Cork has been traditionally known as a product which is extensively used to seal the flavour of wine within the bottle. In fact uncorking a bottle of wine is a common enough phrase; one which we are all familiar with. But the fact that cork can also be used as flooring material is a concept which is relatively new but catching on fast. The factor which influences people to opt for this type of flooring is the springy warm feel one gets underfoot. It feels the same as walking on an air bed.
What is a cork floor
Cork is a natural product obtained from the bark of cork oak trees which are found in abundance in the Mediterranean. They are boiled, ground and then compressed together using resins which act as adhesives. The biggest advantage of cork floor is that it can be cut up into unique patterns so as to facilitate the formation of many different varieties of patterns and designs. They are also available in a number of different colours enabling them to get moulded into any type of room decor and theme.
Advantages of a cork flooring
The popularity of cork flooring stems from some of the inherent characteristics that it displays like:
- Durability: Resistant to cracks and abrasions and almost impermeable to liquid spills, cork flooring has a lifespan which can even extend up to 40years or even more, provided it is properly taken care of.
- Springy and bouncy: The spring and bounce of the cork floor ensures that furniture and other items of decoration or utility kept on the floor cause no permanent indentations. The moment the object is removed, the floor bounces back to its original form.
- Healthy: The presence of certain natural substances in cork prevent the formation of mould and mildew and also act as a deterrent for termites thereby making them safe and healthy. It has anti-microbial properties, does not shed microfibers and also does not give off gasses which might affect the quality of indoor air negatively.
- Safe to use: The fact that cork gets ignited only at very high temperatures makes it almost fire-proof. Also in the instance of a fire, cork generates less smoke and also releases lesser toxic materials.
- Comfortable: The level of comfort which a cork floor gives is not restricted only to a good feel underfoot. In fact it also works as a great acoustic insulator thereby masking sounds and give the room a quite peaceful ambience. It is also a natural thermal insulator thereby reducing electricity bills especially in cold countries or in the winter season.
Cleaning a cork floor
Hassle free maintenance and simple regular routine cleaning practices increase the practicality of putting in a cork floor inside the house. The process for cleaning and maintaining a cork floor are:
- Regular sweeping and dusting with a soft bristled broom,
- Moping with warm water mixed with a little dish soap at least once a week,
- The soft sponge mop used should be thoroughly wringed off excess water before mopping and
- Lastly the mopped floor needs to be dried using a soft microfiber cloth.
Cork flooring should however, be kept away from direct sunlight since the colour tends to fade. But all things considered, cork flooring is the best environmentally friendly option available today and one must not resist from giving in to the temptation of the feel of walking on thin air.