If you've read the title to this blog and said to yourself, "I didn't see part one." that's because the gentleman writing accidentally deleted the first version of this same article. Therefore, I give you, "Put a cork in it Volume 2." Voila.
Have you ever looked at a bottle of wine and thought to yourself, "Wow. The cork from this would be great as a floor!" If you're like me, then the answer is simply, "No," but somebody brighter than us did, and thankfully so.
Cork is a remarkable flooring option, from harvesting to floor installation. Hand cut by men with axes, the only part of the cork tree that is harvested is the bark. There is no mechanical method for removing cork bark from the tree that won't damage it's core; and once the bark is harvested from the core, re-harvesting from that same tree can only be done in 9-13 years. This process makes cork one of the most environmentally friendly flooring products on the market.
If you're looking for a soft flooring option, cork just might be for you. Cork has a sponge-like attribute that makes it softer to walk on than tile, laminate, or hardwood, is a natural shock absorber, and even absorbs heat. This means that the floor will be soft and suitable for playing toddlers, will be inclined to spare falling dishes from breaking; and will be a warm surface to walk on. Also, cork is a natural resistant to mold, and mildew, and is a safe option for people who fight allergies. Cork is just an all around, too often unheard of, unique floor covering.
While cork flooring does add value to your home, and does have that shock absorbing attribute, there are a few things to be careful of. First, if overexposed to direct sunlight, cork can become discolored; so be careful where it's installed. Second, use furniture pads. The bounce back characteristic that was previously mentioned can become a permanent indentation over time if not. Third, if a knife, a sharp object, or a cat or dog's nails dig in, they can take a chuck out of your cork floor.
With all the pro's and con's in their place, I think that a cork floor is a winning ticket. It has enough variation in it for those of us that like that sort of thing, and not too much for those who don't. Cork comes in dozens of colors, has a few different styles to choose from, and is a "solid" flooring option. For those of you with a green thumb, it's time to make your toes match; so walk into Wall to Wall, your green, "...one stop flooring center.