Cork Flooring 101 – Part Two

By administrator On April 9th, 2013

Let us now take a look at the considerations one must be aware of before opting for cork flooring.  This is important because this type of flooring is not exactly cheap.  And if you’re going to put in money on cork flooring, you should know what this entails over the long term.

This type of flooring demands regular maintenance.  The material is absorbent by nature, even when sealed properly.  There is always a chance of cork getting stained because of dirt and spillage.  For the very same reason, cork flooring is not particularly suited for moist environments.  The flooring should be sealed and resealed to ensure that the material remains protected and free from moisture.

Heavy furniture placed on cork flooring can lead to formation of divots and also cracks; therefore, such furniture should have some kind of cushioning under the legs.  Maintenance of cork flooring may be a chore, but with regular maintenance, this kind of flooring can last for years.  The most common sizes for cork planks are 12” X 12” or 12” X 24”.

Cork flooring is best installed by an experienced installer.  There is no harm; however, in home owners knowing a thing or two about how cork flooring should be installed.  The underlying surface should be smooth and dry.  Masonite and plywood are preferred surfaces.  If the installation has to be done on concrete, ensure that a vapor barrier is put in place so that cork remains protected from moisture.

Avoid installing cork flooring over underfloor heating systems.  Very often cork flooring comes with the adhesive already applied on the underside.  The flooring may alter its size with changes in temperature and humidity.  Therefore, keep an allowance of 1/8 inch so that there is room for expansion.

Cork flooring should not be installed over underfloor heating systems as they can cause the tiles to curl or the adhesive to become loose.  Give the glued flooring between twenty-four – forty-eight hours to get firmly stuck to the substrate.  Polyurethane is a popular sealant applied mainly at the seams and over the material body to form a protective layer.

Sweep and vacuum clean the flooring regularly to keep it free of dirt, dust, and grime.  In the absence of regular cleaning, particles of dirt and dust rub against the protective covering and wear it down.  This allows moisture to creep in and affect the flooring.  Take advice from the manufacturer regarding the application of polish and sealant, take note of the brands recommended and the frequency of application.

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