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The important thing to know about natural cork is that harvesting it does not require cutting down a tree. Natural cork is derived from the bark of cork trees using a special axe which does not harm the tree in any way. The bark is harvested every 9 to 12 years, and the cork trees will still live to be hundreds of years old. Recycling and reusing cork lessens the pressure to harvest before the trees are fully ready, as well as keeping materials out of landfills.
Photo by ShadyH on Flickr.com
This Houzz user did something similar without tile. Using a combination of about 650 collected and purchased corks, she cut them in half and adhered them to the flat side of the wall using double-stick foam tape.