Cork flooring enjoys well-deserved popularity among owners of apartments and country houses. And no wonder. The advantages of such material is just a huge amount. It is made from the bark of a cork oak that grows in the forests of Portugal and Spain. In the production of such boards, a substance obtained from the cashew nut shell is used as a binder.
The main advantages of cork
This modern floor covering is popular among property owners primarily due to its environmental friendliness. After all, only natural materials are used in its production. During operation, the plates do not emit absolutely no harmful substances into the air.
In addition, the advantages of cork flooring include:
- Antistatic and hypoallergenic.
- Good thermal insulation performance.
- Moisture resistant.
- Attractive appearance.
- Good sound-absorbing qualities.
Cork flooring does not absorb any unpleasant odors. And it never gets moldy. This material is also resistant to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, it can be fearlessly laid even in rooms well lit by the sun. Another advantage of finishing this variety is that it is not at all afraid of vibrations. The cork coating, of course, can ignite. However, unlike artificial synthetic materials, it does not release any particularly harmful substances into the air.
Cork flooring: feedback from apartment owners
Since this material has simply remarkable performance characteristics and looks solid, the opinion of property owners about it, of course, is only positive. Many people think that cork flooring looks no worse than parquet. But at the same time, it is much more resistant to mechanical damage. The cork has earned good reviews from the owners of apartments and houses for the fact that it is very pleasant to walk on it. Such a floor is never cold.
What should I look for when buying?
When choosing cork floors, the following important factors should be considered first of all:
- Variety of cover.
- Its design.
- Manufacturer's brand.
- Material thickness.
- Hisdesign features.
What are the types of cork flooring?
This finishing material is classified into three main groups:
The first cork flooring can be used safely for 10-40 years. It does not leave traces from the legs of furniture. In addition, it is resistant to chemically aggressive substances and is very easy to install. Liquid cork coating is a new finishing material that has recently appeared on the market. Applying it to the floor surface is even easier than installing tiles. The installation technology of such a cork resembles simple staining. After drying, the liquid coating becomes porous and at the same time very dense. That is, in terms of its performance characteristics, it is similar to ordinary tiles. An attractive appearance is also what distinguishes this cork flooring. In the interior, it looks very solid and prestigious.
Sprayed coating differs from liquid coating mainly only in the method of application. Its composition is almost the same. Apply sprayed cork with a compressor and gun (usually two coats).
What could be the design?
Of course, cork flooring should be chosen in such a way that it fits as harmoniously as possible into the design of the entire room as a whole. The color of the material can vary from light beige (almost white) to brown and reddish.There are also yellow and even black tiles of this variety on sale. The texture of cork usually imitates wood. However, on sale there is also a finish of this variety “marbled” or in the form of sandstone. In some cases, silicone varnish is applied to the cork. This makes floors even more resistant to abrasion and scratches.
Wet and spray cork types are easy to install and look attractive. However, in our country, such materials are still used quite rarely. Most often, the owners of apartments and houses revet the floors with more familiar tiles. This type of coating, in turn, is classified into two large groups: adhesive and castle. The first option is better suited for high traffic areas. Laying cork flooring of this type, as the name suggests, is made on glue. Such a tile is held very firmly on the base. Many property owners also use it for rooms with complex contours.
Castle cork floors are mounted on the same principle as the popular laminate. Each plate in this type of coating is equipped with a special lock. Unfortunately, this mount cannot be called too reliable. These cork floors loosen pretty quickly. Therefore, floating coatings at the final stage of installation are covered with a special varnish, including gaps. The need for this procedure is primarily due to the fact thatif water enters between the tiles, the life of the entire cork floor is significantly reduced.
Tips for choosing a manufacturer
In construction hypermarkets today, cork flooring is sold, produced by a variety of companies. These can be Egger, Corkart, Allied Cork, Wicanders, etc. Basically, specialized stores sell European brands of cork. The Chinese, fortunately, have not yet mastered this market. And therefore, any cork today can be bought almost fearlessly.
Most often in building hypermarkets there is a material of this variety of the Portuguese company Wicanders. This is arguably the best cork flooring available today. A square meter of plates from this manufacturer with a thickness of 4 mm will cost about 1000-1500 rubles. For the same material, but 6 mm, you will have to pay 2000-3000 rubles. Tiles with a thickness of 11 mm are even more expensive - about 4000 rubles.
