Facts About Cork Flooring & How To Care For It
With so many choices of flooring types available, shoppers tend to lean toward those that are most popular at the time. Unfortunately, if we only listen to what’s in style at the time, we miss out on some really great flooring options.
For your kitchen remodeling, you will want to choose a kitchen flooring material that is comfortable because you may be standing for long periods. While most homeowners choose tile, stone, laminates, or hardwoods, there are other more modern options out there that are just as beautiful.
About Cork Flooring
Natural cork flooring is fast becoming one of the greatest floor choices for your kitchen remodeling project. Not only is it beautiful, comfortable, and environmentally friendly, it can be quite durable and affordable.
This material has been successfully used commercially since 1898. More homeowners are becoming aware of its value and are installing it in their homes. It is most commonly used throughout the home. However it can be an excellent choice for just the kitchen area. It blends beautifully with other flooring materials in the home.
When most people think of cork, they think of a wine bottle or a cork board, and due to this lack of consumer awareness, this product has been commonly overlooked until recently. In order to appreciate this material, you really need to understand its unique characteristics.
Cork Is An Eco-Friendly Green Flooring Material
Cork is an environmentally friendly product equal to hardwoods. It is actually the bark of the cork oak tree found in the Mediterranean. Portugal is the largest supplier with over 30% of the world’s cork trees and 70% of the world’s cork production. Every nine years the bark is harvested by hand with the average tree yielding about 4,000 corks.
The bark is honeycomb shaped, containing 90% air that can be compressed to 40% and then quickly returning to its original shape. Because of this, it is a natural shock absorber.
Walking on cork is like walking on air! And it is an awesome surface to stand on if you have long tasks to do such as prepping and cooking a meal. It makes a comfortable walking surface which is perfect for kitchens where you are standing and walking for long periods of time.
Cork has a natural beauty with a rich, varying grain, similar to wood. It also comes in many different patterns and tile sizes from various manufacturers.
The same feature that makes the floor comfortable creates a natural noise reducer. It’s extremely quiet to walk on and reduces the impact if an object is dropped on its surface. It’s insulating effect make cork a great choice in a bathroom over radiant floor heating or even installed over cold concrete floors in South Lyon.
Small dings are no big deal, but major scratches or chunks of cork become a harder thing to fix, so be careful with the furniture. Heavy furniture can dent the flooring, so it’s important to use castors or furniture pads under table legs.
A lot of homeowners have better experiences when combining the use of hardwoods and cork. Area rugs under furniture help with these issues, even on hardwoods.
How To Care For Cork Floors
Taking care of a cork flooring is easy. All you need to do is vacuum or sweep at least once a week. It’s important to do so because debris can scratch and scar the material.
Damp mop the floor once a month with a mild detergent and very little water and avoid using abrasive or ammonia-based cleaning products.
When installed, it will need to be sealed with a protective coating, and that will need to be reapplied every few years. You can seal with wax, which has to be stripped and rewaxed, or with polyurethane. Some cork is prefinished, but it will still need to be resealed at some point.