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Cork floors: features, application, advantages and installation of material
Cork floors are a modern material for progressive people. This is a floor covering that embodies comfort and warmth. And it is environmentally friendly, elastic and light, with a unique porous structure.
What are cork floors?
Cork has an interesting feature: after reaching the age of 30, it sheds its bark with an average frequency of 10 years. The bark peels off and can be easily removed without harming the growing tree. The resulting material is ground, processed and heated.
Next, the chips are pressed under high pressure. The result is a material called suberin: a mixture of cork wood and air bubbles. Just add a layer of wood dust and resin to it, cover the joint with a new layer of suberin, and cork floors will be ready. The surface can be decorated: for this purpose use a stopper, vinyl or an interline interval.
Features of operation of cork floors
The cork surface has excellent heat and noise insulating properties and resistance to household chemicals. The variety of decorative shades allows to select a floor covering in tone of furniture or wall coverings. Modern production methods make it possible to create cork floors with photocoating or, for example, imitation of wood patterns. Thanks to this, cork floors can be used in any room of the house. For example, they complement the interior of the kitchen, children's room, living room.
Advantages of cork floors
The key advantages of cork floors are related to the main characteristics of the material. It is a porous structure. At the same time each pore differs in tightness and is filled with a mix from nitrogen and oxygen. Due to this, the surface is light, elastic and resilient. Other advantages of the material:
the surface is warm to the touch, as it is able to absorb the heat released by the human body. Therefore it is pleasant to step barefoot on cork floors - unlike the floors covered with a tile;
excellent sound insulation - in rooms with cork floors, noise and loud sounds are well absorbed;
resistance to deformation. The surface is restored: it is worth moving the furniture to another place, as over time the traces of furniture legs will disappear;
ecological purity - the material is completely natural, non-toxic, able to protect against negative radiation (including light radiation from household appliances);
the surface is not slippery - therefore cork floors are recommended for children, and also for a covering of steps of ladders and landing platforms;
easy care - dirt can be removed with a vacuum cleaner and a damp cloth. Nothing complicated. The secret is in the anti-condensation properties of the material. In particular, it does not form mold and does not retain dirt. And dust does not accumulate on the surface - so cork floors are a find for allergy sufferers;
durability: the average warranty period for branded cork floors - from 10 to 20 years.
Disadvantages of cork floors
These factors are difficult to call disadvantages, but there are no ideal surfaces. So, this floor covering costs more than a laminate and even a parquet board. To the price it is worth adding the cost of laying, which is also a lot. Cork flooring does not like moisture: excessive amounts will cause swelling. Despite the high resistance to deformation, the cork will not withstand cat claws and high heels. The rough surface of the floor leads to rapid abrasion of the fabric of socks and soles of slippers.
Types of cork floors and methods of laying
There are 3 types of cork material:
Veneer. These are solid sheets of cork. They are not used as independent floors. Their task is to decorate the plates.
Sinter. The crumb pressed under the influence of temperature. It is used as a covering for budget floors or is operated as a substrate.
A mixture of coarse veneer and agglomerate. The best option for decorative finishing.
Cork floors are usually distinguished by the method of installation. Depending on this, they are divided into adhesive and floating. In the slabs of floating cork floors, wood is used as the middle layer. cork floor price This affects the thickness of the slabs (9-12 mm). The surface as a result turns out dense and pleasant to the touch. Installation of material is carried out without use of glue or nails: plates stack on a flat surface and connect in the key way.
Glue cork floors are fixed with a special mixture. Slabs of this type are thin (from 3 mm), more reminiscent of tiles. However, the performance of the material is high, and it can be used in places with a high load on the floors.
Cork flooring is the optimal choice for people who want to get a warm, pleasant surface with high resistance to loads and excellent decorative qualities. With the right choice and proper installation, flooring will delight owners for at least 10 years, which will recoup all the costs of the material.