Cork has become a popular material for flooring in recent years. It is eco-friendly, attractive, and unique. The flooring can be utilized throughout your home, though there are some details you will want to consider.
Cork flooring is made through the process of harvesting the bark from cork oak trees. It is environmentally friendly because only about half of the tree’s bark is harvested at a single time. Cork is a renewable resource so there is no need to take down the entire tree. Trees can be harvested for their bark approximately every 9 to 10 years.
Cork has a high level of resiliency due to the tiny air pockets found naturally in the honeycomb structure. It gives way to put pressure as well as objects that bounce on it while keeping its original shape. As such, you will find that it has a little bit of “bounce” on it as you walk in comparison to hardwood or laminate.
Cork is also hypoallergenic and will repel various pests, including termites. It will also prevent mildew and mold from growing into your flooring.
Cork has the ability to give on impact, making it great for children and pets. The floor can withstand a significant amount of traffic. You may also be able to explore various finishes that will give it extra scratch protection. Mats or area rugs can also be placed in some of the high traffic areas.
If you are looking for a natural noise insulator, cork works well. It is a popular choice for recording studios and libraries because it can muffle sound more effectively than other flooring materials. It’s also important to note that the quality of cork plays a role in noise insulation. If this is an important quality, consider talking to your flooring professional about a higher quality cork.
When you decide to buy cork flooring, there are several things that need to be considered. It will ensure that you are able to achieve the desired aesthetic across the various rooms of your home.
The composition of the cork flooring is available in three different styles:
The configuration needs to be taken into consideration as this will impact to the overall appearance as well as how the cork flooring is installed.
There are many design opportunities when you look at the texture of cork. Although some brands will create different names for the cork they are selling, they are still identified as either peeled or burled. Much of it has to do with the size of the granule. Smaller granules provide an even texture while larger granules create a highly textured flooring.
One of the reasons cork flooring is becoming so popular is because of the color options available to you. The color is achieved during the baking process. You can choose from natural colors that fall into categories of light, medium, and dark. You can also have the cork floors stained similar to hardwood. It’s also possible to have cork floors painted, allowing you to choose any color in the spectrum.
When cork flooring is installed, you want to make sure you do everything to protect your investment.
A moisture barrier is often recommended, though it will depend on the specific flooring that is used. This will go in between the subfloor and the cork flooring itself.
Special flooring adhesive will need to be used when you choose cork tiles.
Trims will need to be specifically explored based upon how flooring will expand and contract based upon temperature and humidity changes. Some extra space should be left between the wall edges when the flooring is being installed. Trim and molding is available to hide the extra space. Various accessories are available for you to create the desired aesthetic:
You want your cork flooring to last as long as possible. A few tips should be followed so that you can care for them effectively.
The natural composition of cork will react to the temperature and humidity level in your home. If you are in a dry climate, consider a humidifier. If you are in a moist climate, consider a dehumidifier. This will help you to regulate the humidity so that there are no issues with the flooring.
If you have a significant amount of sunlight coming through the windows and doors, it’s important to understand that the color can fade as a result of high exposure to sunlight. You may want to consider installing window treatments or adding a UV protective coating on your windows.
Sweep or vacuum the floors regularly to remove excess debris and dirt. You should also damp mop periodically with a mild cleanser for a deeper clean. Spills and other accidents should also be cleaned up immediately. You should never use an ammonia-based all-purpose floor cleaner due to their abrasiveness. You may also want to consider pads on your furniture as you don’t want to drag furniture across the floors for fear of scratching and denting.
As you explore flooring options for your home, you may be drawn to the warm tones and exceptional beauty of cork flooring. Cork floors are manufactured using cork oak tree bark, so it is considered to be eco-friendly. The material shares many benefits with hardwood flooring, but it also has unique properties that set it apart from other options that you may be interested in. Before deciding on a product for your home’s new flooring project, take a closer look at how cork stacks up to other popular flooring materials.
Both carpeting and cork are available in numerous styles and colors, which gives you control over style and ambiance in your home. Cork is a softer yet durable wood that has give under your feet. Therefore, carpet and cork are both comfortable to walk on. Cork, however, is easier to care for, is more suitable for use in homes of allergy sufferers and has a superior lifespan. Consider that carpet usually must be replaced within 5 to 15 years, depending on its quality and how well it is maintained. Cork’s longevity extends to 40 years.
Both cork and tile are impermeable to water damage and have similar care requirements. They are also well-suited for homes of allergy-sufferers. However, cork will not crack when heavy objects fall on it. Because cork has a cushioned feel under your feet, it is more comfortable to walk on. It also has noise-buffering qualities and is warmer to walk across in bare feet during cooler months of the year.
Hardwood floors are popular because of their elegance, warmth and convenient maintenance requirements. Nonetheless, they can easily be scratched and damaged by water. They also have poor acoustic benefits and may release chemicals into the home that impact indoor air quality. On the other hand, cork also has simple maintenance requirements, but it is not as susceptible to water damage or scratches as hardwood is. It is well-suited for promoting excellent indoor air quality and can buffer sounds more effectively than wood can.
Many homeowners opt for vinyl flooring because it is water-resistant, durable and affordable. However, through its manufacturing process, the coloring and pattern are only present in the upper layers. As vinyl wears down, you will see obvious and increasing signs of wear. With cork, the coloring and pattern is present throughout the entire material. This means that cork will continue to look great in your home and may have superior longevity.
If you have not yet looked at cork flooring options, you may assume that the material is available with a narrow selection of colors and patterns. However, a closer look reveals that there are numerous colors and styles of cork flooring available in both tile sizes and planks. You can install these pieces seamlessly or use alternating colors as desired. Now is a great time to check out the many cork flooring options that may look great in your home.