Cork is one of the most eco-friendly flooring resources on today’s market, but before it was making a stylish, yet responsible, statement in your home it had a long storied past. Let us take you through the history of this popular resource and show you just how it got to be under your feet.
Cork has been around since ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all caught on to the versatility of the material early – historians have found cork in these cultures’ tombs, stopping up oils and wines, living structures, fishing nets and even sandals (Cork flooring isn’t the first time this resource cushioned our feet!). It wasn’t until the 18th century, after a Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, reworked the cork stopper to protect his well-known creation, champagne, that the resource became industrialized, though.
After it’s industrialization, Cork’s production took off. Cork’s low heat conduction and natural shock absorbent properties made it extremely valuable. Today the product’s revenue exceeds $1.5 billion U.S. dollars– $1.1 billion, being made up of cork stoppers, while $400 million consists of cork flooring and other cork products. That’s a lot of cork.
The value of cork doesn’t just stop at its revenue, though, the environmentally friendly harvesting process of cork makes it even more desirable. The material is harvested by stripping the bark of a 15-20-year-old evergreen oak. After an oak’s first yield, subsequent harvests occurs in eight-year increments, preserving a forest’s sustainability.
With an emphasized focus on building and designing eco-friendly homes in recent years, cork has re–entered the spotlight as one of the most environmentally friendly flooring resources for your home. This is precisely why we are so proud to carry lines of this product and promote living well. So go ahead! Utilize these amazing floors and then crack open the bubbly, you deserve it!