Our kitchen floor has been an eyesore since the day we moved in. But all of the other house projects seemed to take precedence. When we finally got around to updating the floor, we wanted a material that was eco-friendly and all-natural. You will never believe what we used! This eco-friendly kitchen floor before and after is a must-see. You won’t believe your eyes!
This is a sponsored post made in partnership with APC Cork. However, all opinions are my own.#ad
Kitchen Floor Before
There are no words to describe our disdain for this floor. The sub-floor was never set, so it had a little slant to it. Meaning… if you spilled a liquid on one side of the floor, it would end up on the other side. The tiles were cracked. It was also permanently dirty. Like the ground in dirt that no amount of cleaning will remove. It was gross. And embarrassing.
We wanted to pick a greener floor option. Vinyl (PVC) was completely out. It may contain phthalates, lead, and other harmful chemicals which may be linked to asthma, learning disabilities, and cancer, to name a few. Plus, it can off-gas VOC’s for up to 20 years. No thank you!
Ceramic tile was our first and only option for awhile. It’s all-natural, but I had read unsubstantiated claims about lead being added to the glaze. I wasn’t sure if ceramic tile was for us, and I wanted to do some more research to find an alternative.
We decided on cork flooring and contacted APC Cork. We are ever grateful for APC Cork providing the flooring and are excited to share the benefits of cork flooring as well as information about APC Cork.
The backsplash and granite countertops have a cream color, mixed with browns and grays. APC Cork had so many color options to choose from! We picked the darker floor to balance the backsplash and counters. Our kitchen has 10 full-height windows, 2 skylights, and a glass door, so it gets plenty of light. No worries about the darker floor, it’s still a bright and cheery kitchen!
Our contractor said it was pretty easy to install. I was expecting the worst, as a kitchen floor reno can be extremely invasive, but the installation went quickly and no issues whatsoever.
About Cork Flooring + Benefits
Cork flooring is:
- A renewable resource
- Easy to clean
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Naturally flame resistant
- Cushioned and comfortable
The good news is that the manufacturing process generates almost no waste. The only “bad news” is that the cork oak (quercus suber) is native to Portugal, Spain, and Italy, which means increased fuel consumption to transport it to the United States and around the world.
All information in this section is taken directly from APC Cork.
“Cork tree forests cover the surface of almost 5.4 million acres in seven Mediterranean countries including Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, and France. These trees are synonymous with this region, and they represent one of the best examples of the development of the multi-functional forest. This landscape supports a rich diversity of wildlife, including the Iberian lynx, imperial eagle and Barbary deer, alongside farmlands, to create a unique balance between man and nature. The cork forest serves a valuable ecological function by providing soil conservation, water table recharge, and run-off control, while also buffering against climate change and desertification.
The cork oak landscapes help reduce greenhouse gases because the trees store large amounts of carbon, especially in their early years, which is when they grow the fastest. The Andalusian forests in Spain store more than 150 million tons of carbon dioxide, and cork oak trees are responsible for nearly 11 percent of this total. Cork oak trees store carbon in order to regenerate their bark, and a harvested tree absorbs up to five times more carbon than a non-harvested tree.
Cork has been harvested for centuries and is one of the finest examples of traditional, sustainable land use that offers a viable livelihood for future generations. The care and harvesting of cork is a highly-skilled business in the western Mediterranean, where each generation has tutored the next in a continuous process from the time of the ancient Greeks.
Harvesting of the outer bark of the cork oak tree (not the trunk) occurs every nine to 12 years in the late spring and early summer when the cells are turgid and fragile and tear without being damaged. The tougher cork is used for flooring and insulation, while the supple, even-structured cork is used for wine closures. A tree typically requires 25 years of growth before it produces the quality of cork used for wine closures, but it will provide a harvest for some 200 years.”
All information in this section is taken directly from APC Cork.
“APC Cork understands the environmental and social responsibility that building suppliers have, and we work hard to make sure we are reducing our overall impact by establishing the following policy commitments:
- We will only purchase cork from forests managed in a responsible way, preferably certified to FSC® or PEFC or a credible alternative standard.
- We will work with our suppliers to eliminate the purchase of cork from endangered forests.
- We will make sure our suppliers are in compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to their operations and that they are supplying legally and sustainably purchased cork.
APC Cork will ensure that the supply of raw material does not come from controversial sources such as:
- Forests operated illegally or in violation of civil and traditional rights
- High Conservation Value Forests threatened by management activities
- Forests in the process of conversion to plantations or non-forest use
- Forests where trees are genetically modified.”
Eco-Friendly Kitchen Floor After
We’re finally here! It’s the big TA-DA! We are in love with our new floor! It’s gorgeous. It’s easy to clean. And we sleep well at night knowing we made a good choice for protecting the health of our family and also the planet.
One Last Look
I will spare you from all of the scrolling back and forth to see the before and after, so here you go! The before and after…
I know you have a lot of questions! For more information and all of your answers, please visit APC Cork. If their website doesn’t have the information you are looking for, give them a call. They are super friendly and helpful!
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and building a better floor and future.HERE.