Cork is one of the most amazing gifts from nature. Before we can fully appreciate this material we need to understand what cork is, and what makes it special.
A cork tree lasts for over 200 years. In the cork tree’s life time the outer bark of the tree is harvested every 9 years. The bark regenerates itself. It’s a truly sustainable product.
Cork is a versatile, eco friendly, stylish alternative to wood and tile flooring. It is a good insulator; it can reduce the energy required for heating. Cork has benefits like no other product, from green performance to style.
One of the other great benefits of cork flooring is that it can be treated with a waxy coat to make it fire resistant.
Cork flooring can be used in almost every interior place such as, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, basements, and commercial flooring.
Cork has been used over the centuries for commercial flooring, like in the Library of Congress. Frank Lloyd Wright used cork flooring in his famous residential building, the Falling Water in Pennsylvania.
There are several types of cork flooring like tiles, cork mosaics, and cork panels. A cork floor can be floating or glued down.
The floating cork floor is composed of natural cork panels. The panels are joined together with tongue and groove without being glued down to the sub-floor. It is a popular choice among do-it-yourselfer’s and professional installers.
Some of the many benefits of the floating floors are, easy installation, easily dismantled in case of damage, or just the desire to redecorate.
The cork mosaic floor installation is similar to a classic ceramic mosaic tile installation.
The cost of cork floor tiles start at $ 4 per square foot in natural colours. The stained designer floating floor panels are up to or over $ 10 a square foot, plus the installation.
Vacuuming cork floors regularly is recommended. A damp cloth may be used to wipe floors, but no harsh detergents should be used.
Just a few cork flooring pros and cons. Cork flooring is an eco friendly, natural flooring option, durable, absorbs heat and sound, water resistant, light weight, very comfortable to stand and walk on it. Damaged tiles are easy to replace.
However, if cork is your flooring option in the kitchen the heavy appliances will need padding. That will help reduce denting of the floor. Dents in cork floors caused by heavy furniture will usually recover up to 90% over time once the furniture has been removed.
Besides giving great flooring option for designers and home owners, there is also cork fabric, cork wall paper, and ceiling tiles just to mention just a few. Some of the unique properties of the cork fabrics are distinctive texture, natural, hypoallergenic, waterproof, dust and dirt repellent.