Cork is definitely one of the most sustainable building materials available. Harvesting cork doesn’t harm trees and doesn’t disrupt the environment. Cork is harvested from cork-tree bark and it re-grows every 7 years. Cork flooring is a great green material. It’s even used in some new build homes because it’s eco-friendly. It is not as strong as hardwood flooring but it still manages to last for good 15 – 20 years. Cork is used as an internal wall insulation where cavity wall insulation is not feasible.
Try if you can find cork products from Portugal or Spain – they will have done fewer miles. Because of peculiarities of its harvesting, cork is expensive. Cork flooring costs from £8 to £40 per square metre. More expensive ones will last longer. France and Spain is known to make tiles from recycled wine and champagne corks. Considering the amount of wine those two countries gulp down every year (look who’s talking – sobriety is not one of my virtues) it must be a huge industry. Recycled cork is even more expensive.