Cork backing is today a fairly popular material for decorating various surfaces. Its heat and sound insulation qualities are beyond doubt. In addition, such material is unpretentious in operation. You can replace the classic version of the wallpaper with a cork cloth, which will give the interior a certain charm. We will dwell on the features of the installation of this material in more detail.
What is this material?
It has been proven that a cork backing on the wall (instead of wallpaper, it has been used by many lately) is a fairly practical solution. This is a natural material that is obtained by pressing the bark taken from cork oak. An additional sticky substance is added to the crushed composition - suberin, which has wax characteristics.
Features of the wax structure
The walls of the cork have fivehollow chambers, among which are layers of fiber, fatty structures and a woody layer, which ensures the rigidity of the surface. Air circulates freely in the free space of the layers, which ensures the ability of the material to "breathe".
Material Release Forms
About the use of a cork backing on the wall instead of wallpaper, the reviews are mostly positive. As a material for wall decoration, you can take one of the produced forms:
- Cork sheets, which can be found up to 1 cm thick and 610-915 cm long.
- Sheets in rolls are quite voluminous, but the thinnest version, in which the length reaches 10-25 meters. The cork thickness is 0.2-0.4 cm.
- Cork panels. Easy-to-install release form that is also easy to transport.
To use a cork substrate on the wall under the wallpaper, you should choose a material with a lower density, called cork agglomerate. Another variety of this material is more dense and can be used as an independent finishing agent.
Features of cork coating
Cork backing (it is very easy to stick it on the wall instead of wallpaper) performs a number of useful functions:
- it can be used to smooth walls without resorting to a lengthy leveling process with additional materials and mixtures;
- it has a high degree of sound insulation, which is extremely important for large areas or rooms withthin walls;
- the airiness of the layers of the material does not allow moisture to be retained, so that condensation does not form when temperature or humidity changes;
- cork can be used as a layer between the wall and wallpaper to increase adhesion.
Important! Cork material undergoes special treatment to eliminate the possibility of fire. Therefore, you can attach the cork backing to walls and other surfaces in compliance with fire safety standards.
Pros of using material
A pasted cork backing on the wall instead of wallpaper gives a number of advantages:
- Durability. The cork does not become obsolete, and its service life can reach hundreds of years.
- Cork can be removed countless times and still retain its integrity and performance.
- Resistance to wear. Due to the elasticity of the material, low-intensity mechanical effects on the surface go unnoticed.
- Resistance to temperature difference. When heated or cooled, the cork structure retains its original appearance and strength.
- Cork perfectly hides defects in the structure of the walls.
- Both the technical type of the material and the agglomerate do not pass current, in addition, they are not capable of accumulating static electricity.
- The inability to accumulate microorganisms and fungal spores within its structure determines the antiseptic properties of the material. And the suberin, which is used to process the cork, acts as an antiseptic.
- Due to sanitizationat the production stage, the cork backing (it is often glued to the wall instead of wallpaper) is unattractive to small rodents and wood pests.
- The production of the material does not use aggressive chemical compounds, and therefore it can be considered hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly.
- When exposed to fire, the cork surface does not ignite, but can only smolder, and there are no toxic emissions.
- Cork wallpaper effectively absorbs noise and retains heat.
Cons of cork backing
Despite the massive positive qualities of the material, it also has some disadvantages:
- With prolonged mechanical action with great force or under the influence of heavy objects, the material is subject to deformation.
- The cost of a cork backing is much higher than the price of wallpaper.
- With the ability to soundproof the sound from the room, the cork passes.
Required tools for installing cork on walls
Can a cork backing be glued onto walls without using specific equipment? For installation, you will need fairly simple tools:
- pencil or marker for marking;
- strong ruler, over 1.5 meters long;
- fine-toothed spatula;
- sharp clerical or construction knife;
- common solvent;
- painting tape;
- gloves to protect hands and a rag to remove excess adhesivecomposition.
Manipulations for surface preparation
Despite the fact that the cork perfectly hides all the flaws, including differences in wall thickness, chips and dents, before installing it, you should first prepare the surface. If there are significant protrusions and cracks that can spread further in the future, these defects should be eliminated with putty. Then the wall should be treated with a primer to ensure the best adhesion of the cork to the wall and even distribution of the adhesive.
How to stick a cork backing?
The gluing process is similar to wallpapering. If the cork is purchased in a roll, convenient segments should be separated from it for alternate gluing. The optimal size for manipulation is a canvas 1 by 1.5 meters. If the material is presented in the form of panels or plates, it is even easier to mount it.
How to stick a cork backing on the wall instead of wallpaper, the photo above demonstrates clearly.
Important! Before gluing a cork rolled into a roll, it must first be leveled. To do this, you need to deploy the material on a solid surface and put oppression on top. After a day, the cork will be ready for cutting.
To draw straight marking lines, it is convenient to use a metal ruler or a large square. Cut the canvas with a knife.
The steps for attaching the cork to the wall are as follows:
- Apply a uniform adhesive to the wall with a notched trowel. The layer should be thin (no more than 1.5 mm).
- Paste the edgesadjacent surfaces with masking tape to avoid staining.
- Glue cork sheets, starting from the top corner on one side.
- Using a rag, immediately remove excess glue at the joints of the material sheets.
- After gluing large sheets of cork, fill the remaining wall space with small pieces.
For a better adjoining of the borders of the paintings, especially at the corners, they can be fixed with masking tape until the entire wall dries.
After pasting the entire wall or planned area, remove the masking tape.
The final stage is applying varnish to the cork surface. Usually no more than two coats are needed.
Cork backing on the walls: reviews of those who ventured
More and more people who undertake repairs prefer natural materials. This explains the growing popularity of cork as a wall decoration.
Many repairers who have already had experience in gluing cork on walls note its advantages such as environmental friendliness, naturalness, ease of installation and operation. Cork panels also attract with their exoticism, because with their help you can create an original interior that looks expensive and stylish at a low cost. Users also note the excellent sound insulation of the material, which is extremely important in modern apartment buildings.
Among the shortcomings, the need to purchase a specialadhesive composition, as well as the specific smell of the material, which, however, disappears in a short period of time. In addition, users note that the cork wall should definitely be covered with a protective layer of varnish, since the cork wall tends to crumble.
Thus, the cork backing is perfect as a material for wall decoration for practical owners, as well as for those who like to surround themselves with natural materials. This design option is able to bring a special coziness to the interior of the room by adding woody notes to it.