Many people think of a bulletin board when they think of cork flooring. This is not the case at all. This material is beautiful and available in a wide variety of colors and shades, from very light to dark. There is a cork floor to match any home decor. It also comes in a wide variety of textures and patterns, including marble and wood grain patterns that resemble pergo flooring.
Cork is a great insulating material. Cork floor tiles are warm to the touch, especially in the winter and make noise when walking. The energy efficiency aids in cutting energy bills in the winter. Cork flooring is antimicrobial, which means it is resistant to pests, bacteria and allergens. Mold is not affected. Cork flooring is also good for sound insulation. It helps cut down noise from another room, or another floor. This material is softer on your feet than ceramic tile, bellawood or any other wood or stone flooring material.
This is more comfortable in the kitchen, when you may spend a lot of time on your feet. In addition, if you drop a dish, it won’t break as easily as it would on a tile or stone floor. Another benefit, cork flooring is naturally fire retardant.
Cork is also good for the environment. It is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. These trees grow primarily in Spain and Portugal. The trees are not cut down. The bark is stripped away, without killing the tree. It immediately begins to grow back and can be peeled again about every nine years. This flooring does not contribute to deforestation, which is considered a big problem on our planet today.
Installing Cork Flooring
Installation is done by either nailing or gluing down the material. It can be installed over wood or concrete. It’s important to be sure the subfloor is completely dry. Applying a sealer before installing the floor helps prepare the surface and controls moisture. Peel and stick cork tiles are also available for easy installation.
Spread the adhesive on the subfloor with a paint roller. Once the tiles are laid, you will hardly see the seams. A razor knife can be used to cut tiles to fit around corners or angles in the room. Once the tiles are laid, you will need to roll the floor with a 100 pound floor roller. These can be rented from most places where other tools are rented. A clear urethane can be applied over the floor for added protection.
Cork flooring is fairly easy to clean and maintain. Sweep with a broom to remove debris. You can mop the cork floor with a damp mop as needed. The finish may begin to wear off after several years. Floor sanders can be used to sand the floor lightly. Reapply a coat of urethane after sanding to protect the floor. You can apply several coats, sanding lightly between each coat, for added protection. Several coats of clear urethane will make the cork floor more water resistant.