The Mystery of Cork Flooring Explained
Cork trees grow to be between 150 and 250 years old and the bark is harvested every nine years without felling the tree. In addition to this, only 50% of the bark is harvested, which not only ensures the health of the tree, but also makes this a truly renewable resource. Cork has found many uses in modern day society and its qualities make it perfectly suited for flooring.Cork flooring originated in Europe over 300 years ago, and since then has gained in popularity throughout the world due to its longevity and incredible durability. It is comprised of millions of tightly packed air filled cells, making it an incredibly resilient material as well making it less porous than most other natural flooring materials, thus offering a higher level of stain resistance. The resiliency of cork benefits its use as a flooring material by making the floor highly scratch and dent resistant, as well as making it softer to walk upon thus reducing impact forces on the back and legs.
Cork flooring is also known for its ability to absorb vibrations and its natural anti-microbial properties help it resist mold and mildew growth. Cork flooring is also low in thermal conductivity, making it a good heat and cold insulator as well as displaying the most superior sound deadening qualities of all flooring materials.
Cork is available in a solid tile or as a composite engineered floating floor. Solid tiles can be glued directly down to concrete or approved wood floor substrates. Note that cork flooring cannot be glued directly to OSB board. Cork floating floors are similar to laminate floors, using a glued tongue and groove construction allowing the boards to be fixed to one another and not attached to the floor. Floating floors can be installed over existing vinyl, hardwood and tile floors, and are the perfect solution for sub floors that contain excessive amounts of moisture. Note that when installing a floating floor over concrete, it is always necessary to utilize a moisture barrier in order to prevent moisture in the concrete slab from reaching the floor.
Cork flooring is available with wax, polyurethane and acrylic finishes, and
can be bought with a factory applied finish or without a finish and then subsequently
finished on site. Of all the finishes, polyurethane is the most durable; however
wax is the easiest to refinish and repair, should it be required. Most solid
cork floors can be sanded and refinished, however most cork veneers cannot
be sanded, therefore always check with the manufacturer before attempting to
sand or refinish your floors.
Repairing Laminate Floors
Evaluating Laminates floors
Laminate Floor Issues
Measuring for Laminate
Installing laminate over existing floor
Stone Laminate Flooring
Eco Laminate Flooring
White Laminate Flooring
USA Laminte Flooring Association
Bamboo Floors Maintenance
Cork Floors Maintain
Hardwood Flooring Design
Finished vs Unfinished
Hadwood Flooring Issues
Solid vs Engineered
Measuring for Tile
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