Cork Bathroom Flooring: A Go Green Project

The natural warmth of cork makes it an ideal product for bathroom flooring and anywhere where you may be walking barefoot. Moreover, sealed edges, water-resistant lacquer and water-resistant core make cork flooring suitable for most bathrooms where moisture levels are not excessive. Cork bathroom flooring has many advantages that can be beneficial in your bathroom. There is a natural chemical in cork that is called suberin. Suberin has been scientifically proven to repel insects, bacteria, mould and mildew: all factors to be considered when choosing your flooring.

Cork Flooring Bathroom

Cork Flooring Bathroom

Another key factor you might consider is how eco-friendly cork flooring is. If you’re planning to green your household you can start with your floors. Cork floor tiles and floating floor planks are made from the bark of the cork oak tree. The cork oak tree can be harvest every 9-12 years. To do this, the bark is stripped off the tree by hand. The stripping of the bark does not damage the tree. The cork oak has the natural ability to re-grow its bark. The re-grown bark is harvestable in another 9-12 years. This makes the cork oak a re-usable, renewable resource that does not require re-planting.

Cork floors come in many different patterns, styles and even colors. They can add a natural wood flooring appearance in your bathroom and virtually any room in your household.

How Is Cork Bathroom Flooring Produced?

Cork flooring is produced from the outer bark of a tree, the Quercus suber, which grows generally in the Mediterranean. There are about 5.4 million acres of cork oak forests all over the world, spread out the seven primary producers of cork. These countries include Portugal, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, and Tunisia. Portugal produces the most cork of these seven countries, accounting for half of the cork supply in the world.

Sand Marble Cork Flooring for Bathroom

Sand Marble Cork Flooring for Bathroom

The bark used for cork is usually harvested every 10 years. After slab after slab of cork barks are harvested and cleaned, they are boiled and then stripped to remove the rough outer surface of the bark. Corks used as bottle stoppers are then punched out from the best cork slabs. The rest are then ground up into smaller granules, mixed in with binders, and then molded into big blocks before being baked in special ovens. This way, all the cork barks harvested are used and not a single scrap is wasted.

Cork is used in a variety of ways, and over the years, cork flooring is one of the products developed out of the humble bark. Most of the manufacturers out there make cork tiles in light, medium, and dark shades, although shade variations will be present between tiles categorized in the same general shade. There are different sizes of cork tiles available so you should be able to get one that will fit your needs exactly.

The Using of Cork Bathroom Flooring

Cork tiles can also be used as bathroom flooring as part of an effort to turn your house green. Cork has unique properties suitable for the job at hand so you shouldn’t have to worry about cork living up to the demands of bathroom flooring. For starters, cork tiles are soft and feel warm, so you never have to tiptoe around your bathroom after a bath because the floor tiles are cold. But more importantly, cork is suitable for the wet environment in a bathroom because it naturally resists mold, bacteria, and mildew.

Pros and Cons Bathroom Cork Flooring

Pros and Cons Bathroom Cork Flooring

Cork is a green option for flooring because harvesting it has very low impact on the environment for harvesting practices are sustainable and nearly zero waste is produced during the manufacturing process. The cork-producing nations even regulate frequently how they harvest cork in order to minimize as much damage as they can from the trees. The trees are unharmed for the most part of the debarking process but because barks are like their protective covering, trees are more susceptible to injuries when debarked. When the bark regenerates though, the tree is protected again. This is why harvesting is done only every 10 years or so, giving the bark enough time to regenerate.

Choosing flooring for your bathroom is a difficult task and there are many things to consider prior to making your choice. First and foremost you’ll need to choose a flooring option that can handle large amounts of water and moisture. Second, you’ll want something comfortable and easy to clean. Most people end up going with some sort of ceramic tiles in there bathrooms however there is a better solution. You might want to give cork bathroom flooring a try if you’re considering a different approach in your bathroom beyond ceramic tiles.