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Latest bamboo, cork intros stir visual interest

April 2/9, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 21

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Touting qualities such as durability, comfort underfoot and water resistance, cork and bamboo products provide the industry with eco-friendly flooring suitable for both residential and commercial applications.

Following is an overview of some of the newest cork and bamboo innovations that promise to captivate consumers not only with updated visuals, but also with reasonable price points.

Bamboo Hardwoods

Bamboo Hardwoods’ new Symphony line features a hybrid of rigid core with a natural strand woven bamboo wear layer. The line combines the natural beauty of authentic bamboo floors with a waterproof rigid core allowing for installations in even the most undesirable locations.

Symphony is available in 72 x 51⁄8 x 9⁄32 planks and features a four-sided Uniclic locking system. Its 1.2mm strand woven bamboo veneer is wire brushed and stained. Symphony will be available in June in two colors: anise and currant.

Torlys

CorkWood brings together the look of wood, the durability of laminate and the comfort of cork. It comes in two collections: CorkWood Designer, which features 6-foot planks in nine colors, and CorkWood Elite, available in planks spanning nearly 4-feet long and five colors. CorkWood is engineered with a HDF smart core for dent resistance and a 3mm (Designer) or 2.5mm (Elite) thick top layer of compressed cork. It also includes the Torlys CorkPlus attached underlayment for added warmth and sound insulation.


WE Cork

WE Cork’s Corkoleum is a 3mm rolled cork flooring with a rubber and cork base and a cork veneer. Ideal for glue-down applications, Corkoleum is a very low, thin product. Made up of mainly cork, the flooring is marketed as being quiet, comfortable, warm and water resistant. Corkoleum is ideal for wet areas in both residential and commercial settings.

Also from WE Cork is a line of wall panels available for both residential and commercial applications. Available in two different visuals—brick, which comes in three different colors, and bark—WE Cork’s line of wall panels can be used for decorative purposes as well as a sound insulator.

Wellmade

Wellmade unveils a variety of new bamboo looks as part of its Opti-Wood flooring collection. Opti-Wood couples the performance virtues of rigid core flooring technology with real bamboo or hardwood wear layer veneers. The product features Wellmade’s Hydri-HDPC technology, a moisture protection system that seals out topical moisture and boasts a 100% waterproof HDPC core.

Wellmade’s new bamboo flooring is just over 5 inches wide, 48-plus inches long and 8.5mm thick, and features the Uniclic locking system. Colors range from traditional carbonized to multi-color and character-driven glazing options.

Cali Bamboo

Cali Bamboo has launched GeoWood, an engineered hardwood floor combining real timber layered over GeoCore—Cali’s stabilizing limestone composite foundation. The design layer atop each GeoWood plank is up to 1.2mm thick and features sustainably farmed bamboo and lumber from Lacey Act-compliant managed forests.

Made with AquaDefy technology, GeoWood boasts proven moisture protection, making it ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and below-grade spaces such as basements. Shielded by a 10-coat scratch resistant finish, GeoWood is ideal for spaces with heavy traffic, large dogs and the wear and tear of everyday life.

USFloors

USFloors’ current Cork Canvas collection is a digitally enhanced cork floor that features travertine decors. Digitally enhanced cork floors provide the beauty, depth and texture consumers expect in a natural stone or hardwood floor while maintaining the advantages of cork.

This flooring uses digital print technology to capture the colors, nuances, grains and textures of real stone and hardwood. These visuals are printed directly on a cork top layer, which is applied to an HDF core. A durable, embossed hot coat finish is applied to the cork top layer, while additional cork is added as an attached underlayment.

Wicanders

Wicanders Cork GO is a budget-friendly floating floor made with the company’s cork double layer. The collection comes in 10 cork visuals and contains all the signature Corktech benefits found in Wicanders’ products. Cork GO acts as a noise buffer between the floor and the rooms underneath and reduces walking sound up to 53%. The floor also acts as natural thermal insulation.

Cork GO provides a unique comfort in movement, even when walking barefoot. It also has a longer life span due to its elasticity, compressibility and ability to absorb high shocks

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Bamboo, cork intros offer flair for the dramatic

March 27/April 3, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 21

By Ken Ryan

 

As sub-segments of the hardwood flooring category, cork and bamboo are heralded for their eco-friendly attributes. Beyond their notable green characteristics, however, new cork and bamboo products are also renowned for their stunning visuals, durability, comfort underfoot and water-resistant properties.

