By Ken Ryan—Even before the age of COVID-19, products that offered healthier attributes were gaining favor in the home. That trend has grown post-COVID-19, much to the benefit of products like cork and bamboo flooring. Known for their environmentally friendly benefits and unique visual characteristics, cork and bamboo flooring continue to serve a niche in the “alternative” hardwoods segment.
Both products have sustainable features. Cork is produced from the bark of the cork tree and can be re-harvested every 10 years. Cork also contains a natural ingredient called suberin, a waxy substance that helps keep cork moisture resistant. The result: a cleaner, healthier floor.
Bamboo, meanwhile, is actually a renewable grass that grows very rapidly, with supplies replenished every three to five years. Once the bamboo plant has been harvested, the root continues to grow so that it does not need replanting. Strand woven bamboo, for example, is an extremely strong, natural flooring material that is suitable for both domestic and commercial use.
Given these attributes, cork and bamboo flooring provide a desirable alternative to many commodity-driven hard surface products. Following is a sampling of new offerings.
As a veteran in the sustainable flooring arena, Cali Floors offers premium fossilized bamboo in solid, engineered and hybrid SPC planks. GeoWood (the hybrid format) layers actual bamboo over a waterproof limestone composite core for planks that are faster and easier to click into place but look exactly like solid bamboo flooring once installed. In addition, a new collection of Cali Cork was recently launched with upgraded colors and a more durable, high-resistance ceramic finish. The cork tiles are also naturally water resistant, sound insulating, antimicrobial, cushioning and temperature regulating for more comfortable homes.
Opus Floors Canada
The newest visuals in both Green Flow and Naturcork from Opus Floors Canada are designed to be aesthetically appealing, technologically advanced and eco-friendly. Green Flow incorporates high-tech digital printing imaging (1,000 dpi) and features a 100% solid core locking system. As a result, it produces fewer repeats and sharper images in both wood plank and tile. Among its other attributes: 100% solid cork core; angle/angle click system; and silent cork underlay. The surface finish on Opus Green Flow cork floors is designed to prevent trapped dirt, dust, germs and mold, the company said.
Get ready to re-imagine natural cork flooring and “walk on air” with CorkXP—one of the most sustainable flooring options available with Torlys Xtreme Performance technology, according to the company. Available in traditional, modern and even HD-printed wood grain visuals, CorkXP is made from 100% natural materials and is sourced from responsibly managed forests. What’s more, CorkXP also has built-in antimicrobial technology from Torlys Maxx Commercial Finish and CorkPlus Blue attached underlay with Microban. With comfort, warmth and a waterproof surface, these cork floors in traditional and contemporary cork patterns are suitable for any room.
HDPC waterproof bamboo flooring from Wellmade couples the performance virtues of rigid core flooring with the unique character of real strand bamboo. Eco-friendly, HDPC strand bamboo is twice as hard as oak and tolerant to temperature fluctuations while remaining stable in the most demanding environments. Suitable for use in areas prone to moisture like kitchens, baths and below-grade basements, low-luster, wire-brush finishes and optional distressed textures augment the collection’s bamboo wear layer. Available in traditional 5.12-inch x 36-inch plank or wider/longer 7.48-inch x 72-inch planks.