Features of mounting adhesive tiles
The thickness of such a coating can vary from 3 to 6 mm. It is a pressed cork, covered with veneer of the same material and additionally treated with a protective compound. In order to perform high-quality installation of such tiles, first of all, you should take care of buying a suitable adhesive. Cork wood flooring - the material, as you can see, is quite expensive. And therefore, you should not save on glue for it. It is worth purchasing the tool recommended by the manufacturer. The only exceptions are those cases when the coating is mounted in the poolor bathroom. For such premises, it is worth buying a special moisture-resistant glue.
When performing the actual installation itself, you must strictly follow the manufacturer's recommendations. The instructions must be followed exactly. The fact is that warranty obligations for cork coatings apply only with strict observance of the laid laying technology.
Before starting the installation of tiles, the floors must be leveled. The concrete base should be corrected with a self-leveling mixture. On a wooden surface, all chips and scratches must be puttied. If on such a floor there are cavities, scuffs or any bulges, it should also be sanded and sanded beforehand.
What tools will you need?
To work with a cork, you should prepare a meter rule, a construction square and a clerical knife. You also need to purchase a wide bath for glue and a new paint roller. For even styling, you will need a chopping thread. In addition, you should purchase a special rubber mallet for parquet. For laying tiles, adhesives of different compositions can be used. Some of them do not have any smell. Others emit very harsh and unpleasant odors. In the latter case, it is worth putting on a respirator before starting work.
Advice for mounting adhesive material
Start work on laying the cork should be from the center of the room, moving to its edges. In order for the coating to lie as evenly as possible,first you need to make a breakdown with a thread. During the laying process, the adhesive is applied both to the tile itself and to the floor. It should be smeared over the cork as evenly as possible. These adhesives dry pretty quickly. Therefore, experts recommend simultaneously applying the agent to such a number of tiles that can be laid in no more than half an hour. Accordingly, the floor surface should not be smeared entirely, but partially.
Cork slabs should be laid as close as possible to each other. It pays to do the job more carefully. It will not be possible to correct anything after some time after laying due to the rapid drying of the glue. Mount the tiles so that the seams are in a run. In order for the elements to lay down tightly and on the surface, it is necessary to tap on them with a mallet (over the entire area).
When laying the floor cork adhesive, to control the evenness of the rows, you should use the rule. This tool is applied to the end of the tiles and they make sure that there are no swellings and waves on the finished surface. Like parquet, cork flooring can change its area slightly with fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Therefore, it should be laid in such a way that there is a gap of about 5 mm around the entire perimeter of the room between it and the walls.
Sometimes it happens that a whole tile does not fit on the edge of the room at the final stage of laying. In this case, measure the distance from the wall to the last laid row and transfer it to the material. cuttiles must be carefully - with a sharp clerical knife. Having made a deep cut, the element is carefully broken by hands.
Peculiarities of laying the lock plug
If the cork adhesive flooring is installed in approximately the same way as the parquet, then the floating one is laid approximately in the same technology as the laminate. Previously, such a tile should be kept in the room in which it will subsequently be laid for 24 hours. Installation in this case is made from the wall. When laying a floating coating, as well as when installing an adhesive coating, temperature gaps should be left around the perimeter of the room. The floor is tiled with tiles of this variety in the following order:
- The first row is laid. When assembling it, the spikes on the ends of the panels should be firmly inserted into the grooves of the previous elements.
- The last panel is cut to the required length. Its remainder is used as the first element in the next row. This ensures that the seams are spaced.
On the side, the panel is attached to the element of the previous row, inserting it with a spike into the groove at an angle of 45 degrees. After the coating is completely assembled, it is advisable to additionally treat it with a varnish recommended by the manufacturer, or seal the seams with a sealant.
If the installation of adhesive tiles in most cases is trusted by specialists, then the floor cork flooring, as you can see, is easy to assemble with your own hands. The cladding technology in this case is extremely simple.
Features of coating care
Contact with all sorts of chemicals cork tolerates relatively calmly. Therefore, the floors lined with it can be washed using any household cleaners. The only exceptions are those cases when hard-to-remove stains appear on the cork. It is not worth rubbing such dirt with shampoo vigorously. It is better to use a special tool designed for cork. Like parquet, it is advisable to periodically rub the coating of this variety with a special composition prepared on the basis of paraffin and wax. The use of such a product will help to make the floors more attractive and at the same time significantly extend their life.