Following is an overview of some of the latest products cork and bamboo suppliers have to offer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.16 AMBamboo Hardwoods
Bamboo Hardwoods’ Manor Clove flooring (pictured) features engineered strand woven bamboo with a multi-ply core. Strand woven bamboo ranks over 3000 on the Janka Hardness Scale and is a great option for both residential and commercial installations. Each plank of Manor Clove has a unique appearance due to its handscraping. The product is FloorScore certified.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.21 AMCali Bamboo (cork)
Cali Bamboo offers GreenClaimed cork flooring, which is comforting to the body and warm to the touch underfoot. Its visuals range from Shoreline (natural) to products made to resemble more natural wood looks (Silverwood and Driftwood). Pictured is Sandalwood, an engineered cork. A total of eight colors are available.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.26 AMCali Bamboo (bamboo)
Cali Bamboo offers a complete line of solid and engineered bamboo offerings. Cali Bamboo is ultra-low VOC with no added urea formaldehyde and features the company’s proprietary Fossilized manufacturing process that boasts twice the density of typical hardwood flooring products. Twenty colors encompassing unfinished, distressed natural, to cognac and vintage java (pictured) are available.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.32 AMUSFloors (bamboo)
Muse Strand (pictured) from USFloors is the ideal strand bamboo floor for homes located in a wide range of climates. Muse Strand’s cutting-edge design features distressed and chiseled surfaces, hand sculpted scraping and wire-brushed enhanced grains. Fashion-forward stains and washes evoke a sense of artistry and inspiration. These bamboo floors are Greenguard Gold-certified for indoor air quality.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.38 AMUSFloors (cork)
Natural Cork (pictured) floors from USFloors are made from the bark of the Portuguese cork oak. No trees are cut down to harvest the bark and cork trees produce new cork for re-harvest every nine years making cork a sustainable, environmentally friendly and rapidly renewable resource. Cork floors are quiet, warm and comfortable underfoot, durable and resilient. Natural Cork floors naturally resist mold and mildew, fire and pests.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.46 AMWE Cork
Sunset Acacia, from the Serenity collection of digital print on cork, provides comfort, thermal and sound insulation from the sustainable cork base. This cork base is then cloaked with wood or stone visuals that extend the design options beyond the regular cork visuals in the Serenity collection stocking line. It is finished using a hot coat finish with an AC rating that the company said exceeds LVT in wearability.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.51 AM

Wellmade
Wellmade’s Strata composite bamboo plank couples the performance features of rigid core HDPC (high-density plastic composite) technology with the natural warmth and character of eco-friendly bamboo. Featuring a solid strand bamboo top layer, Strata (pictured) bamboo outperforms traditional engineered flooring while remaining stable and extremely water resistant in the most demanding environments. Quality performance features include HDPC rigid core, HardMax nano finish and Uniclic floating installation system.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.54.58 AMWicanders
Wicanders’ Hydrocork offers a low thickness floating solution with the benefits of floors with Corktech, a technology that helped create the innovative core board made of composite cork. Hydrocork is water resistant and stable while maintaining the resilient properties and comfort rendered by cork. Wicanders’ Hydrocork comes in 10 wood look visuals, including Arcadian Rye Pine (pictured).

 

 

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Wicanders gets another F4 Star certification

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-09-30-pmMozelos, Portugal—Wicanders’ Authentica line produced by Amorim Revestimentos just earned its F4 Star certification. The F4 Star MLIT certification is globally known as one of the most demanding tests to overcome when entering Japan’s market. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport evaluated the product and certified it to be completely free from formaldehyde-emitting components.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-09-46-pmAuthentica combines the Corktech technology benefits (silence; natural thermal isolation; impact resistance; walking comfort and body wellness) with a product that, by having a double layer of cork, stands out on the vinyl flooring by offering a more ecological solution. In its core, Authentica’s touch is as natural and comforting as cork’s. On the surface, it demonstrates endurance and presents a wide range of visuals that will please even the most demanding preferences by contemporary interior fashionistas.

From light shades of white and gray to intense hues of brown and black, Wicanders gathers in its Authentica line a unique assortment of looks and is able to satisfy each of today’s market trends. Within those which replicate wood, the selection covers 18 options from Light Washed Oak to Brown Rustic Pine; there are 10 different visuals for those resembling stone, including Beige and Graphite Marble, Jurassic Limestone and Arabian Slate.

 

 

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Wicanders offerings earn accolades

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.19.23 AMSão Paio de Oleiros, Portugal—Authentica, the latest flooring range from the Wicanders’ premium brand, has been selected to appear on the shortlist of Muuuz International Awards in the Natural Floor Covering category. Organized by ArchiDesignclub and d’a magazine, this is a top architecture and interior design international event that this year has recognized 33 products from 15 different countries. The Authentica series from Amorim Revestimentos (Wicanders’ parent company) stood out among 2,500 competing products from 600 manufacturers. Each product is scored on design, originality, usability and technology.

