Put A Cork In It.
Hi all, it's been a funny old week, I always find when the clocks change it takes me a week to adjust to the lighter nights. This is especially hard going when there are small people in the house (by small people I mean my daughters, and not a gang of Oompa-loompas! Although equally as chaotic.)
Last weekend Andrew, my sister Tammie and I were on the Isle of Wight packing the cottage up ready for the big move. I thought I would have been more emotional packing every thing up but I wasn't, which I guess speaks volumes. Perhaps though, it may have had something to do with the fact I was constantly keeping an eye on my kleptomaniac sister, who had obviously seen this as a shopping weekend, only without paying for any of it!
Although it will be sad to say goodbye to our cottage, one thing I won't miss is the attic bedroom en-suite - the shower felt like it was powered by a hamster in a wheel and the floor was about as level as the Himalayas! We had such dreams for the cottage, many of which never happened. One thing in particular I would have liked to have done is to have used cork flooring in the attic en-suite.
"Cork flooring - but its not the 70's you know!" Was one of the reactions I got when told people of my ideas. Cork isn't just for the bathroom floor and office pin boards anymore, it's a fabulous versatile product that comes in a massive range of styles, colours and textures, the possibilities are almost endless.
Cork is a wonderful product, it's entirely natural coming from cork forests (Quercus Suber or Cork Oak - Andrew made me put that in for all you botanists out there) which are mainly found in the Mediterranean (the best quality is reputed to be from Portugal) . Cork bark can only be harvested from the tree once it has reached about 25 years old. The process doesn't cause any harm to the tree and once finished it will then be left to grow its new bark back. It is a highly skilled job, bringing the bark off in huge sheets rather than piles of little chippings. The regeneration process usually takes about 8-10 years before the harvesting process can begin again. Cork trees can live as long as two hundred and fifty years, making it a highly sustainable material.
The Properties of Cork - This is the science bit.
Mould and mildew resistant
Low compression and deformation
Easy to Cut and Shape
Deep inside each piece of cork are millions of air pockets making it a natural sound and thermal insulator. This is good news for keeping your heating costs down. It doesn't cause any allergens and is resistant to dust which is great for asthma sufferers. It is also impermeable to liquid and gases and is naturally resistant to Bactria, fungus, mould and mildew,