logointroduction for community service essay
term writing service
professional writers for research papers
customized paper boxes
professional resume writing service rochester ny
help with resume writing calgary stampede
spy voice recorder on iphone
where can i get resume paper
homework help volume
thesis writing service singapore pool
where to buy juicy j papers
executive resume writers nyc board
where to buy paper
physics homework help problems with iphone
we do your essay reviews
how to buy a resume
mba admission essay services reviews
paper napkin buyer
life science homework help
monster resume writer reviews on interstellar
pay to have an essay written for you
do my history homework help
resume writer des moines ia newspaper
how can i pay someone to write my essay
the cunning craft original essays
pre written papers for sale
sale papers for grocery stores
essay editing services canada login
resume writing services kitchener kijiji
website essay writing
which essay writing service is reliable
affordable resume writing services in 2014
resume writing services perthes
what to write when sending my resume by email
essaywriters account
homework help site weebly
narrative essay about community service
to set our house in order essay papers
in a research paper one purpose of the introductory paragraph is to prove the writers thesis
personal financial statement help
top custom essays ukiah
why gas prices are so high essay
where can i buy paper hand fans
resume writer chicago yelp restaurants
custom hemp papers
american autobiographical by essay native writer
i need someone to write my thesis
buy papers online reviews
papers price
custompapers com plagiarism
buy paper jewellery
resume writing services waterville me
business intelligence assignment help
help in writing an essay
essay writing service best price nutrition
resume services york region catholic school
cv writing services for accountants
critical thinking help nursing resume
homework help for parents cdss
dissertation writers retreat
how to write up a lab report for microbiology
master thesis help
paper plate buyers in dubai
cv and cover letter service uk
professional resume writers in long island ny news
federal resume writing services maryland judiciary
resume writing services lincoln ne hotels
best place to buy paper bags
write college essay online
urgent essay review services
how to buy paper mache
customer service cover letter keywordspy
professional resume writing service columbus ohio
writing paper to help with spacing for recessed
personal statement to get admission in university
research paper on service quality
customized paper cutter
how old do you have to be to buy rolling papers in ohio
essay writers nyc craigslist
best rated resume writing service
writing reports in excel
how to write a business report to my boss
cover letter customer service consultant salary
write english paper for me cheap
homework help worlds hardest riddle and answer
writing paper with borders for winter
narrative essay about helping a friend in trouble
innroad university assignment help
assignment expert uk
customized writing dissertation
where can you buy large paper bags
resume services in houston tx
nursing cv help
argumentative essay for high school
the best essay writing service uk athletics
a manual for writers of term papers theses and dissertations 7th edition
essays on military customs and courtesies
custom essay writing service review
biology homework help online
rivers homework help river thames england
business writing service
123helpme essay expository
should community service required graduation essays
resume service in houston texas
professional resume writers guelph general hospital
writers on writing collected essays from the new york times epub
computer paper services manchester
write my apa paper for me
resume writers gulfport ms craigslist
writing paper with borders for christmas photos
personal statement for sales role
writing academic essays uk
community helpers writing paper
top resume writing services
is buy essay online plagiarism
argumentative essay for death of a salesman movie
custom term papers for sale
personal statement help midwifery
cv writing service in uae
buy raw organic rolling papers
resume writing services burlington vt real estate
i have to write a paper about myself
resume writer dayton ohio news
help with discursive essay
the order of a research paper
writing court reports in social work
phd thesis writer
how to get parents to help with homework
online essay writer
essay life partial payment their writer
professional editing service personal statement
resume writing services hawaii
resume writing winstonsalem nc
shared psychotic disorder case study
dissertation writers usa
paper ordering online
how does critical thinking help writing a thesis
certified professional resume writer canadas wonderland
homework cleaning services
cover letter uk border agency website
essay custom ukes
why cant i do my homework
monster resume writer reviews of interstellar
best resume writing services in nyc
how to write a good personal statement for a cv
help writing a definition essay in college
custom paper coffee cups toronto blue
online homework help library
help on writing an essay about myself
homework hotline ccps
homework help websites for college students
thesis buying
descriptive writing for high school students
hire writers uk
resume writing services tallahassee florida
resume writing services vaughan furniture
write my phd thesis in education
cv and cover letter service ukulele
custom essay station reviews
writing a service level agreement
essay writing for students 3rd edition
good introductions to essays in english writing
motivate me to do my essay
professional resume writers portland maine weather
essay on yourself as a writer
analyze the tone a diction of writer in rhetorical essay
persuasive letter writing for students
dissertation help article
resume writing services katy tx map
essay about family plays together lives longer than
is writemyessay co uk legit
help with essays ukiah
cheap digest writing services
i need help in my assignment
how to write a good conclusion for an essay english about myself
lyrics to paperbag writer
essay about helpful person
hiccup help paper bag players
thesis for the movie the help
can you do my assignment for me
resume writers tampa florida
rich countries should help the poor essay
pay for homework to get done quickly
thom yorke paper bag writer lyrics to it dont
hire writer for term paper
my essay writing reviews
someone write my cover letter
writing a good personal statement for med school
Thursday, 06 January 2011 19:50

A Toast to the Floor

Written by Dan Phillips


People often save wine corks. Why they do it is one of the mysteries of modern man. But there does seem to be a small voice inside everyone that whispers, "Don't throw it away. It might be useful." As pedestrian objects go, certainly the lowly wine cork holds one of the more honored spots.

