Cork is the bark of the Cork Oak tree. The tree, grown predominately in Europe and North Africa, has a life span ranging from 150-200 years. Cork is harvested using traditional methods Read More

that have remained virtually unchanged since the uses of cork were first discovered. Once the tree has reached the correct level of maturity (typically 25 years), the first harvest of cork bark is removed from the tree. The cork is removed by first making an incision using a sharp knife into the bark. After this incision is made, the cork is gently removed from the tree in sections approximately 1’ X 3’. The cork is then carried to a centralized location in the forest where it is stacked and aged for a period of 3-6 months. This process is repeated every nine years henceforth, at no time affecting the health of the tree. Hand labor is used throughout the entire harvesting process to ensure that the trees are properly treated and protected. During each harvest, no more than 50% of the bark is removed, allowing the tree to protect itself using its natural defenses. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers are not normally used in the cork forest.

Like the production of the raw material, the manufacturing methods are also geared towards the protection of our environment. To produce cork flooring, virgin cork bark and cork waste from the manufacturing of other cork products is recycled and ground into small granules. The granules are baked in molds at varying temperatures, allowing shade variations, from light to dark, in the finished tile product. After being baked, cut into slabs, sanded and finished with our natural wax or polyurethane, the tiles are hand sorted to assure the highest quality final product. Any rejected material during production is recycled back into future products. Dyes and colorings are not used in the manufacture of Expanko’s solid Traditional Cork products.

During the manufacturing process, all raw materials are consumed, either for the finished flooring product or as an energy source. Production waste consisting of cork dust and cork oak tree trimmings are burned in furnaces which supply the heat to bake the cork tiles. Not only does cork provide consumers with one of the most durable, beautiful and comfortable floors available, but it also helps conserve our precious natural resources. When installed, cork provides a long lasting floor, giving your interior a warm, natural look and feel that will retain its’ functional beauty for decades.

Source: Expanko CorK

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