Green Flooring: Better Looking Than you Think

A while back, I had to meet with one of my pickiest clients, an architect of luxury homes himself, about flooring in a new beach apartment. Flooring is a designer’s bane – lots of options, lots of weight. We have to carry all that stuff, people! After sorting through probably a couple of hundred different flooring options, and dragging in canvas bag after canvas bag full tile, stone, wood, cork, and bamboo goodies, I barely had enough breath left to discuss prices, let alone relative environmental quality of the products. So, I was shocked when my pickiest client, this architect determined to impress his own picky clients, chose one of the corks – not because he feels an extraordinary commitment to treading lightly, but because it was just so darn beautiful … a creamy blush color called Oyster, in a pattern called Cleopatra Negra, with sensual swirls on the surface echoing the nearby ocean.

Soft, cushiony cork was also perfect for protecting the knees and noggins of his three little kids. And it acts as natural noise insulation – cutting the cost of sound proofing that many high-rises require when tile, stone, wood or carpeting are installed (so those kids won’t be annoying the downstairs neighbor, either). I didn’t even have to mention that cork renews itself naturally every ten-years. It comes from the spongy bark of the cork tree, and that bark regenerates after stripping. No cutting trees. No hardwood guilt.

Plenty of beauty. Endless practicality. Green products that sell themselves on their luxury and function before sustainability is even mentioned! If it wasn’t still such a hassle hauling the samples to my clients, I’d say my job was getting easier every day …

There are plenty of options for cork flooring, but here’s the vendor that provided me on this project:

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