Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree; it grows mainly in the Mediterranean region of the world
and has a life span of about 200 years. Each cork tree lives to 20 to 25 years old before it can provide
its first harvest of cork. After extracting the cork a new layer starts generating and nine years will
pass until a new harvest can take place. The cork harvesting is conducted in a sustainable manner
and does not harm the tree as it is never cut down or removed.
With increasing concern for the environment, cork oak remains the only tree where its bark can
regenerate itself after a harvest, leaving the tree unharmed. Furthermore, the cork oak tree has the
remarkable capacity to retain carbon and a harvested cork tree fixates almost five times more
carbon. These exceptional characteristics mean that cork is a naturally sustainable product and its
use contributes to the preservation of a unique habitat in the world.
Cork is a perfect environmentally friendly material making it the ideal option when looking for floor
and wall coverings. It is amazingly versatile so designers can explore the material in a surprisingly
creative fashion. By altering colour and the way the cork is “laid up” it becomes possible to create a
whole range of textures and visual effects, without upsetting it’s performance and maintaining
cork’s natural properties.
With over 40 million natural cushion cells per cubic centimetre, cork is a natural sound and thermal
insulator, comfortable underfoot, quiet, warm and pleasant to the touch. Cork floors do not absorb
dust and are resistant to bacteria and fungus. They do not trigger allergies, nor will it pose a risk to
asthma sufferers. Portugal Cork has a proven low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.