Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Pros of Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is not right for every location and installation. This fantastic article from The Spruce outlines some of the many pros and cons to this type of flooring.  In this post, we will cover what we consider to be the Top 3 Pros and Cons to installing cork flooring in your home.  

Projects General Construction recently worked on this bathroom, which incorporated natural cork flooring.  Travertine tiles were used on the floor in the wet areas with cork flooring in the rest of the room. 

The Pros of Cork Flooring

1.     Cork’s Insulating Properties:  Flooring made from cork can also help you save money on your heating and cooling bills.  That same property that insulates the floor against noise will also serve to keep out unwanted heat energy in the summer, or to keep it in the room in the winter. This means that you will have to expend less energy trying to control the temperature of an interior space.

2.     Hypoallergenic & Antimicrobial Properties: Unlike carpet, cork tends to repel dust, hair, and other small particles from its surface. The material is also easier to get completely clean. Because of this, cork floors tend to promote higher indoor air quality.  Cork contains a waxy substance called suberin. This material has the property of naturally repelling small vermin and insects.

3.     Eco Friendly: Cork is a completely natural, recurring, and easily replenishable material. It is made from the bark of the Cork Oak, which can be harvested without harming the tree, and which grows back periodically every few years. It is also biodegradable, and will break down into the environment at the end of its life cycle.

The Cons of Cork Flooring

1.     Pet Scratches: Cat and dog nail scratches are a particular problem with cork flooring. These can start showing up almost instantly, especially with larger, heavier canines. Keeping their nails trimmed can help this, but it is an ongoing process, that will slowly weather the surface of the material.

2.     Water Issues: You seal cork in order to create an invisible barrier over its surface, which will protect it from water stains and damage. However, this seal is not perfect, and if there is a flood, the flooring material will probably warp, discolor, and be ruined.  High humidity can also cause cork to curl or plump, which may lead to tiles popping out.

3.     Sunlight Fading: If direct sunlight is allowed to beam down on cork materials every day, then discoloration may occur, and a patch of the floor can end up taking on a different hue than the rest. This can be offset by blocking sunlight with curtains or blinds, but will require constant vigilance and care.

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