When decorating your baby’s nursery instead of choosing hardwood – consider cork.
Cork flooring is becoming an increasingly popular – and its many benefits may surprise you.
Unlike hardwood flooring, produced from felled trees, cork flooring comes from the bark of the tree only. The bark is harvested every nine years, and then grows back with no harm to the tree itself.
Cork flooring is made by grinding the bark into small pieces, which are coated with a non-toxic resin binder. It’s manufactured as tiles or planks in various thicknesses.
Surprisingly, cork flooring doesn’t resemble the bulletin board material at all. Because it’s processed from tiny pieces, manufacturers can achieve an amazing array of patterns and textures.
Colors also vary – but not from stains or dyes. During the manufacturing process, cork is baked in ovens – the longer it bakes, the darker it becomes. Unfinished cork can be painted or stained as well.
One of the greatest benefits of cork flooring is the environmental impact – because it’s made from bark, the cork trees are simply peeled instead of cut down.
Because of its unique cellular structure, cork flooring is extremely resilient and quiet. Fifty percent of the volume of material is air, which acts as a natural shock and sound absorber.
The air pockets in cork also make it a great insulator – cork floors stay warm even when installed over cold concrete floors. It’s also a great covering over radiant floor heating.
Other benefits include:
- Cleanliness: Cork is naturally anti-allergenic and anti-static.
- Insulating: The air pockets in cork flooring slow the transfer of heat. This allows the floor to have and even temperature.
- Design choices: Cork is available in a huge variety of colors and patterns, and comes in planks or tiles.
- Durability: Urethane-sealed cork floors are extremely durable, usually outlasting most hardwoods or vinyl. The floor is resilient to active babies. It can with stand toys being thrown at it and cars being run across it. This floor is also more forgiving to babies that are learning to walk.
Cork flooring is soft so you may need to use furniture pads underneath the legs of the crib and dresser.
When you are choosing flooring for your baby’s nursery, cork is definitely something that should be considered. Coming from someone who chose bamboo and will probably need to replace anything that isn’t covered by a rug, cork is the way to go.
Everyday I cringe when my son plays in our living room due to the fact that he is an active baby and LOVES to thrown everything. We have so many scratches and chips in our floor I had to ban hard plastic toys to the basement.