Choosing the cork oak floors that are right for your green building project

26 01 2009

As you know, with Wicanders, the possibilities are nearly endless… We put Nature’s palette in your hands, combining textures and surprising colors. The originality and exotic contrasts of each pattern gives any surface a personal and distinctive touch.

But which floors are a better fit for your commercial design needs? Glue down or floating? Xtreme WRT or HPS? Read on, as today we help you determine which Wicanders floors are most suitable for your green building project…

Finding the right finish

Xtreme WRT—Wear Resistance Technology:
Ceramic is, after natural diamonds, the hardest known substance in the world. Our floating cork oak floors coated with Xtreme WRT finish with ceramic micro-bead technology, is a perfect choice if you are looking for a matte, unique, and durable finish with low maintenance.
We want you to feel assured that you are making a good, long-term investment when you choose Xtreme WRT flooring from Wicanders. Even with its hard and resistant features, Xtreme WRT gives the floor soft and natural qualities and none of the usual slippery and cold feel provided by ordinary finishes.

HPS—High Performance Surface:
The high traffic on commercial floors puts much demand on the floor and the finish. Wicanders commercial quality floors are produced with hard-wearing surface lying between the veneer and the HPS topcoat, which makes it extremely wear resistant.
Our HPS finish is based on nano beads technology. Extremely tiny beads are embedded in the top layer giving the whole surface improved properties such as scratch, slip, scuff, and stain resistance—without compromising the natural appearance, elasticity, and beauty of of our cork floors. If you are in search of flooring for high traffic areas with an extremely durable, low-sheen finish, Wicanders Cork Flooring with HPS is the choice for you. With a 15-year commercial warranty, we are confident you will love the look and feel of our HPS floors.

Glue-down versus Floating

Floating:

Wicanders Cork Oak floating floor planks are engineered with the patented CorkLoc® system on all four sides. Each edge is comprised of durable compressed cork fiberboard and Cork Protect®, a natural parafin-based all-around edge sealing system. This tightly pressed seal seamlessly vaccum locks against any and all moisture and debris, setting Wicanders CorkLoc® system apart from other floating floors.

Glue-down:
If your project calls for glue down tiles because of the area of application or the size of the job, Wicanders Series 200 and Series 2000 are the ideal products for you.

Wicanders Series 200 WRT "Natural"

Wicanders Series 200 WRT "Natural"

And for a complete guide with detailed info on dimensions, LEED qualifying points, approximate installed cost, and our best-in-the-industry warranty, please be sure to download our 2008 Commercial Flooring Guide.

We’d also like to remind you that we have just launched a new Technical Info page right here on our blog. You can visit it by clicking here. Or if you have any questions you’d like answered, our master installers are always handy, so be sure to drop us a line.

Until next time…
Team Wicanders

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Frank Lloyd Wright Chose Cork Floors too!

3 11 2008

“Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity.”

–Frank Lloyd Wright

We are all familiar with Frank Lloyd Wrights‘ most famous architectural designs like Fallingwater and the Guggenheim. He designed hundreds of famous structures and enabled the evolution of modern architecture.

What does Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy have to do with Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring you ask? Well, one of the most famous concepts he developed was Organic Architecture.  This idea of promoting harmony between people and nature sounds pretty familiar doesn’t it?

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture reminds us (surprisingly enough!) of Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring. Combining nature with sustainable design is what Wicanders does so effortlessly. Not only does the design of Wicanders flooring feel pure and natural, but it is beneficial to two environments; the natural environment in which the Cork is harvested, and the environment in which Wicanders’ flooring is installed. In Portugal, the generations of families who have nurtured the cork oak trees in the Montado forests rely on them for their livelihood, and never harm the trees during the harvest process. And by choosing Cork Oak floors, we are providing a safe, healthy, comfortable, and sustainable environment for those we love. Frank Lloyd Wright would be proud.

Oh, and the best part…Frank Lloyd Wright was a fan of cork- not only did he use cork in his home and studio, but he also used Cork Floors in his most famous design, Fallingwater.

We believe Nature’s architect would be proud…both of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ vision, and other architects who have been pioneers in Organic Architecture. It’s just what nature intended!