The innovative Hydrocork flooring collection also received an accolade in the Natural Floor Covering category at the Innovation and Construction awards in Portugal. This event is a joint project between Jornal Construir, Anteprojectos magazine and Projectista, a building product search engine. This annual awards event, now in its third year, is aimed at recognizing and awarding the efforts and commitment of companies operating in Portugal that are developing more sustainable solutions and taking construction to a higher level of innovation.

Pedro Pinho, chief marketing officer at Amorim Revestimentos, said, “We are pleased to witness this niche market place more value on the innovative flair underlying the newest ranges of Wicanders’ cork flooring products. The innovation has a direct impact on the well-being of consumers, either as a result of a higher technical performance or more robust sustainability credentials of our cork flooring, in addition to a very strong alignment with the trends in our major markets.”

Launched at the beginning of 2016, the Authentica series features cork at 4mm thickness divided into two separate layers. The addition of a second cork underlayment has an impact not only on the environmental footprint, but also on the technical performance of the floor, offering additional benefits in terms of thermal resistance and sound control.

Hydrocork’s innovative nature has been widely recognized by the market. The inclusion of a new water-resistant solution in a flooring option with a core of composite cork (thus allowing to expand in an unprecedented way, bringing cork flooring to all spaces), a total thickness of only 6mm (making it an ideal solution for renovation projects) and an easy-to-install PressFit compression system make Hydrocork one of Amorim’s products in higher demand, with sales that account for more than 10% of Amorim Revestimentos’ overall sales.

As a result of this rapid growth, Amorim has made a new investment of approximately EUR 1.2 million with a goal of increasing production capacity for Hydrocork to meet the expected increased demand.

 

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Cork flooring featured at CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.57.33 PMBordeaux, France—Amorim’s Wicanders cork flooring is the star of a brass-inlaid floor covering designed by the prestigious Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes as part of her solo exhibition at the CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux that will run until April 17.

Covering 1500 square meters, the cork floor sculpture is made of Wicanders Corkcomfort flooring manufactured by Amorim Revestimentos and occupies the entire surface of the Central Nave of the CAPC museum. In addition to comfort, this product range highlights the genuine natural cork look.

“Once again, the option for a cork flooring is aligned visually with the artist’s intended aesthetic effect while giving a warm and inviting atmosphere to the place,” said Carlos de Jesus, Amorim’s marketing and communication manager.

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Cork: Combination of technology, natural attributes create durable, quality floors

Aug. 17/24; Volume 30/Number 5

By Nadia Ramlakhan

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.01.17 PM Although cork floors have gained popularity in the U.S. over the last 100 years, they have actually been in use for well over 300 years in Europe, where the product first originated. In fact, despite cork’s rocky start and reduced usage in the U.S., some cork floors installed in high-traffic areas like government buildings, banks and churches are still in service today, proving its ability to withstand scratches, dents and wear over time.

“The scratch and dent resistance of these floors is evidenced by many buildings from the early 20th century that still have cork floors in excellent condition in spite of their age and high volume of foot traffic,” said Deborah Hardin, chief customer officer, USFloors. “While no floor is bulletproof, cork floors are very durable and will continue to perform for many years after installation.”

While cork is known best for its sustainable and green attributes as well as sound abatement, comfort and warmth underfoot, most people—salespeople, dealers and consumers alike—don’t know that cork’s durability, impact resistance and resilience are key advantages of the category. “When people think about cork they just remember the bulletin boards, but there is an incredible number of solutions with different applications,” said Patrícia Fernandes, public relations and online marketing, corporate marketing department, Amorim Revestimentos.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.00.58 PMOne cause of this common misconception of cork is lack of education and awareness on both the sales and consumer fronts. Most people have not been exposed to modern cork and are unaware of the options that come with a cork floor. Since there have been countless advances in technology in recent years, cork floors offer a variety of finishes, veneers, colors, decors and visuals—all exceedingly durable.

“A majority of the public doesn’t know cork can even be used as a floor unless they are watching HGTV or other similar programming,” said Ann Wicander, president of WE Cork. “It’s not something that crosses the radar very often. It always goes back to education. If a salesperson is nervous about something or doesn’t know too much about a product, he will tend to shy away from it.”

USFloors’ retail training includes a program called “Bustin’ Myths and Takin’ Orders,” which highlights some popular misconceptions of cork and explains in detail the truth behind them. For example, cork’s durability is complemented by its water resistance as the raw material is naturally impermeable, a feature not known to many shoppers.

“USFloors has been on a campaign for the last year to make a concerted effort to educate retail salespeople of the features and benefits of cork so that they will sell this [viable] flooring option with confidence,” Hardin said. “Cork naturally repels water. Think about some of the most common uses for cork: wine bottle stoppers and fishing floats. Both of these applications require that cork will not allow liquid to be absorbed.”

