anything!” Mary, Unique Wood Floors sales and marketing
Benefits of Cork
At Unique Wood Floors, we got the opportunity to meet with Goncalo Marques, Amorim Global Sales Director and Kelly Downs, the GM for North America. They along with Patrick Allen, our territory sales manager taught us the many benefits and features of cork flooring to share with our clients. Here are some highlights:
- Naturally liquid repellant, giving the surface a mildew and bacteria free environment.
- Amazing heat retention. Once warm, will stay warm for many hours.
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Reduces sound significantly compared to other hard surfaces by up to 53%
- No PVC used in its production of the Wise Cork product line.
- 100% sustainable materials, regrows and is harvestable every 9 years without cutting down the tree.
Of the many uses for cork, flooring is an ever-growing industry that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a strong, stylish, and sustainable option you will not go wrong in adding to your new design.