|Original carpeting (and staging)
More carpeting? No, I'm not a fan of carpet. But, that wasn't the only reason I pulled out the carpet in my bedroom upstairs in the first place. The house had been used as a VRBO rental for a number of years and the carpet and pad not only had the distinct smell of dog pee, but the visual evidence as well. We cleaned the plywood as best we could and let it air out in the late August heat in preparation for replacing the flooring.
I had been looking into a variety of other "wood" flooring options, some of them not so eco-friendly, but after spending some time in Greenhome, I made the decision to use only as natural and non-offgassing products in my house as possible. My Non-Toxic Avenger neurons went all tingly and I was absolutely determined to not make any compromises with what I was choosing. I was totally pumped!
Installation was a little challenging. It really took two people to install - one holding up the previous board and the other tapping in the next board. It certainly wasn't nearly as easy as other click-lock type flooring systems. I'm not going to understate it - there was a ton of frustration putting it in. But, we managed to install the entire upstairs bedroom and bonus room plus the bathroom.
I'm super pleased with how the flooring turned out. Honestly, we almost gave up after the first couple of hours, but we managed to figure out how to install it, working as a team. Yay team! The cork gives the room a wonderful warmth to the floor, which is super important now that temperatures are in the 20s/30s. It is so soft to walk on, yet still durable enough to take a beating from dog nails and general wear and tear. It's naturally mold and mildew resistant and anti-microbial.
How is cork sustainable?
|Chillin' in my corky crib
The cork oak tree must be at least 20 - 25 years old before the first cut is made to its bark and, after that, the cork can only be extracted once every 9 years. These trees live upwards of 250 years, continually regenerating bark. Cork flooring itself is actually a recycled by-product of cork bottle stoppers.
If you're in the market for flooring, I highly recommend cork!
I'll be finishing out Part 3 of this series next week when I write about how we tackled the hallway downstairs. You know, the one where the laminate was glued directly on to the Douglas Fir flooring (sacrilege!).