Cork functions as one of the foremost floor coverings on today’s market. It’s appeal lines in its attractive countenance while carrying a rating worthy of champions, and is equitably priced. Also as a result of its unique cellular structure, it is warm and comfortable to walk on too. Add to those outstanding qualities the fact that cork is also ecologically friendly and you’ve got a product that can set the par in its field.
Take a moment to understand why this flooring is unique unto itself and consider what its nature-given properties can bring to you and your home life. Cork works on several levels, fending and defending itself in nature translates to an interesting material that has managed to do what few others of its ilk can. Sound inhibition, thermal insulation, fire retardant, water, mold and mildew resistant are just a few of its qualities, but as the actual floor here’s but a bit of what it brings.
DENSITY – Product density is determined by the size of the cork granules used. Larger granules have fewer voids to be filled by binding agents and therefore produce a higher density cork. Large cork granules, with high density, are used as the top layer of all Natural Cork floating floors and parquet tiles to ensure the durability of the floor. Lower density cork is only used on the bottom layer of the floating floor plank for added thermal, acoustical, and mold resistance properties.
FINISH – Cork flooring can be purchased unfinished, however it should be finished upon installation to guard against wear and tear. By insuring protection for the investment made, you’ll receive a longer product life. Though paste wax is still available, the most common finish today is polyurethane. This not only protects against scratches but also against liquid invasion.
THICKNESS – The thickness of a cork wear layer has less to do with durability than with density, as each mm of thickness corresponds with improved insulation both acoustic and thermal. A good standard thickness is 6mm for glue down tiles, while a 3 mm top layer and 2-3 mm bottom layer is good for floating floors with an HDF core. Cork tiles can range up to 12mm for optimal results.
Most cork decorative patterns are made of thin veneer laminated to a cork base. Failure to maintain the finish can effect irreparable damage to this pattern layer. The longevity of the finish can be directly related to traffic intensity and quality of floor care. When a cork floor starts to show a traffic pattern and signs of wear, it is time to renew the finish.
A new coat or two of polyurethane will shine up the floor and prolong its lifespan. The entire floor will need to be gently abraded and thoroughly cleaned before applying one or two coats of high quality water based polyurethane. The finish will then need to set for approximately 48 hours before replacing furniture or receiving heavy traffic. Under normal use in a residential setting, a polyurethane finish should last between 3-7 years between refinishing.
Consider cork flooring for your home today.