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Granorte Cork Flooring

The Flooring Group retails Granorte Cork Flooring to customers. Below, Granorte explain their brand further;

GRANORTE is a Portuguese company, founded in 1972 to recycle the cork waste from the cork stoppers manufacturing. From the beginning we gained a reputation all over the world thanks to the excellent quality of our cork products.

The vast knowledge in our special field allowed us to develop into an expanding producer of cork technical solutions. Today, GRANORTE offers a complete range of cork products from granulated to agglomerated cork, cork rolls, wall and floor coverings.

A steady growth, supported by a sound financial structure, a high standard of technical and human resources and a constant concern with quality, research and environment protection have made us into one of the most reliable and prestigious companies in cork industry.

It is our belief that only through Innovation and Quality we will give to our customers the product they require and to cork the value it deserves.

Our mission is to lead in the design, development and manufacture of the industry’s most advanced cork products at a reasonable cost to our customers.

Granorte will identify and develop sustainable competitive advantages, playing an active and dynamic role on the cork business sector by:

  • Cooperating with suppliers and customers;
  • Focusing its business on the customer, offering a complete product range, support and customized solutions;
  • Developing user and environment friendly products;
  • Maximizing the Value of the product, increasing the user satisfaction level, at a concurrent price;
  • Training and motivating its collaborators;
  • Carrying out a continuous quality improvement management.

The history of GRANORTE is one of years of success. A steady growth based on our constant concern to produce better have made us into one of the most consistent companies in cork industry.

1972 Foundation of GRANORTE – Granulados de Cortica do Norte de Portugal, Lda.
1975 Production of granulated cork begins.
1982 Rising of the cork agglomeration plant.
1984 Granorte begins to produce agglomerated blocks and cork sheets.
1985 Production of cork wall and floor coverings.
New Corporate Identity.
1992 Company name was converted to GRANORTE – Revestimentos de Cortica, Lda.
New Corporate Identity.
1994 Establishment of GNLab, the industrial quality control laboratory of Granorte.
1999 Acquisition of the first floating floor producing line.
2000 Certification of the Quality Management System by ISO9000 Standards.
2002 Uniclic patent licensing.
2006 Construction of a new floating floor producing plant.
Acquisition of a new fully automated floating floor producing line.
2007 Founded GRANORTE UK LTD – sales branch in Cannock, England
Founded GRANORTE GmbH Deutschland – sales branch in Nuremberg, Germany.
2011 FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody Certification.
Created the GRANORTEDESIGN brand.

A progressively open market demands constant adaptation to new techniques and technologies and the capacity to always produce QUALITY.

Complete satisfaction of its customers is GRANORTE’s most important aim and is, unquestionably the most important factor in our growth. Therefore we adapt constantly so that we can offer increasingly competitive products with high quality standards.

An efficient control system guarantees the quality, from raw materials to finished products, ensuring that they are produced according to Internal Specifications and International Standards.
Nevertheless we do not see the question of QUALITY as simply following Standards, but rather as a culture resulting from a continuous process involving all the departments of the company.

QUALITY POLICY

Total customer satisfaction:
GRANORTE believes that customers establish Quality. It shall be our aim to reinforce partnership relations with completely satisfied customers.

Continuous improvement:
We shall focus on continuous improvement of our process-oriented organization.

Promotion and education:
GRANORTE shall encourage teamwork and the communication between all levels of the organization, developing education and awareness to Quality of all employees.

Environmental commitment:
We shall promote the social and external environment integration of the company and all its members.
Environmental questions are of great importance to GRANORTE. Cork itself is a natural renewable, environmentally friendly material. Therefore, our environmental efforts are focus on two fundamental areas: business practices and product design. Moreover, we do not just talk about environmental protection; we put it into practice trough a sound environmental corporate culture that reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing of our products and promotes the social and external environment integration of the company.

Low water consumption, recycling and reusing;
The use of process water, which mostly arise during the cleaning of manufacturing equipment, have been dramatically reduced during the last few years. This water is not discharged; instead it is contained, treated and reused.

