Volume 27/Number 24; March 31/April 7, 2014
As environmental awareness spreads throughout both retail and commercial markets, an increasing amount of manufacturers have created products to help meet the needs of green-minded customers and end users. Recently, numerous cork companies have refreshed their offerings to include the latest from the sustainable, fashionable and practical category.
Over the years, the look and feel of classic homogeneous, gluedown cork has evolved through everything from patterned cork to colored cork. Recently, Expanko has noticed a trend toward the use of cork planks, an evolution from the more traditional square tiles.
By utilizing plank dimensions, designers are able to increase the creative possibilities of cork and pay homage to the look of traditional hardwood floors. Expanko has recently added 4- and 6-inch-wide plank dimensions to its Heirloom and Prestige cork lines. The company also offers the option of custom dimensions to suit any project’s needs.
By utilizing plank dimensions for unique designs rather than mixing colors of cork within a single tile, Expanko is able to maintain the inherent structural integrity of cork to create a strong, long-lasting floor.
Following the latest décor trends and maintaining the uniqueness achieved by integrating the Corktech label, Wicanders has introduced a new plank size in the Artcomfort collection and expanded its Vinylcomfort product line.
Artcomfort, which uses the latest optic image technology to reproduce appealing and realistic visuals, now features a longer board at about 6 feet long. The long board is emphasized by four sides of beveling and reinforces the authenticity of the wood planks, creating a more refined atmosphere.
The new board is available in seven wood visuals ranging from light to dark tones. All options are protected with Natural Power Coat (NPC), a highly wear-resistant and eco-friendly top layer that offers a higher standard in wear warranty with up to 20 years of coverage.
In the Vinylcomfort product line, five new visuals have been added with exclusive wood patterns, reflecting the trends in interior design. From natural and light pastel shades to gray and black tones, the new pallet range is available with a 0.3 mm wearlayer for domestic areas in planks measuring approximately 7 inches wide by 4 feet long.
The Serenity Collection from WE Cork is a cork floor with a high definition, 3-pass, digital print technology that reproduces the essence of wood or tile on a cork substrate, offering the best of classic beauty with the resiliency and comfort of cork.
The Serenity Collection allows the end user to use her imagination as any image she can conjure up can be printed with great clarity and vibrancy, turning a cork floor into a truly unique focal point for any space.
Over the last six months, USFloors has introduced several new looks in cork from traditional square-edge planks to beveled-edge 18 x 24 tiles to, most recently, digitally enhanced (printed) cork with hardwood plank visuals, representing an expansion of the Cork Canvas collection. Cork Canvas was launched in 2012 as part of USFloors’ Green Island collection with four square-edge, 18 x 24 tiles featuring slate and stone visuals.
This year, the Cork Canvas collection has been updated with four new beveled-edge, 7 x 48 x 10.5 mm hardwood plank decors in an engineered locking construction with the 2G CorkLoc profile.
Digitally enhanced Cork Canvas takes a sustainable Natural Cork floor and replicates the look of natural stone or travertine directly onto the surface of the cork with the advanced digital imaging optics of Enhanced Realism Technology (ERT).
EcoTimber, a leader in the supply of sustainably sourced wood and bamboo flooring since 1993, recently added cork to its portfolio of natural-growing products. In adding cork, EcoTimber has partnered with Corksribas, a Portuguese manufacturer, as its supplier.
EcoTimber, in addition to a sizeable selection of traditional cork tiles and planks, also offers stone and wood looks, underlayment and is adding new collections of wider and longer plank wood options, as well as rustic cork wall treatments.
In its gluedown cork flooring business, Capri Cork is seeing trends develop with its Pick-up Strips selections.
The Pick-up Strips Dark pattern is part of Capri’s Mediterra Rigato collection and offers a random linear pattern. The entire Mediterra Rigato collection includes similar features ranging from subtle to bold. According to Margaret Buccholz, who is part of Capri Cork’s marketing and design team, the company is seeing annual increases in Mediterra Rigato sales.
In addition, a collection of Mediterra Planks includes 34 patterns and colors available in 4 x 18, 4 x 24, 6 x 18 and 6 x 24 gluedown selections. As with Mediterra Rigato, sales of the Mediterra Planks are increasing annually.
All Mediterra cork products come prefinished with three coats of water-based, commercial-grade polyurethane; have an anti-curl back coating, and are FloorScore certified.