Cork Flooring

Interior Design
By: Megan Jocelyn, Lisa Ji & Melissa Janzen, February 7, 2003; Vancouver, Canada

Material Name
The material name is called Cork Flooring. This is a type of flooring that can be used in residential or commercial locations with low medium-high traffic. It is a material that can also be used on walls to help achieve any look that is desired. Cork is a very natural and unique material that gives endless options for architects and interior designers and especially homeowners of today.

Cork flooring is a very durable material that is easy to take care of. Cleaning of this type of flooring is simple, just a damp mop is all thatís needed. It maintained this material could have a life up to 25 years depending on the traffic area, where it is located.
This type of flooring enables a vast variety of textures and colors to be made. This material can create a feeling of sophistication, warmth, style and high prestige in any location.

Cork flooring is comfortable. It creates buoyancy making it feel like your walking on clouds. It is easy on your legs and your knees. It also insulates sound exceptionally well. This material can be used in libraries and even in music areas, where sound quality is crucial.

Installing Cork flooring can be applied by an installer or by you. It can be installed as a floating floor as parquet flooring. Cork flooring can be costly but the benefits of its flooring outweighs the cost. Bugs and parasites do not live in Cork flooring, so its good for people with allergies.

Cork flooring is a material that is unique, durable, beneficial, easy install and maintain, and very stylish. This material is good in any location whether in a high traffic area or in a bathroom. It is positively a perfect material for any floor.

General Description
The best word to describe Cork flooring is versatility. Cork is natural, environmentally friendly, and durable. Cork is harvested from trees, which are peeled very 9 to 14 years, apposed to being fallen. None toxic chemicals are used in the processing of Cork. This is a great example of a renewable resource. It has so many bonus characteristics; warm in winter, cool in summer, unaffected by humidity (great for bathrooms) and it is wonderful for sound absorption (i.e. music studio). Among other things, Cork needs very low maintenance and it is very clean, which makes it great for people with allergies. Cork is also anti static making it a great flooring choice for computer software companies. Cork is an excellent cushion (good for problematic legs and knees), which will give under compression, and leaves very small indentation. It is also fire resistant, releases no harmful gases, and does not spread flames when on fire. Suberin, a property of Cork, is a natural insect repellent. Cork is resistant to mildew and mold. It has a unique cellular structure; each cubic centimeter contains between 30-40 million cells, in conjunction with its honeycomb structure, and creates for the % 90 gassiest tissues. This tissue makes for very low density, which creates the thermal and sound insulation properties. This truly versatile product is great for many residential and commercial applications.

Cork is grown in Southern Europe; but primarily it is harvested in Spain and Portugal. This material is manufactured worldwide to meet international demands. It is a material that is readily available almost anywhere. Raw Cork is harvested from Cork trees every 9 to 14 years, where the bark is Ďpeeledí from the tree causing absolutely no damage to itself. Cork trees can live up to 900 years making this a very environmentally friendly material. Once it is harvested in these countries, it is then sent all around the world to be manufactured and distributed to local retail and commercial outlets.

Cork is fairly available product. Usually imported from Europe. Cork has grown in Spain and Portugal, and manufactured in Germany. Natural finished Cork panels are more readily available, apposed to specific and special requested stains. Upon ordering it usually takes 2 weeks before installation begins.

The cost of Cork flooring can vary. Special finishes and styles will cause an increase in price. On average per square foot, a customer would be looking at $12.00 each. Installation will be between $2.00-$2.50 per square foot. In most cases, if a company is installing the floor, there is a minimum order of 100 Sq. feet (only if stained). If less, there is a set-up cost of approximately $100.00. Although it may seem a little pricey, it is a worthwhile investment, when you analyze all the benefits.

Cork flooring truly can be used in countless applications. Residentially, it can be used in all rooms. Washroom applications are great because of the mold and mildew properties, also making it great for the kitchen. Due to a waxy property called Seberin, a part of the Cork make-up, it allows for excellent spill and stain resistance. It is wonderful for entertainment rooms, and active family homes because of its natural sound absorption. Families that may have allergies and like the softness of carpet, but need the cleanliness of vinyl, find Cork flooring a great compromise. As a commercial application, it can be a stunning addition. Realistically, it is only appropriate for low traffic areas, because of the natural ware and tear.

Installing a *Duro-Design cork floor can be accomplished in five easy steps:
1- Ensure that wood or concrete sub-floor is free of imperfections, using Portland self-leveling cement to make any necessary repairs.
2- Apply water-base contact adhesive with short nap paint roller. Wait 30 minutes for the adhesive to dry. The dry adhesive will reactivate the pre-glued tiles.
3- Lay down the tiles as tightly as possible, compressing them together if necessary so as not to leave any gaps.
4- After installing a few tiles, apply pressure to the joints with a small melamine roller. Alternatively, wait until the end and go over the entire area with a 100-pound roller.
5- Apply four coats (two-hour interval between coats) of our MP765 water-base urethane using synthetic lambskin wool supplied.

*This doesnít apply to Tongue and Groove flooring, but this type of snap together floating floor is self-explanatory.
*This information was provided by Duro-Designís steps for their installation of their product; but it is still applicable to all other floorings.

Regular maintenance will include wiping with a damp mop and periodical wood floor cleaners diluted in water (Do not use oil and waxes). Periodical maintenance may include reapplication of Varethane sealer in high traffic areas. Preparation of the floor involves a fast light manual sanding (numbered 220/280), NEVER use a machine, you should follow by vacuuming. Than proceed to mix catalyst with varnish, stir gently (you must stir right away), and apply with lambskin wool attached to a pole. The customer may walk on it the following in their shoes. The more care you take the longer your Cork flooring will last.

Periodic Maintenance for commercial application:
- Yearly for high traffic commercial application
- Every two to three years for medium traffic commercial application
- Every five years for light traffic residential or commercial application

Warranties that are usually provided Cork flooring company (example of Duro Designís warranty):
Every Duro Design floor is guaranteed to perform for a full five years and withstand normal wear and tear provided one coat of MP765 is applied.
1- Yearly for high-volume traffic retail
2- Every two to three years for low-to-medium commercial traffic
3- Every five to seven years for residential traffic
In addition, they guarantee that there will be no fading or discoloration of the stain over tile. A well-maintained floor will last for decades.

1- Duro Design (
2- Natural Cork (

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