Reduced solvent content;
We use exclusively solvent-free lacquers and binders with solids content between 98 and 100 %. The only solvent used on the cleaning of equipment is recycled and reused.

Cork powder;
Powder from processing and handling cork is filtered, keeping emissions to air very low. The powder is then used as a burnable fuel in the production of the thermal energy needed in our production facilities.

Packaging material;
Our packaging is about 100% corrugated cardboard. This material, marked with the Resy symbol, can be recycled without any problems.

Substrate materials;
As a substrate material of our floating floor production line (HDF) we use only high quality, low pollutant content E0 and E1 quality fibreboard.

Purchasing policy;
Granorte’s policy is to ensure that the supply of forest raw material is coming only from responsible managed sources.

Other important issues;
Environmental work also includes the questions of power consumption, transportation and the reduction of waste through better sorting and recycling.

In all our investment decisions, safety and environmental questions are given a high priority.
Since 1972, our development through the years has been constant. Starting as a mid-sized granulated cork producer, we have developed into one of the key players in the cork flooring business. We still produce and export granulated cork, and one of our first customers is still our client. Today, GRANORTE is mainly a cork coverings producer and our main product is undoubtedly the floating floors. Here are some figures regarding our company:

Total area: 48.000 m2
Covered area: 25.000 m2
Production area: 17.000 m2
Warehouse area: 8.000 m2
Employees: about 200

Main products

Granulated cork: 6%
Agglomerated cork sheets and rolls: 7%
Cork wall tiles: 7%
Cork floor tiles and sheets: 15%
Cork floating floors: 65%

Exporting ratio: 97% to more than 40 countries around the world.
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree, Quercus Suber L, which grows mainly in the Mediterranean region of the world. The bark is a vegetal tissue composed of an agglomeration of dead cells filled with air and lined with alternating layers of cellulose and suberin.

The use of cork as a raw material dates back to the Phoenician and Greek times. Because of its use as wine bottle stoppers, cork began to be known all over the world. In fact, it is the only material that manages to make a perfect sealing during the ageing of the wine.

Today, cork represents for Portugal a valuable resource being one of the most important exporting products.
Cork oak forests cover approximately 2.5 million hectares primarily in seven countries: Portugal, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia.
This tree has a life span of about 250 years. Each cork tree must be 20 to 25 years old before it can provide its first harvest of cork bark called “virgin”. This type of cork has a hard and irregular structure. After extracting the virgin cork a new layer of cork starts generating.
A typical tree produces several hundred kilograms of cork at each harvesting and will survive for many generations. The cork harvesting is made in a sustainable manner and does not harm the tree in any way.

Cork production is assured with new plantations every year. Trees are never cut down or removed without strong government intervention, which prohibits this activity.
Portugal, which produces more than 50% of the world’s cork, has been particularly careful with this resource. The first Portuguese regulations protecting cork oak trees date to 14th century.

With the increasing concern for the environment, cork oak remains the only tree whose bark can regenerate itself after harvest leaving the tree unharmed. It is truly, a renewable, environmentally friendly resource. Furthermore, the cork oak tree has the remarkable capacity to retain carbon and a harvested cork tree fixates almost five times more carbon. This exceptional characteristic makes cork a naturally sustainable product and its use contributes to the preservation of a unique habitat in the world.

The cork oak forests are well-adapted to the semi-arid regions of southern Europe, preventing desertification and providing the perfect habitat for many animal and plant species, including some rare species in extinction.

Preserving the cork oak forest areas, and the cork’s economical viability, is essential to maintain the biodiversity, avoiding desertification and promoting regional social stability.

The role of cork in preventing the global heating is significant. The cork bark of the tree regenerates itself after harvesting and it is known that a harvested cork tree absorbs 3 to 5 times more carbon. A recent study indicated that Portuguese cork forests can absorb 4,8 million tons of carbon each year and it is estimated that Mediterranean cork forests can absorb over 14 million tons of carbon per year.

