After opening a bottle of champagne or wine, a person has a cork in his hand. It would seem that a trifle, which is not worth paying attention to. But at the same time, few people think that they are holding a real finishing material, from which cork floors are made on an industrial scale. They can be used as a rough and even finish floor covering.
Cork floors are made using different technologies from two types of oak bark, which can only be found in the western Mediterranean. At the same time, the material of already mature trees is supplied for processing. The first time the bark is removed from oaks aged 25-30 years. If the removal procedure is performed correctly, then no harm is done to the trees. The next time the bark can be mined only after 6-9 years.
- Solid veneer. This type of material is the most expensive.
- Agglomerate. This coating is made from cork chips by pressing withhigh temperature. The material is the cheapest.
- Combination of veneer and agglomerate. For the manufacture of coatings, both small crumbs and large veneers are used.
Types of cork coatings
-Technical cork is available in the form of granules, plates or rolls.
-Adhesive coatings are available in the form of tiles. Standard sizes are 300x300, 450x150, 600x300, 450x450 mm. Such coatings may have a top protective layer. Most often they are painted, which allows you to combine colors and create different patterns from them. In addition, this type of coating is considered the most moisture resistant, which predetermined its use in wet areas.
- Floating cork floors. Under such a high-profile name is a cork coating glued to an MDF panel. The standard size of one panel is 900x185 mm.
- High performance heat and sound insulation.
- Chemical inertness.
- Does not rot.
- Orthopedic functions.
- It is not eaten by microorganisms, beetles and rodents.
- High price.
- Slight deformation of the material.
- Abrasion of the protective layer over time.
How to install cork flooring
1. Floating cork floor. The work is carried out in the same way as laying a conventional laminate. On the cleaned floor surface, a substrate, preferably cork, should be laid. Next, the installation of panels begins. It is recommended to place them parallel to the rays of the sun. The collection of the floor is carried out in rows, i.e.one whole row is assembled, then the second, and after that they are interconnected. Etc. The side gaps between the coating and the wall should be 1 centimeter. Spacers are installed every three rows.
2. Adhesive laying. The work is more labor intensive. The first step is to thoroughly clean the floor from dirt and dust, after which the surface must be coated with a primer. This is necessary for better adhesion of materials. When the impregnation dries, you can proceed with the installation of tiles. To do this, apply glue with a notched trowel. The tile is laid on the mortar and pressed. A gap should be left between the coating and the walls. You can use a mallet to level already set tiles. So it is necessary to lay the material throughout the room. The last step is to varnish the glued cork flooring.
When choosing this or that material, most people take into account the opinion of those who are familiar with it firsthand and, accordingly, can say about its advantages and disadvantages. All owners are unanimous in their opinion that as a flooring, cork floors have a lot of advantages, among which moisture resistance, thermal insulation and even shock absorption can be especially noted. But on the issue of strength, opinions differ. Some say that the floors are easily deformed even from the slightest pressure, while others testify that even after rearranging the furniture, the floors look like new.