Friday, May 14, 2010

Recycled Wine Corks For Eco-friendly Penny Tile Flooring

by Kimberley D. Mok, Montreal, Canada

Cork is pretty versatile, given its credentials as a renewable material (the bark harvested from the cork tree renews itself each season, so the tree itself remains unharmed), so it's no surprise to see it popping up as furniture, fabric, jewelry, ornaments, cutting boards and of course -- as flooring. Cork tiles can lend a warmer feeling to any room. While cork planks and tiles are not bad, these cork penny tiles from Canadian-based Jelinek Cork Group are even better, being both stylish and eco-friendly (ie. made from recycled wine corks). Plus, they do a good job of masquerading as ceramic tile, without the need to fire them at high temperatures.

Through initiatives like the CorkReHarvest drop-off recycling program, Jelinek collects old wine corks to be cut into circular discs of ¼" thick. The tiles are then glued onto a special paper backing to form mosaic patterns, and can also be painted and arranged in different colours as well. The tiles are glued to the subfloor and then grouted like regular ceramic tile and sealed with polyurethane to boost cork's natural water-resistance (best done with a low-VOC polyurethane sealant).

Some advantages to cork flooring: it's an excellent insulator & sound absorber, hygienic, anti-static, anti-allergenic, water resistant, doesn't entrap dirt or fungi, won't chip like ceramic when you drop something on it, plus it is easy to more story at


  1. Cork tile is a good option to try especially in cold areas. I agree that it gives a warm feel since cork is a known natural insulator.

    We actually tried cork tile (clearwater) when we renovated our kitchen last year. It is a good type of tile flooring (tampa) because it's made of renewable materials. Advocates of environment protection suggests this product to lessen the harmful effects to the environment.

  2. Hi! thanks for sharing. I have tried that kind of design in the past and my clients really loved it. I hope you could share more picuters in the future because it's really helpful.

    Tile Flooring

    Lovely of you to share your idea.