Over 25 years experience
London and home counties
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What is Cork Wood Flooring?
Cork wood flooring is manufactured by harvesting the bark of the cork oak tree. The harvesting process does not involve the actual removal of any trees; thus, it is a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource. The harvested cork wood can be kept as slices, or ground into granules, before combined with bonding resin to produce tiles or planks. In the tile cut, cork wood flooring is produced in the traditional 12 by 12 inch or 12 by 24-inch dimension. While cork planks are typically manufactured in the size 12 by 36 inch. Cork is naturally a light to medium brown colour which can be stained in a variety of tones to meet the desired appearance.
At Floor Sanding, our experienced technicians will guide and support you through the process of selecting the best cork tile flooring, and implement it to achieve your dream flooring. We can also restore and repair existing cork tile flooring to bring it back to its original lustre. Our 25+ years in the trade means that we can guarantee quality services and advise with 100% customer satisfaction.
Cork tiles can be produced in a variety of colours as displayed above.
Why Cork Wood Flooring?
Under high traffic conditions, cork floors are very durable. The reason for this is largely due to the structure of the cork tile or plank. Each square centimetre of the cork is composed of up to 40 million cells, each acting as a shock absorber. As well as providing durability, cork can absorb sound and heat. This makes the flooring relatively quiet and comfortable to walk on. Moreover, cork flooring is resilient to damage and dents. Primarily, this is due to the innate structure of the cork, where each cell is surrounded by pockets of gas. This creates a cushioning effect that prevents impressions from leaving dents. Another benefit is that cork flooring is a sustainable alternative to traditional wood or laminate flooring.
Like most wood floors, cork is not waterproof. Therefore, in order to avoid soaking conditions, cork flooring is unsuitable for bathrooms and areas that have a high humidity. Another point to consider is the resilience of cork. Although it has the ability to spring back from indentations, pressure from extremely heavy objects can result in long-term damage. Notably, cork flooring is prone to staining and therefore requires periodic resealing to uphold its appearance.
Installation and Finish
The first step to installing cork wood flooring it to ensure the site conditions are optimal. A temperature of 18°C and 50-60% relative air humidity is ideal. Following this, the cork planks, or tiles, must be acclimated to the conditions of the room. A minimum of 7 days is recommended to ensure the moisture in the cork is balanced with the environment. This step is essential to prevent shrinkage or expansion of the cork wood after installation.
Modern cork flooring is installed using the simple click and fit system to create a floating floor. The process involves adjoining opposing cork planks over solid sub-flooring by applying a downward pressure into the tongue and grooves, seamlessly fixing them into place. The sub-floor must be dry to avoid damaging the cork and carpets must be removed.
Alternatively, cork tiles can be fixed onto concrete or plywood sub-flooring using adhesive glue. It is important to note that glued down cork tiles must not be fixed onto radiated sub-flooring. This will ensure the bonding of the glue remains intact as well as preventing the cork tiles from becoming disfigured. To finish, a protective coating such as polyurethane is required to seal the cork.
Maintenance and Cleaning
A general rule of thumb is to avoid excessive moisture when cleaning. Gentle brushing, hoovering and dry mopping is recommended. It is advisable to use a well-drained microfibre cloth/mop to minimise water saturation. To preserve the shape and formation of the cork flooring, it is important to maintain temperatures between 16-28°C and a relative air humidity of between 40-65%. To prevent dents, felt pads can be added onto furnishings. The polyurethane finish must be reapplied every 6-24 months to bolster the protection of the cork wood. In the event of staining, a touch-up oil in the appropriate colour may be used to create a seamless finish.