coconut tiles

house_300By Eva Finkelstein

When you think of the tropics, of palm trees, of sustainability, is there a synergy?  Yes! With coconut trees, we have a plan.   Is Palm strong?  Much stronger than our traditional oak and fir. Durable?  They are incredibly dense products, having a natural resistance to decomposition by insects and microorganisms, and a high mechanical resistance.  This hardwood substitute from coconut palm trees  is often referred to as Coconut Lumber or Coco Lumber.  

The floors, walls, studs, doorframes, windowframes, decking, pillars, rafting and counter tops come from farmed plantations of old coconut palms, and do not interfere with the natural cycle of the trees. Like cork, coconut has been used for building essentials for centuries.  

The coconut fruit is still harvested from large plantations throughout the tropics, and the tree bears fruit until it’s around 70 years old.  Once the tree is felled to make way for future crops, there is a vast alternative supply of timber.  Its economic life has not ended once it is felled!  Several million palm trees come down each year, which has, fortunately, led to the vast commercial launch of ecologically-sound coconut timber in a range of different products, from flooring to posts to furniture.  

Cocotimber is a viable substitute for endangered hardwoods, and its performance is equal to or better than the conventional hardwood sources. Beautiful coconut tiles are made from the shell of coconuts after food production.  The hard coconut shell is made of approximately 50% lignin, a natural resin that resists decomposition.  The tiles can be made of the internal or external part of the coconut, making a mosaic of either convex or concave textures.  The colored surfaces vary.  Get creative!  We are currently installing these tiles for backsplashes and walls creating a simple yet dramatic effect.

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