Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork trees. Unlike wood flooring, the trees are not cut down. This unusually thick bark is made up of tiny prism-shaped air pockets which create a resilient cushiony surface which offers several distinct advantages. Cork is a natural fire inhibitor and has a waxy substance called suberin which serves as an insect repellent. Most of the cork trees are grown in 7 countries; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The normal life expectancy of a cork tree is 120 – 200 years and the bark is harvested every 9 -11 years. Cork floors were installed in some public buildings over 100 years ago (i.e. The Library of Congress) and are still in use today.
Why would I install a cork floor rather than hardwood or laminate?
- Cork is Eco-friendly. No trees are cut down.
- Cork does not absorb water. Great for kitchens.
- Cork is warm and comfortable underfoot. Great alternative to tile and carpet.
- No harmful odors or VOC’s.
- Resilient & cushiony. Dents from furniture rebound.
- Quiet – Reduces impact noise. Great for bedrooms and active family rooms.
- Naturally hypo-allergenic and naturally resists mold and mildew. Great for people with allergies.
Do cork floors scratch or dent easily?
They will scratch like a hardwood floor, but most dents from things like furniture will rebound.
Will a cork floor hold up well to children and pets?
Cork floors have similar durability to wood floors. They may not be best for large dogs or active young children.
How do you maintain a cork floor? What type of vacuum cleaner should I use?
Maintenance on a cork floor is simple--just sweep, dust mop, or damp mop with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar or hard head on cork floors. The vacuum head should be brush or felt; a wand attachment is preferable. You should also try to maintain a 50% relative humidity level and try to keep the floor out of direct sunlight as much as possible to prevent fading.
What rooms are people putting cork floors in?
Cork floors are most often being used in the kitchen, eating areas and game rooms. More people are doing entire homes due to the stylish looks and easy maintenance.
How much does a typical kitchen cost?
A typical kitchen (300 square feet) can run anywhere from $3000 to $4000 depending on the style and color of cork chosen.
How is cork flooring installed?
The cork floors that we offer are installed floating, just like laminate, and click together without glue or nails.
Can I refinish a cork floor?
- No, however, when a cork floor starts to show a traffic pattern and signs of wear its finish can be “renewed”. Gently abrade and thoroughly clean the floor. Then apply 1 or 2 coats of high quality water based urethane.
What does it mean when I hear that bamboo is ecologically friendly?
The bamboo plant is mature at 3 to 5 years, instead of the 20 to 25 a tree needs, making it a highly renewable resource. And because it is a grass, cutting it does not kill the plant. The root system remains intact, so that the plant can regrow rapidly.
Since it grows so fast, how does the durability of bamboo compare to oak and other hardwoods?
There are two basic kinds of bamboo: solid (cut bamboo flattened and used as planks) and strand-woven (separate shredded bamboo fibers woven together and pressed under very high temperatures with adhesives.) Solid bamboo is around 1700 on the Janka scale, and the strand-woven is over 3000, compared to our most common hardwood, oak, which ranges from 1240 to 1360 on the Janka scale.
Why do I see bamboo flooring at such a wide range of prices?
There are bamboo producers who harvest at much earlier stages of growth, even before 3 years. This results in a softer, less durable floor. The bamboo we sell, from U.S. Floors, is harvested at 5 ½ to 6 years, which means that while the growing and care process are longer and therefore more expensive, the end product is harder and has excellent durability.
How do I care for bamboo floors?
Bamboo floor maintenance is the same as caring for hardwood floors. They should be swept or dusted and mopped frequently, as dust, dirt, and grit do the most damage to these floors. Use a manufacturer-recommended wood floor cleaning product. Here at Enhance, we use and recommend Bona. Area rugs in high traffic areas are very helpful, especially at entrances. Felt pads on the bottom of furniture are a must.
How much does a typical room cost?
A 300-square foot room can run anywhere from $2600 to $3300 depending on the style chosen and the details of the installation.
How is bamboo flooring installed?
Most of our bamboo installations are glued down using adhesives made specifically for bamboo flooring.
Can I refinish a bamboo floor?
Probably not. Because bamboo is a grass, it tends to shred when drum sanding is attempted. However, bamboo can be chemically recoated when another coat of finish is needed.
Which should I do first, paint or the new floor?
You can certainly do your floors first. A reputable painter will not have any problems protecting and not damaging your brand new floors. By doing the painting last, you don’t have to worry about touch-up painting, painting your primed shoemold, etc.