Choosing Resilient Flooring
Because of environmental concerns, cork and linoleum now compete with vinyl as attractive, durable flooring alternatives.
Synopsis: Vinyl has been the resilient floor of choice in bathrooms and kitchens for years. This article also explores the benefits of cork and linoleum flooring, and makes the case for using these alternatives in other rooms.
“All-natural,” a catchphrase of the ’90s, is used to describe everything from soft drinks to bath soap. But resilient flooring? In a market dominated by synthetic vinyl, cork and linoleum are enjoying dramatic increases in popularity, due in large part to the fact that they’re manufactured primarily from natural and recyclable products.
Historically, resilient flooring has been used almost exclusively in kitchens and baths, and for good reason. Those rooms normally encounter splashing water, shaving cream, and spaghetti sauce, and are not normally wise places to have carpet.
Ceramic tile is hard and cold, and it has those infernal grout lines. Wood floors are prone to water spots and swelling if moisture isn’t cleaned up right away. Resilient flooring, because of its proven performance in difficult environments, has been king in these applications. It never needs refinishing as does wood, and your kids won’t get splinters in their feet when they slide through a room.
Cork is a renewable resource
The building industry is sometimes castigated for using up limited natural resources. The supply of cork, though, is not likely to be depleted any time soon. The cork oak tree has been regularly harvested since at least the Roman Empire. After the tree is 30 to 40 years old, and every nine to 10 years thereafter, the cork oak tree is literally skinned alive. This harvesting process continues for 100 to 150 years on each tree. The cork oak originally was found in the Mediterranean region. Most of the world’s cork now comes from Spain, Algeria, Morocco, and especially Portugal,…