Cork Floors – Unique and Innovative!
When you ask most people what cork is, they will probably tell you it goes in the top of wine bottles. But cork is actually also a unique and innovative form of flooring.
While cork has been gaining rapidly in popularity in recent years, it actually got its start around the beginning of the twentieth century. People have been attracted to the nicely cushioned and comfortable floor covering that provides natural sound control. In fact, buildings that are known for their quiet interior—like churches and libraries—have used cork flooring for some time. But now, many homeowners are looking to get on the cork bandwagon. From moms and dads of noisy preschoolers who are looking for some peace and quiet – to teens in a rock band whose parents want to provide some natural sound proofing for their room – cork offers an attractive and viable option.
One thing that makes cork an extremely appealing type of flooring is that it is very environmentally friendly. A lot of homeowners are looking for more “green” products for their homes, and cork definitely delivers.
To create this type of flooring, the bark of the cork oak tree is harvested. Since only the bark is taken from the tree, and because the bark will re-grow on its own every nine years or so, cork is a renewable resource and peeling it off will not harm the tree. Once wine growers get all the cork they need for their wine bottles, the extra cork and any bits of the product that would otherwise be thrown away is made into cork flooring. To make cork as Earth-friendly as possible, it can often be placed on the floor using a no or low-volatile organic compound adhesive; this type of product emits very little or no gases that can impact the air quality in a room.
Another reason people are attracted to cork flooring is because it is extremely comfortable. Those who walk across it for the first time often comment on its soft and cushiony feel. This makes it an ideal floor covering for young children who tend to run and jump a lot, pets, and adults who are looking for a softer type of flooring. The properties that help cork feel cushiony also help it act as a natural insulator.
The only drawback to cork flooring is in keeping it clean; while it tends to be very durable and can last for decades, cork does not like getting wet. For general cleaning, people can use a regular broom, mop or vacuum to keep their cork floors looking good. While a damp mop is okay, wet mopping is a definite no-no, and any liquids that spill onto the floor should be cleaned up right away. In addition, waxes, oils and cleaning products that contain ammonia should never be used on a cork floor.
Read more about wood floor choices.