Cork’s durability comes from a combination of natural, inherent attributes with advanced technology. “One of the characteristics Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.01.09 PMof cork is that it has an elastic ‘memory’ and therefore recovers well from compression, very much like how a wine cork stopper being pulled out of a bottle expands,” said Mário Pinho, vice president of sales for North America, Amorim. “Due to its resilient qualities, cork flooring has the ability to bounce back from hard impacts. A durable surface finish further protects the cork and allows for easy maintenance.”

A number of highly durable, scratch-resistant floor covering options available in the hard surface market today are rough on the feet. Not only are cork floors soft underfoot, they are also recommended for people with joint pains or arthritis, without compromising its durability.

Amorim, a pioneer in offering cork-based floors suitable for both residential and commercial high traffic applications with 145 years of experience, recently launched Hydrocork by Wicanders, which offers maximum durability by combining LVT with a cork core. “It also has the unique PressFit vertical installation system that takes full advantage of cork’s inherent properties—flexibility, elasticity and compressibility—functioning exactly like a cork stopper,” Pinho explained. “It is the perfect product for heavy traffic commercial jobs and also for DIY residential applications.”

WE Cork also uses technology to enhance the durability of its cork floors. Its most recent launch, the Serenity collection, is available in both glue down and floating formats and features a high density and new generation of finish technology while retaining cork’s natural cell structure (closed air cells allow for thermal and acoustic insulation). The trifecta results in an AC rating of 5, which surpasses the performance of LVT.

“With this we can offer custom visuals and 10-year warranties with no fading,” Wicander noted. “At the same time it’s still green, comfortable, quiet and extremely dent resistant.”

USFloors’ Endura AR high performance UV-cured aluminum oxide finish provides advanced abrasion resistance for the company’s cork floors. Endura AR protects these floors from everyday wear, making sure they look new after many years of use. “State-of-the-art finishes like Endura AR protect the floor and make it as durable as any prefinished or site-finished hardwood floor,” Hardin said.

While cork does not lose its strength over time, reasonable care needs to be taken regarding furniture and heel protection to ensure that the floor is not damaged, as with all hard surface flooring. Pinho noted that most cork floors are prefinished, meaning they can offer long wear warranties without the need of applying any additional coats on site.

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Wicanders introduces Hydrocork

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 3.01.22 PMPaio de Oleiros, Portugal—Wicanders, the premium brand of Amorim Revestimentos, has introduced Hydrocork in the U.S. after its initial success in Europe earlier this year. Hydrocork is an innovative engineered product that combines premium LVT with waterproof cork featuring maximum durability and up to 51% noise reduction.

Hydrocork is available in 48 x 5 ¾ planks and ranges from light shades of white and gray to intense tones of brown in trendy wood visuals and realistic textures.

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Cork: Latest looks

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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.17.34 AMExpanko

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.Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.18.06 AM

Wicanders

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.Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.18.28 AM

WE Cork

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.Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.18.45 AM

USFloors

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).Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.19.06 AM

EcoTimber

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.Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 11.19.35 AM

Capri Cork

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.

 

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Wicanders introduces new plank size

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 1.47.05 PMSão Paio de Oleiros, Portugal — Wicanders announced the introduction of a new plank size in the digital printing collection and enlarged its Vinylcomfort product line.

Artcomfort, which uses the latest optic image technology to reproduce attractive and realistic visuals, presents a longer board with 1830 mm length. The long board, ideal to create a spacious effect in interior decoration, and emphasized by the four sides beveling, reinforces the expressivity and authenticity of the wood planks, creating a more refined and elegant atmosphere.

All the visuals are protected with a Natural Power Coat (NPC), a wear resistant and eco-friendly top layer which offers a higher standard in wear warranty that offers up to 20 years coverage.

In the Vinylcomfort product line, five new visuals were added with exclusive wood patterns, reflecting the trends in interior decoration. From natural and light pastel shades to gray and black colors, the new pallet range is available with a 0.3 mm wear layer for domestic areas in the elegant plank size of 1220 x 185 mm.

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Wicanders launches Corktech to highlight cork flooring benefits

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 8.51.06 AMSão Paio de Oleiros, Portugal — Wicanders announced the launch of a new label – Corktech – to highlight the benefits of cork flooring. According to the company, this label represents floors that provide silence, warmth, walking comfort, body wellness and impact resistance.

The Corktech label utilizes exclusive technology combined with one of nature’s most amazing products: cork. According to Wicanders, its superior performance is based in a multilayer structure: a high thickness core layer of cork, which provides superior physical comfort, sound reduction and warmth, allied to an integrated cork underlay that reinforces the shock absorbing and the acoustical and thermal insulation properties.