Keep Your Cork Flooring Looking As Good As New

By: Vikram Kuamr

Through the ages builders and homeowners have been experimenting with various materials to be used in and outside the home. Cork flooring has now gained a lot of popularity and is used in a large number of homes. It is a sustainable, resilient and naturally-occurring material which is extracted from a renewable source. It is water-resistant and is very soft to walk on. Cork floating flooring can be in the form of tiles or boards and can be laid without much of a hassle above the existing subfloor. It does not need to be attached to the surface underneath. This kind of flooring has its distinct advantages. The disadvantages are largely attributed to incorrect installation or improper use.

Cork contains Suberin which is a naturally occurring substance. It lends cork its water-resistant property. Some homeowners tend to get a little confused with this. What must be realized is that when you have cork floating flooring you are automatically leaving cracks and spaces where the moisture can easily enter. This can cause damage to both the subfloor and the floor above. Cork is water-resistant, not waterproof. If water seeps in from in-between the boards it may get warped, discoloured or damaged.

All floating floors including cork flooring has edges that are exposed to the boards. When these points absorb moisture the board-edges swell. Continued exposure to moisture and dampness causes the floor to swell and buckle. Cork floors that are installed in kitchens and bathrooms are at risk of developing humps. The best way to prevent this is to ensure that the flooring, its seams and edges are all sealed with a polyurethane sealant. As far as possible keep the floor dry and do not let water to puddle at any spot.

Maintenance and cost
Appropriate maintenance can go a long way in making your cork floor last longer and stay in a better condition. Spills, moisture and UV rays from the sun can damage cork. The floor installation should be done with care and sealed well along the seams and wall edges. It should be dried-out on a regular basis and if any section of the floor is exposed to continuous sunlight, it should be shaded as well. Sunís rays can be very harsh and constant exposure can fade cork and in some cases, make it brittle. Some flooring is pre-sealed. Irrespective of whether the floor is a pre-sealed on or not, the gaps between floorboards will have to be sealed post installation.

The boards will also have to be re-sealed periodically. This can mean high maintenance costs and expense over the life of the floor. Maintenance costs can be kept under control by using the flooring with care. Use coasters under legs of heavy furniture. Do not scrape any heavy objects across the cork floor. Mop up spills and do not allow water to accumulate at any spot. Protect the flooring from harsh sunlight. Simple things such as these can go a long way in keeping your cork flooring in prime condition.

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Cork floating flooring from Cork Floor Sales comes in tile and board form. Cork flooring will have to be coated with polyurethane to keep it in a good condition.

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