Monday, June 13th, 2011:
No component or aspect of our project has had more consideration, conversation, and debate than what to use to create the floor of our tiny house. -Though our decision to utilize natural wool insulation certainly may have come close.
For a long while, I was very interested in pursuing reclaimed Douglass Fir. Growing up on the Oregon Coast, I saw entire mountainsides denuded of Douglas Fir and found a great deal of comfort in the thought of reusing/repurposing just a little bit of that resource. This route, however, is just a bit too cost-prohibitive for us at this time.
After months of consideration and research, we have agreed upon Cork Flooring. As we’ve learned more about this natural option, we’ve become more and more enamored with it. We certainly appreciate the sustainability that surrounds this material.
Cork flooring is generally made from the left over materials from the wine cork industry, finding purpose for potentially wasted material. The Cork Oak tree who’s bark is harvested to provide the material known simply as ‘cork’ is not cut down, but sheered much like a sheep, allowing it to produce for decades -even centuries. The bark of a Cork Oak (one of the only trees that can survive having its bark completely stripped) is harvested in 9 or 10 year cycles, allowing the tree to regenerate and continue to live healthy and provide people in the areas it grows with a renewable resource.
Bamboo had some attractive qualities as well, particularly in the sustainability realm, but what really sold us on Cork (after getting past the initial concern about durability- turns out its really tough stuff!) was its insulating properties. Cork flooring provides a bit of a softer feel underfoot as well as provides for a warmer floor. We felt we could use all the help we can get as our floor is on a trailer and will be exposed to cold air underneath.
We explored several cork floor providers, many offering incredibly beautiful products, and eventually found Bare Naked Flooring, a cork floor manufacturer who’s product is 100% natural with no petrochemical coatings. They offer cork flooring with all natural finishes made without the use of chemicals or toxins. No VOC’s or nasty emissions, just real cork.
We are thrilled with where our floor search has taken us, and are really looking forward to the next step: installation!