The cork industry itself is truly eco-efficient. All cork is used, not one gram of cork is wasted. Cork by-products, are used in different products (flooring, decorative items, automobile industry…), and recycling (post-industrial and post-consumer) is a common practice. Even cork dust is used to generate energy.
The bark of the cork oak tree has a unique honeycomb structure composed of tiny cells filled entirely with air. The properties of cork derive naturally from the structure and chemical composition of the extremely strong, flexible membranes that are waterproof and airtight.

It should be remembered that each cubic centimetre of cork’s structure contains between 30 and 40 million cells.
Because about 89% of the tissue consists of gaseous matter, the density of cork is extremely low, in the order of 0.12 to 0.20.

Some of cork’s most unique and useful properties are:

Lightness: 
Cork is light and will float on water. For many thousands of years, this has been its most evident and most celebrated characteristic. In antiquity cork was used in fishing equipment.

Elasticity and Resiliency:
The cellular membranes are very flexible, making the cork both compressible and elastic. These characteristics, in alliance with others, largely explain how cork has become indispensable for stoppers.
This capacity means that the cork can be fitted perfectly against the walls of the bottleneck. When cork is subjected to strong pressure the gas in the cells is compressed and reduces considerably in volume. When released from pressure cork immediately recovers its original volume.

Impermeability:
The presence of suberin (a complex mixture of fatty acids and heavy organic alcohol) renders cork impermeable to both liquids and gases. As a result it does not rot, and may therefore be considered one of the best seals available.

Insulation & fire retardant qualities:
Cork has one of the best insulating capacities, thermal and acoustical, of all natural substances. This is due to the fact that the gaseous elements are sealed in tiny, impermeable compartments, insulated one from the other by a moisture resistant material. 
Cork is a natural fire retardant as it does not spread flames and does not release toxic gases during combustion.

Resistance to wear:
Cork is also remarkable resistant to wear and has a high friction coefficient. Thanks to the honeycomb structure of the suberose surface it is less affected by impact and friction that other hard surfaces.

Hypoallergenic:
Cork does not absorb dust and consequently does not cause allergies nor pose a risk to asthma sufferers. It is constitutionally inalterable and so its efficiency is guaranteed.

First utilised centuries ago as wine stoppers, cork has developed into a key material in many industries including construction, high-technology and even fashion.

In its several forms – natural, composition, granulated and rubber/cork – cork’s attributes cannot be found in any other single source, making it superior to many synthetic substitutes and an essential element for many purposes.

Cork can be adapted to various products specifications and techniques and many of its uses may be invisible to our eyes. Cork is really an all-purpose problem solver for a vast number of purposes:

Sealing
Insulation
Vibration Control
Weight Reduction
Sound Dampening
Gasketing
Flotation
Energy Conservation
Load Bearing
Polishing

Engineers, architects, builders, scientists, fashion designers, interior designers and manufactures of housewares, sporting goods and leisure products select cork because it is the best material for their unique and demanding applications.

Thanks to their superb properties, cork products have entered our everyday lives.

The Production of quality cork products takes more than industry experience or tradition – it takes technical knowledge. At GRANORTE, we are proud to have some of the very best cork experts.
Special attention is given to the research and development of new products, solutions and techniques that can improve the performance of our products and meet all the requirements of our customers.
GRANORTE offers a wide range of cork products that will surely meet the most demanding requirements of a large group of applications.

COMPOSITION CORK SHEETS – “Just like plain cork”
Composition cork sheets are widely used on pin boards, cork specialities and on all those technical applications where it is important to reproduce the characteristics of plain cork.

CORK UNDERLAYMENT – “The natural insulation”
Cork underlayment provides superior sound and thermal insulation. Due to the unique 40 million cells per cubic centimetre honeycomb structure of cork and the special nature of the resin binder, it performs outstandingly under laminate flooring, hardwood, linoleum, ceramic or even natural stone.

