The underlayment of the floor--Cork
Cork is not only used for wine stoppers or coasters. Applying it beneath the floor as underlay is also an excellent choice for many interiors designers. Reading this passage, you will know more about it.
Cork’s cell contains countless microscopic air pockets, which account for 70% of its cell volume， which endows it with excellent acoustic and thermal interception capacity. Also, the substance called suberin in cork is a natural barrier to moisture intrusion. It’s also the reason cork has been wine stopper without replacement for centuries. For floor, cork can absorb sound and retain heat to the greatest extent. Thus, it’s the preference for places like musical studio or meeting halls. Meanwhile, it also allows the floor to recover very well from compression and puncture to avoid indentation.
The cork is harvested from tree bark, preferably oak, which grows mainly in Mediterranean area like Spain and Portugal. The cork tree has a life span that can be as long as 150 years and regenerates its bark every 8-12 years. Workers would slit the outer bark on the trunk with an axe and peel it off by hand without using machine. Then the bark would be put in the open to air dry. The whole process is sustainable and strict regulations are implemented to protect the tree.
Then the bark is chipped into tiny particles, compounded with some binding agent to keep it in form. Applied with glue, the cork sheet will then But in China, some manufacturer would also produce cork form other source to control the cost. The quality would not be as good as that originates from abroad, obviously, but it suffices to be applied as floor underlay.