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Cork Flooring

Cork Flooring
July 25
03:56 2014

Cork isn’t a new concept. These floors have been used in the United States since around the turn of the century. Cork is most widely known as a product used to preserve the quality of wine in bottles. It can also be fashioned as a board to post notes or reminders in an office. Yet, one of cork’s most unique applications may leave you feeling like you are walking on air: cork .

How Is Cork Flooring Made?

The majority of cork used for flooring, as well as wine-bottle corks, actually comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, or Quercus suber, native to the Mediterranean. The bark is hand-harvested every nine years, leaving a protective inner layer of bark that allows the tree to continue to grow and regenerate new bark. After drying in the forest for several months, the bark is transported to a factory, where wine bottle corks are punched out of the bark. The leftover material, or post-industrial waste, is boiled and ground up, then compressed using adhesive resins. This ground-up product can be cut and used as a final flooring piece or for some unique patterns, such as pieces of shaved bark used as a veneer with the ground-up material serving as the backing. Some cork flooring planks include a high-density fiberboard within them as well.

Cork floor tiles are comparable to parquet but have added benefits of insulation against both temperature and noise. Cork is a soft fiber board available in planks and smaller tiles. It is practically alternative to wood flooring. This type of floor is soft, noiseless and has no allergic effect on the health of occupants of the house. Being soft in nature it saves the cost of carpeting. It is right choice to use this flooring in children’s room, family room, music room etc. Cork flooring is tough resilient, water resistant. It observes sound and provides acoustic excellence.

Being highly abrasion resistant, Cork Flooring can also be used in offices, restaurants and shops etc.

Before Laying Cork Flooring

Base Coat under Cork Flooring: Before you lay cork flooring the base coat should be laid as follows.

  • The earth should be compacted properly with the help of watering and ramming.
  • Sand piling should be done which helps to ensure proper compaction of the earth under floor.
  • Lay 100 mm thick fine sand on compacted earth.
  • After laying fine sand, lay 100 mm thick Cement concrete in the ratio 1:8:16.
  • It must be ensured that the base coat laid is fully compacted by hand rammers or with surface vibrator.

Leveling Concrete for Cork Flooring

  • A layer of leveling concrete should be at least 25 mm thick.
  • Cement concrete should be in the ratio 1:2:4.
  • It should be laid in proper slope and in level.
  • It should be perfectly compacted.
  • It should be cured for 7 days.
Cork Flooring Tiles Cork Flooring Cork Flooring Cork Flooring Tiles

Cork Flooring Tiles

While Laying Cork Flooring

  • After drying level concrete the surface should be cleaned.
  • Unpacked material used in cork flooring should be kept at room temperature at least 24 to 48 hours before installation of flooring.
  • Make sure that site temperature and humidity can be maintained within acceptable limits during cork installation.
  • Do not allow glued faces to contact each other.
  • Prepare layout on sub floor, determine and mark starting line (usually central).
  • Apply approved adhesive on starting area of the sub floor and allow these adhesive to dry before laying cork floor tiles.
  • Install tiles at the start with the help of a straight edge and continue gluing more sub floor as installation proceeds.
  • Trim cork floor tiles at Walls as required and trim tiles to fit precisely at cabinets, fixtures, etc.
  • Sand floor surfaces (light to moderate) with a palm type vibrating sander and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Apply first coat of approved sealer (very thin) with a pad type applicator.
  • Apply a second thin coat of approved sealer about 3 to 6 hours following the first coat.
  • Apply a light to medium base coat of approved urethane 8 to 12 hours after the sealer and let floor rest for 2 days.
  • Scuff sand the floor surface as required and clean up thoroughly.
  • Apply a medium coat of approved urethane and then within 4 to 7 hours apply a final coat of urethane

Advantages of Cork Flooring

  • Gives beautiful look.
  • Available in wide range of color such as green, red, and chocolate and black.
  • Anti-allergic.
  • Elastic and anti static.
  • Soft in nature, saves the cost of carpeting.
  • Durable and insulated against sound, noise and temperature.

Tools Required For Cork Flooring

  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring tap
  • Line marker chalk etc.
  • Putty knife
  • Carpenter’ square
  • Hand sander
  • Brush for applying sealer, glue and urethane.

While cork flooring does have many benefits, it’s always important to understand its limitations before making a decision for your home. First, cork flooring is not indestructible. Regardless of what you hear, it will scratch and show indentations, specifically from high-heeled shoes. For this reason, it’s recommended to outfit furniture feet with soft pads or coasters. Pet toenails can also be very sharp and damaging to cork flooring; be sure to keep them clipped. Adding a coat of polyurethane and recoating every year will help to protect the cork flooring.

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