Born of nature, and fashioned for living. What a unique idea…

Team Wicanders

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Wicanders’ Cork Oak is Green, Beautiful and Tough!

24 10 2008

While browsing the internet the other day, we stumbled upon a little treasure! We saw a picture of the beautiful piece of artwork below, made out of cork, and just had to do a little investigating to find out more…

Allison's Cork Scrolling Project

Allison's Cork Scrolling Project

Wood worker, artist, and fellow blogger, Allison, from www.wood-alley.com, was given a piece of leftover cork flooring from her friend, a floor installer. She had never used cork flooring in a scrolling project before, so she tried it out and as you can see, the result is gorgeous! While reading her blog and checking out her pictures, we realized that this might just be our very own Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring!

The lovely Allison was gracious enough to let us know that the piece of flooring is Wicanders! It is a piece of the Series 1000 CORKLOC with High Performance Surface finish, or HPS. Because of the HPS hard wearing surface and HDF-High Density Fibreboard with CORKLOC, this piece of flooring stayed strong. This reminds us of how our tough floors are great for kids rooms and kitchens, where they get real wear and tear. And don’t forget about that 25 year residential warranty for Series 1000!

Allison said “I plan on using more of this material as I find it fascinating…” Well Allison, we find it fascinating too! But even more, we find it inspiring that you can make something so beautiful out of cork oak from the Montado cork oak forests. And to top it all off, it is an environmentally friendly product, perfect for green building and green design!

In Allison’s blog, she gives hints and instructions on how to do it yourself! You can see other artwork on her blog, or on lumberjocks.com (an online community of supportive wood working artists). We are so proud that our flooring held up to Allison’s drill press and saws!

Thank you for your art Allison, and let us know when we can see more of your Cork Creations!

Do you have a Cork Creation? Please share with us!

Until Next time,

Team Wicanders

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Let’s Raise our Glass to Cork!

13 10 2008

Our parent company, Amorim, the worlds leading cork producer, recently hosted wine writer, Liza Zimmerman, at their company headquarters in Portugal! Liza is incredibly well traveled and well versed in wine. She is one of only 100 people in the U.S to hold the Diploma in Wine and Spirits, and has been writing, educating and consulting about wine for over 15 years! While in Portugal, she learned about cork, and took some great photos along the way. You can read about her trip here, and make sure to check out her blog!

When you read Liza’s work, it is clear that she is passionate about wine. She says “I know that gathering at table is what has kept families and society together for years, and wine is an essential part of it.” Her passion is inspiring. It reminds us of the very people that harvest the Cork Oak Trees in the Montado Cork Forests. They have been dedicated to these trees for generations and generations.

photo courtesy of Liza Zimmerman

Cork Oak Tree by Liza Zimmerman

photo courtesy of Liza Zimmerman

Stacked Cork photo by Liza Zimmerman

We’d like to raise our glass to Liza for spreading the word about Cork. When we choose cork, we are helping the environment and using a sustainable and green material. Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring is proud to be part of this movement. Are you passionate about Cork? Let us know!

Cheers, Team Wicanders

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The Cork Has Grown Back! The Ultimate Sustainable Resource.

22 09 2008

Paul Henley of BBC News in Portugal recently wrote about Portugal’s cork oak forests. We quote directly from his article:

‘It’s not just a tree we are trying to protect here. It is a whole environment,’ says Antonio Ferreira, who has been a land owner and cork farmer in the Coruche district of Portugal for many years.

‘The forest you see around you now has been like this for hundreds of years. It is meant to be this way’.

Antonio points to the cork oaks whose roots hold the soil together in Portugal’s increasingly extreme climate, where deluges can be followed by many weeks entirely without rain.

Not only is there none of the creeping desertification here which marks much of the southern Iberian peninsula these days, there is an abundance of life.

Between the oaks, wildflowers flourish, sustaining bees and honey production. Some of the animal, bird and insect life is unique to the cork forest.

Paul has seen first hand the generational harvests that sustain the cork oaks. Here he shares with us a short video of a cork harvest:

The future of this unique Mediterranean environment is at risk. Won’t you help us Save Miguel?

Team Wicanders

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