Cork Flooring Benefits
Popular Properties of cork floors
Cork flooring is not just a current fad or passing phase, it has in fact been around for over a hundred years.
This page describes the benefit of fitting this type of flooring, the physical attributes of the material as well as providing one or two installation tips at the end.
The benefits of cork flooring are listed below:
* It a renewable and easily sustainable resource that is environmentally friendly
* It has hypoallergenic properties and is resistant to moisture i.e. no chance of mildew or mold setting in.
* Cork flooring is highly durable and easy to repair in the event of damage.
* It provides thermal insulation and is useful in covering cold concrete floors.
* It can be used over asbestos - therefore negating any need for removal.
* Being impermeable it also provides sound insulation.
* The material is easy to maintain and install.
The majority of these attributes stem from the fact that cork is composed of hollow, fourteen sided cells with extremely flexible cellular walls that are both water and air tight. All the cells are set together in a honeycomb pattern that results in a low density, the pattern also explains the material's impermeable nature.
To get cork flooring the bark needs to be cleaned and the coarse outer part peeled away. From here it is then boiled and turned into slabs. The slabs are ground up into small granules and placed into square moulds, which are then baked to produce an "agglomerated" product. Moulds typically come in a standard size of 12 inches by 12 inches. One of the main advantages of this process is that there is next to no waste at the end of it. Color variations can be produced by varying the baking temperatures - the misconception is that dyes and pigments are used.
Cork floor tiles are typically fitted using a polyurethane adhesive. A finish needs to be applied once installation is completed - water-based polyurethane or if that is not available a wax treatment may be used instead. Some consumers will go for the pre-finished floor tiles which do not require a finish once they have been fitted. The one problem that is associated with the pre-finished option is that it seams make it quite prone moisture damage. For the less experienced the "ready" tongue-and-grooved cork tiles are available.