Cork Flooring, Its Characteristics and Maintenance

Cork flooring was popularly used from 1880-1940. As they say, it is legendary, well loved and well known since it is being used for almost two centuries in Europe. Let us discuss cork flooring.

Cork’s Durability

This type of flooring is known for its durability. Once compresses it returns to its original shape. This is because it has a cellular nature that is made of about millions of microscopic air pockets. These air pockets act as natural shock absorbers. Also, cork has a substance that is called Suberin – a waxy substance normally found in most plants. Cork has a lot of this substance that gives a lot of benefits such as – waterproof; fire and insect’s resistance; as well as anti-microbial. Take note that this type of flooring needs to be refinished every 3-7 years.

Resilience

This is one of the characteristics of cork, being resilient – its ability to recover from damage. But don’t get me wrong, it only means that cork is less likely to suffer permanent damage or dents. And when cork dents, it can be ironed out with hot steam – like hot wet towels being applied to the area of a dimple.

Cork flooring has a cushion when you walk and stand on it.  This cushion allows it to sustain foot traffic and the heaviness of furniture legs, taking its original shape after impact. Ideally, good for the kitchen where you stand for long periods of time preparing and cooking food. It also has the added benefits of being an insulator, which is great for noise and temperature control.

Safe

It is anti-microbial, thermally-insulating, made from renewable materials/sources, moisture-resistant, and non-toxic. Also, it is water resistant and naturally fire resistant because it doesn’t release any toxic chemicals or gasses when accidentally burnt.

The Maintenance

Like other types of flooring, cork is easy to clean. It only requires periodic vacuuming and damp mopping. For us to have a better grasp of the proper maintenance, let us enumerate the tips.

  • Always vacuum or sweep the floor weekly. This way it will stay clean and fresh and all the dirt and sand vanish. This is the most vital thing that you can do to help maintain the reliability of a cork floor.
  • Then monthly have your floor damp mop BUT do not use a lot of water
  • Take note that, when moping the floor use a PH-balanced detergent or mild soap to clean the floor to remove the dirt or sand.
  • And always remember DO NOT use harsh cleaners such as oil, abrasives, or ammonia-based cleaning products.  Always check or consult the manufacturer for their approved cleaning products.
  • Lastly, NEVER submerge cork floor in water. When spills happen, wipe them up right away.

Like any other type of flooring, when taken cared of, cork flooring can last for decades, even in areas with continuous activities.

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