CORK WALL TILES – “Nature’s warm touch”
Cork’s natural beauty and comfort will create surprisingly beautiful and elegant spaces.
The insulation properties of cork will reduce sound transmission and temperature variation, creating a more intimate atmosphere.

CORK FLOOR TILES – “Bringing Nature to your feet”
The best floor you can imagine: Naturally stylish, silent and comfortable yet easy to maintain, water resistant, hard-wearing and environmentally friendly. The remarkable native properties of cork floor tiles will create a warm, quiet and relaxing ambience. 

FLOATING FLOORS WITH CORK – “Engineered natural comfort”
The next generation in flooring: Elegant and sophisticated, quiet, soft and warm yet easy to care for and maintain, durable and environmentally friendly.
Easy and fast to install, GRANORTE floating floors are perfect for residential and commercial applications, bringing the natural warmth and comfort to your environment.

Besides these standard products, GRANORTE can offer you other kind of cork products that can meet your special requirements. Please contact us and let us know your request.
Because they are…

A NATURAL SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE
Cork can be harvested from the same tree for about two hundred years and every harvested cork tree fixates between 3 to 5 times more carbon. The harvesting is made with minimal impact on the environment and no trees are cut down to bring you this product.
Cork is the perfect environmentally friendly, renewable and sustainable material.

COMFORTABLE
Cork, as a natural product, warms and enriches any interior. With over 40 million natural “cushion cells” per cubic centimeter, cork is a natural sound and thermal insulator. Cork floors are beautifully quiet and comfortable underfoot, warm and pleasant to the touch.

SAFE
Cork floors do not absorb dust and are resistant to bacteria and fungus. They do not cause allergies nor pose a risk to asthma sufferers. Adhesives and finishing products used in the manufacturing of cork floors are formaldehyde-free and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions are not detectable.

DURABLE AND EASY TO MAINTAIN
GRANORTE’s advanced coating technology gives cork floorings a highly resistant and long-lasting protection even in high traffic environments.
Due to the special factory finish, cork floors are not only durable but they require only minimal maintenance.
Cork products are, of course, comfortable, warm, elastic and silent. If you have chosen any of the cork coverings from GRANORTE (for floors or walls), then you should add to those characteristics the best durability, safety and attractiveness. On top of that, they are easy to install.

However, to take the full pleasure of your cork covering, proper installation guidelines should be followed. We have prepared simple instructions that will help to install your cork covering without any problem.

Please remember that cork is a natural product and, in spite of all due care given when manufacturing our products, differences in the structure or shade are to be expected. Verify this by daylight before you start installation. Proceeding in this manner, you can distribute the tiles/panels in such a way that variations in structure and/or shade are not striking.

Properly installed and maintained, your GRANORTE cork coverings will give you a long-lasting satisfaction.

Cork floorings are not only durable but they are also extremely easy to clean and maintain.
During manufacturing process all the possible care has been taken to ensure a long life to the cork floor and many years of satisfaction to the user.
Our floorings are factory finished to the highest of standards so that little time will be spent on maintenance. All that is required to maintain a cork floor is a regular vacuuming and light cleaning with a damp mop. Ammonia-based cleaners or chemicals must not be used to clean the floor.
A cork floor should be treated as any quality wood flooring. As durable as cork flooring is, it must be remembered that it is still a natural product.

Protection tips:
1 Protectors should be installed under chair and table legs.
2 When using furniture with wheels, the floor must be additionally protected by using mats.
3 Heavy furniture should have felt pads or non-staining glides or casters.
4 Steel wool or abrasives must not be used on the floor.
5 A quality doormat at the entrance should be used to help protect the cork floor from outside grit and sand.
6 Adequate protection should be taken when moving appliances or large pieces of furniture around the floor.
7 Cork, as a natural product, may change colour when exposed to direct sunlight. Use blinds or curtains to minimize this effect.
 
The following of these tips will guaranty many years of enjoyment of one of the best natural flooring.