Cork flooring was first introduced during the beginning of the 20th century. It became widely accepted as cork proved to be a durable material. Some of the original cork floors can still be seen in commercial and residential buildings. With the introduction of new flooring materials like vinyl, cork lost its popularity but is again emerging because of its durability and cost-effectiveness.
Cork is a very interesting flooring material, though also used for making wine corks. Cork is derived from the bark of cork trees that mainly grow in the countries of West Mediterranean. A unique characteristic of this tree is that it gives up its bark every nine to ten years and new layer comes up on harvesting the earlier bark. This characteristic makes cork a renewable and sustainable resource.
Durability of Cork Flooring
One of the most important characteristic that we look for when choosing a flooring material is its durability. The reason for that is not difficult to guess, flooring of any residential or commercial building forms a big chunk of investment. Then, we also want the flooring material to be easy to maintain. Cork is among the strongest material that one get these days. It has inherent property of durability. If you are wondering what makes it so durable, here are the reasons:
Cork is a very resilient material. Since it contains more than fifty percent of air, it is lightweight and exceptionally resilient to pressure. You’ll notice that on placing a piece of heavy furniture on a cork floor it develops slight dent or depression but as soon as the furniture is removed, the floor regains its original shape and looks as good as new. This is not the case in case of other flooring materials like carpets whereon the furniture leaves an everlasting mark.
Water Resistant: Another characteristic that makes cork flooring durable is its capacity to resist moisture. Cork has a natural material known as suberin, which is a kind of wax that enables cork to resist most fluids. Now, we are aware that hardwood flooring rots when exposed to water or moisture, but cork remains unaffected. That makes cork a very versatile and ideal option for flooring of your bathroom and kitchen.
Avery helpful feature of cork flooring is that it can be covered with a coating of polyurethane that further adds to its durability. Once the provided coating starts wearing off, another fresh coating can be provided.
Sound and Temperature Insulator
One more useful quality of cork flooring is that it absorbs sound and insulates temperature. That’s because of its cellular honeycomb like structure that contains millions of minute air pockets. That makes it preferable to have cork flooring on first and higher floors of any building because people on the floor below will not get disturbed by the footfalls of those walking on the upper floor.