SUSTAINABLE FLOORING-CORK FLOORS

Sustainable flooring is means flooring produced from sustainable materials and reduces the stress on the environment. Sustainable flooring gives rise to buildings which are safer and greener. Cork floors are an excellent example of sustainable flooring. Other types include bamboo, rubber, linoleum, coconut timber and wood flooring.

WHAT IS CORK FLOORING?

Cork floors are made by removing the bark of Cork Oak. Cork flooring is not a new concept of flooring especially in the United States where they have been around for almost a century. It has got a good insulating property, hence it is comfortable to walk on. It has also got a natural anti-microbial property. It provides insulation against noise and resists imprints due to foot fall and furniture.

Cork flooring comes in a variety of styles and designs. There is a wide range of colours available in such floorings with many shapes such as squares, rectangles and hexagons among others.

METHODS OF INSTALLATION

One method of installing cork floors is adhesive connection used for cork flooring in tile form. The flooring tiles are first adapted to the room environment. Following this, the subfloor such as plywood, cement or some other material is cleaned and freed of moisture. Adhesive connection is made by either direct glue down or contact method.

Other method is the floating floor installation process. It is done with cork flooring which is specially designed to provide a tongue and groove connection that fits together. This type of installation can be done on pre-existing surfaces such as ceramic tile, wood or vinyl flooring. It can also be removed easily when desired by the owner.

Room should be left for expansion due to humidity changes.

ADVANTAGES  

It is environment friendly because only the bark of the tree is used and the tree continues to grow. The bark is replenished every nine years. The waste products obtained from the process of cork making is used for cork flooring. The cork has a unique structure and due to the presence of air cells it acts like an insulator. The cork floors impart a cushioning effect to the feet because of their flexible nature. It is also resistant to sound. A material called Suberin is present within cork which makes it resistant to insects and allergens. Cork flooring is durable and requires maintenance.

One drawback is that it gets lighter or faded with increasing exposure to light which can be prevented by window coverings or U.V. protective coatings.