Indeed, it has been interesting. I resolved to install a wine cork floor. While it wouldn't be the pricey, upper-end cork flooring that is touted in Architectural Digest, it could be the homespun "almost upper-end" floor, if I could figure out how to do it.

I am one of those mysterious people who save wine corks, but my passel of corks wasn't nearly enough to accomplish an entire floor. So I put the word out. And people responded magnificently—from Huntsville and Conroe connoisseurs to Chicago sommeliers and Atlanta bistros. Sometimes it was one or two corks; other times it was a precious collection accumulated over time. Always, however, the proviso was attached that I lovingly care for them and use them in a significant fashion. Debra Fowler, whom I bumped into at the grocery store, was willing to save corks for me, but said, "You know, Gary uses them for fishing. I'll have to negotiate with my husband." The stories go on, but I had at least enough to get started.

Now, cork comes from the bark of an oak tree (Quercus suber), which traditionally grows in the Western Mediterranean—Portugal being the largest supplier of quality cork. It is known as a "cork oak." After ten years of growth, the bark is simply peeled off the tree and processed, and then the tree is left to work on more wine corks for another ten years. In fact, if you look at a wine cork, you can see the growth rings of the tree. This information comes from an interesting website, www.corksupplyusa.com, and after checking with Huntsville's own vintners, Sue and Oscar Gutierrez, who own the Santa Maria Vineyard on Highway 30, I learned even more. Understandably, each winemaker wants to print its own nifty design on the cork—which is what makes them so fascinating to begin with (Gary, it seems kind of a shame to waste those designs on fish, who probably don't appreciate them).

Often enough, the upper-end vintners print the date of the wine harvest on the cork. I have some corks from '93, '82, even one from '78. And then I have champagne corks—a slightly different shape than your garden-variety wine cork. Well, with different lengths, shapes and sizes, the possibility of design presents itself—always a good sign.

I set to work. Do they go on end or on their sides? Should I cut them in half and double my stash? How do I affix them to the floor? Should I grout between them for easy cleaning of the floor? And, since cork is resilient, will it crack the grout? As anxieties go, wine cork-floor stress competes with the best. But determination routes you through the darkest of forests, and if the project were going to fail, I would do it publicly and supremely.

I finally decided to go with laying the corks on their little sides, with the nifty printing evident—especially the dates when available. It would yield a lumpy floor, but lumpy floors are not entirely without precedent. The bonus is that it would be resilient—easy on the feet and the spine, great insulation, and most certainly sustainable. An extra bonus would be that the floor could serve as fodder for credential waving: "Yeah, here's where we celebrated our anniversary, a marvelous 1969 Auslese trocknen. And here's Super Bowl XXXV, a subtle Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, vintage 1993. We had that with pork rinds." Yet a further bragging point is that it would be an imported Mediterranean oak floor.

There are not many inexpensive glues that stick to cork. I use the premixed ceramic tile adhesive over a subfloor that it will stick to—concrete or plywood, but not vinyl or tile. The more porous the substrate is, the better the adhesion. Each wine cork—interesting side up—is squished into the adhesive. At this point I fire a small trim nail into the cork (if it is a wooden floor), which disappears, since cork is an open-celled wood. As I fire the nail into the cork, I also press the cork into adjacent corks that have already been installed so that each cork is trapped. The floor is then allowed to dry. At this point I squeeze a small bead of yellow woodworker's glue (aliphatic resin) down each trough, and let it dry. This helps glue all the corks together. Then I grout over the top with a tile grout (directions are on the label), being careful to sponge off where a person can read the lettering. After the grout dries, I wash it with a dilute solution of muriatic acid, which takes any residual haze off of the corks, without damaging the corks. Then a coat of polyurethane. Now, credential waving is in order. But my method is only one of quite likely many. A bit of experimentation and a learning curve would always be appropriate. Contact me for advice.

Accumulating enough is lots of fun and also gets everyone involved. You simply put the word out, and the corks will start arriving. I've had little ladies arrive with three corks: "I brought you some corks!"

"Oh, thank you so much!" I raise my arms as I rave.

And yet others bring me an entire five-gallon bucket of corks. "Here," they whisper, "don't tell anyone where you got these."

Point out that if people don't particularly drink wine themselves, but would nevertheless like to contribute to the floor, they can bring you an entire bottle of wine. Of course, you must guarantee that the cork will arrive on the floor and that the contents will be appropriately dispatched. In fact, point out that a Red Bordeaux, Chateau Petrus, vintage 1953, would be nice, noting that you already have the pork rinds.