It has been said that what is old is new again! And that is exactly what can be said about cork flooring.
Cork has been used as flooring for hundreds of years. But recently, it has seen a renaissance due to its unique green story and its distinctive appearance.
First, The Green Story
When harvesting cork, the tree is not cut down. The cork is removed from around the trunk and the larger limbs and continues to grow and to be harvested again and again. Many trees can be harvested up to 8 times!
Tips When Considering Cork
Start with a clean, smooth subfloor. As with hardwood floors, the subfloor can’t be too flat or too clean. When the subfloor has irregularities, they may not show up at the time of installation. But, once the floor is seasoned, the sunlight hits it and walking traffic hits the cork floor, any imperfections will become all too clear.
Understand different types of cork floor. Each exists for a reason.
- Most cork flooring today is sold as a “veneer”, installed with a click system similar to that of floating laminate floors. This is a very sustainable practice—you get more floors by using a veneer than using solid cork. Veneer faced cork floors are usually not “refinishable” but can be professionally treated to refresh the surface with another coat of finish.
- A solid or homogeneous cork floor is when the color and pattern continue throughout the entire floor. This cork floor provides an elegant compliment to area rugs and other carpets.
Understand the finishes on cork floors. There are many different types of finishes for cork floors; so it’s important to become familiar with the finish used on the floor you select and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and renewing the finish.
Enjoy your new cork floor and its resilient qualities!