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COOL MATERIALS: Expanko Cork

by , 01/15/06
filed under: Sustainable Materials

cork-1f

Something old is new again! Cork enjoyed two heydays this past century: once in the roaring 20′s and again in the late 60′s & early 70′s. Overdue for a comeback, Expanko is leading the way with new innovative patterns of their Artistico Collection. Not only is it light weight, durable, and beautiful, but as a renewable resource, it is ultimately sustainable.


Cork primarily comes from the cork oak trees in Western Europe, but an estimated 5.4 million acres are grown worldwide. Once a tree reaches 25 years, it’s stripped of about 50% of its bark; this happens every 9 or 10 years, until the tree naturally ends its lifespan at around 250 years. How many other trees can be harvested 25 times? Obviously not limited to flooring, cork has been used for many products, notably wine stoppers, fishing equipment, and bulletin boards (although for a more artistic use, check out Studio 1AM.)

Expanko uses 80-100% post-industrial waste from the wine stopper industry for their flooring content. They grind the cork into various sized granules, and then bake them to achieve three distinct tones, no dyes, no chemicals, and no VOC’s to give off fumes. The granules are then compacted into more than 20 different patterns. Sealed at the factory with water based matte polyurethane, all recommended finishes, sealers, and adhesives are water-based and eco-friendly.

+ Expanko Cork Flooring

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