Here at Rocha Construction we like to encourage and help our customers to explore "green" alternatives to conventional building materials. Cork is a great choice if you're planning on a new floor!
Most hardwood flooring material is made from the trunk of the tree, killing the tree. When cork is harvested, only the outer layer of bark is removed from the tree. This does not kill the tree which replaces this outer layer within six years when it can be harvested again.
Cork is extremely durable. It was used as a flooring material centuries ago in European homes and many of these homes still have their original cork floors.
Cork is resilient. Standing on a conventional tile floor can cause soreness and strain in the calf muscles. A cork floor does not result in this kind of leg pain. This makes it especially good for a kitchen floor where almost all the “living” is done on your feet.
Cork is a non-slip surface. It also does not easily absorb water or other liquids. This makes it a good material for both kitchen and bathroom. When cork is used in the kitchen or bathroom, it should be sealed.
Cork is naturally hypoallergenic. It doesn’t shed fibers into the air or release toxins or fumes. Mold and mildew does not easily grow in it. Dust and pollen is not attracted to it.
Cork is a natural insulation, not conducting heat or cold. It tends to be warm to the touch, unlike concrete floors. This makes it an excellent material for family rooms where children will be playing on the floor.
Cork comes in a variety of colors and designs.
It can be installed to look like a conventional hardwood floor or you can let your imagination take off and create any kind of design that you want!
If you're interested in "green remodeling", give Rocha Construction a call. We can help you get a new look for your home with a "green product" that will benefit you and your family AND the environment!
What is "Green" Construction?
Before we can explain what “green construction” means, let’s define “green”.
“Green” is short for “green living”.
“Green living” is any action or activity that:
Recycling as much of the construction waste as possible instead of hauling it to a dump would be a good example of "green construction".
Instead of tossing old bricks from a demolished building into the land fill, they can be salvaged and re-used.
Many beautiful new structures have been created from building materials that have been recycled.
Remodeling an old home where there is lead paint present requires proper containment and disposal practices to prevent the release of lead-filled dust into the air which a good breeze would blow around for miles.
It is now the law that any structure built before 1968 must be tested for lead paint. If lead paint is present, it must be removed according to very strict procedures.
The installation of as many energy-efficient elements as possible in the building is a major action that is taken in “green construction”.
This would include not only energy-saving appliances but things like double-paned windows, proper insulation, thermal paint, etc. that significantly reduce the energy used by air-conditioners or heating systems in cooling or heating the building.
This helps to reduce the “carbon footprint” of the home. (This footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an individual or household, through vehicle emissions, electricity use, and fuel consumption.)
Solar panels and tankless hot water heaters are building elements that also drastically reduce the carbon footprint of a home. They also reduce your electricity bill - something everyone can be happy about!
“Green construction” would include the use of only materials that would not harm the inhabitants of the building on either a short-term or long-term basis.
Paint, carpeting, insulation, flooring and other materials can release toxic particles into the air for years after being brought into a home.
In many cases, the air inside the home is more toxic than the air outside as a result of toxic fumes created by carpeting and paint.
“Green” materials are available that do not produce harmful effects by the release of air-borne toxic particles.
An example of this is insulation created from recycled denim as seen in the photo at the right.
Other such materials are non-toxic paint and natural fiber
carpeting which do not emit toxic fumes after they are have been used in a remodeling project.
Finally, “green construction” would mean using only building
materials that were sustainable - materials that have been harvested in such a way so as not to deplete or permanently damage that resource.
Using cork or bamboo hardwood flooring materials instead of oak is an example of this.
Both these materials can be grown rapidly and in abundance to meet present needs without any fear of depriving future generations of these resources.
As you can see, “green construction” is the combined responsibility of the home owner, the interior designer and the building contractor.
“Green construction” is truly a team effort.
Working together, you can improve the quality of life for yourself, your family, Mankind and every living thing that calls this planet “home”.
Rocha Construction can help you build a home addition, remodel your kitchen or bathrooms or work with you on any home improvement project.
Rocha Construction is a Lead-Safe Certified Firm.
Give Gilbert Rocha a call for a free in-home estimate at
We are all concerned about good air quality. We are very much aware of air pollution as a problem for many people whose health is easily affected by “bad air”. Most of us think air pollution only
comes from cars, buses, factory chimneys, etc. We can SEE it in the form of smog. We can FEEL it when we try to breathe on a bad smog day.
We assume that if we stay inside with the windows and doors shut tight and have some sort of air-filter system in place, we should be breathing fairly clean air - right?
What most people don’t know is that the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in their home can have a pollutant level 3 to 5 times higher than outside the home according to the EPA.
Thousands of products on the market today are made from what are known as VOCs volatile organic compounds). “Volatile” means “evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.”
Certain solid and liquid products that you bring into your home for a home improvement project release particles into the air in the form of gases and, depending on the product, they can continue to release harmful gases into the air for years.
Three major contributors to your Indoor Air Quality are your carpeting, flooring and the paint on your walls. That “new carpet", "new floor" or “fresh paint” smell could be coming from toxic fumes. Your newly remodeled kitchen, bathroom or family room could be more toxic and harmful to your family than your backyard.
The next time you remodel your home, make sure that you use only products that do not contain VOCs or have a low VOC rating.
If you need help, ask us. Rocha Construction is working toward becoming a 100% Green Remodeler.
Call Gilbert Rocha at 310-464-4256.
If you are planning on installing a hardwood floor in a new home,
in an addition to an existing home or as a replacement for an old
floor, you might consider an alternative hardwood - bamboo.
Even though bamboo is a member of the grass family, it is classified as a hardwood when used as a flooring material.
How does it compare to the conventional hardwoods?
Bamboo is 25% harder than Red Oak which is the material most people pick for their new hardwood floor. It is even harder than Rock Maple, making it extremely durable and resistant to impact.
Once bamboo has been installed, it expands and contracts 50% less than other hardwoods.
Bamboo, the fastest growing plant in the world, can be harvested every five years unlike trees which can take decades to grow to a size large enough to produce the wood required to create a floor.
It gets a 25% higher yield than any other hardwood source.
Since bamboo is a grass, harvesting bamboo does not kill the plant. It just sends up more shoots. Also, bamboo very rapidly reproduces itself by sending out runners under the ground from which new plants sprout up. It can be planted and grown in areas where trees won’t grow and will very soon create a bamboo forest, ready for harvesting in only half a decade and continuously replacing itself without any help from Man.
Bamboo hardwood comes in many lovely colors. So take a look at samples of bamboo before you pick your flooring material. You can have a beautiful and durable hardwood floor that is also environmentally friendly.
Call Gilbert Rocha at Rocha Construction, (310) 484-4256, to get a quote on a beautiful new, "green" hardwood floor!