Recently cork flooring has become an upward trend gaining wide popularity due to its “green” origin, tactile properties and excellent insulation. Although this material has endless number of merits, nowadays it’s often used almost everywhere, sometimes including very inappropriate choice for its flooring installation. If you’re planning some house renovations, it’s important to consider the following characteristics of cork to make informed decision in future. Get more information here about the pros and cons of natural cork flooring.
Benefits of cork
– Tactile properties. Soft, cushiony surface protects from accidental trips and falls making it a great choice for children’s rooms and elderly residents. Besides, yielding floor is an excellent idea for areas where you’ll be standing for long periods of time, such as kitchens.
– Perfect insulation. Millions of tiny air-filled chambers inside cork act as barriers against the transmission of noise and heat. A standard cork has R-value of 1.125, compared to only 0.250 for ceramic tile and 0.638 for oak. Only wool carpet offers R-value greater than cork. Installing cork flooring you’ll save money on heating and cooling bills.
– Possibility to be refinished. Like hardwood, cork surface periodically can be refinished for a fresh new look.
– Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial properties. It repels dust, hair, any small particles from its surface and has higher indoor air-quality. Besides, cork‘s easy to clean. Due to a waxy substance – suberin contained in cork, it also naturally repels small vermin and insects. Therefore, cork is resistant to the growth and colonization of these organisms.
– Environmentally-friendly material that’s completely natural, recurring, easily replenishable and biodegradable.
– Easy peel-and-stick installation and simple maintenance with only regular sweeping or vacuuming and periodical mopping. Besides, damaged tiles can be replaced.
Drawbacks of cork
- Easily damaged, soft material.
You have to follow no-shoe policy, protect the floor with furniture pads on the bottoms of heavy furniture, clip your pet’s nails regularly, and prevent any small dirt particles and debris that can tear across the surface.
Heavy appliances or furniture pieces sink permanently down into the cork, making it difficult to move them later on for cleaning or furniture rearrangement. Use furniture coasters, flat wooden boards or other support pieces.
Regular direct sunlight portions fade out sections of cork flooring, so always use blinds or curtains.
Water, high humidity is a cork’s enemy that warps and discolours its surface. Never allow liquids to stay on the surface of the floor.