Cork Underlayment- The Underlying Truth

By: Vikram Kuamr


When you use material such as hardwood for floors, an underlayment is also used. Many floor installers use cork underlay. It naturally makes the room more sound-proof. It can also be placed below a ceramic floor as the cork will deaden the sound that would otherwise get transmitted through the hard material. The thicker the cork underlayment, the greater the sound reduction. It also protects the tile floor from developing stress cracks that can be transmitted from the underlying sub-floor. Once the underlay has been affixed the tiles or wood can be attached easily to its surface. It is a more cost-effective option when compared to options such as foam or rubber.

Floating floor
Cork can be used under floating wood floors. These floors are not directly attached to the subfloor. When used in this manner the cork has to be simply rolled-out and does not have to be attached either. No glue is required and it will still sit snugly in place. The fact that the procedure is such a simple one means that it is an ideal choice for Do It Yourself enthusiasts.

Attached Floor
Cork underlayment is also suitable for floors that have to be attached to the subfloor. In such cases, the cork will have to be glued-down to the subfloor. This cork can be used under a wood floor that has been attached irrespective of whether it has been stapled or nailed.

Moisture
Wood and cork work very well together as cork is a very breathable material. It also permits moisture to pass through, rather than holding it in like other materials do. This simply means that the wood surface stays protected and moisture-free. It prevents formation of mildew and mold which can be an issue in many humid regions. One thing that must be taken into consideration while setting up cork underlay, is that it provides no protection against any moisture rise from the concrete flooring or ground underneath. Plastic sheeting will have to be placed underneath the cork sheet to protect the wood floor from any rising moisture.

Sound Proofing
Wooden floors can be very noisy as they carry sound across long distances. Footsteps can echo right across a room or even a home. Cork with its unique cellular structure which holds air pockets acts as a natural sound-proofing material. It has been used on walls and floors of recording studios for numerous years due to this specific property. Today it is used in residential applications and many apartments and condominiums will have cork underlay or even cork on walls in many rooms.

Environment
Cork is a naturally occurring material. It is extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree and is a renewable source. This makes it environment –friendly unlike rubber, foam or other commonly-used underlay materials. When paired with environment-friendly wooden flooring the entire project can easily mean less strain on the environment.

Leveling subfloor
There are times when a subfloor has to be raised where it is at varying levels. In some cases the floor in two different rooms may be at different levels and the subfloor will have to be raised in one room to match the level in the other. Cork is an ideal material for leveling.

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Cork Floor Sales has Cork underlayment for a variety of applications, both residential and commercial. Cork underlay has natural acoustic properties.

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