When it comes to cork, then, first of all, many are what clog wine bottles. But today such material as a cork, which has unusual physical properties, is increasingly used to cover floors. Cork floor in the interior provides many opportunities in the design of premises in both modern and classic style. Due to its natural beauty and warmth of texture, it blends well with such natural materials as bamboo, wood, cane, flax.
A cork is a specially treated wood bark. But the real quality cork is produced only from the bark of two types of trees, one of which is cork oak, and the other is western oak.
The first removal of the bark they usually produce no earlier than 25 years from the time of landing. But such a cork can not be used in the case - it is too hard, easily falling apart. The second time it is allowed to remove the bark only after six years, not earlier, to allow the next layer already suitable for use to grow to the desired thickness. With proper execution of the procedure for removing the cork, there are no unpleasant consequences for the tree.
It is the internal structure of this material that determines all its beneficial properties, which are appreciated by designers and builders.
The main components of this material are:
This is a complex substrate, which consists of organic alcohols, fats, acids. The presence of suberin in the plug makes it dense, plastic, resisting the penetration of its volume of liquids and gases.
It is a polymeric compound with a complex structure that has even earned the name "vegetable concrete". Lignin, holding together all the other components of the cork, gives it high strength.
Provide texture material.
Give it color.
Additionally enhance both water resistance and cork strength.
How is oak bark turned into flooring?
This is done in different ways. Rather, the technology is always used is similar, but there are differences in the quality of raw materials and costs. By the way, from the removed cork they make not only a floor covering, but also for walls and ceilings too. So, such options are possible:
- Solid veneer, obtained from cork. This is the most expensive coating. In its application in order to form one collection, produce selection for the color and texture of individual floorboards.
- Agglomerate. It is a pressed cork crush. It is sintered with strong heat to obtain solid material. This is the cheapest option, since any even the smallest parts of the cork are used.
- The combination of "sinter + veneer." Compromise priced solution. In this material there are parts of veneer mixed with small pieces of cork.
All cork materials can be divided into three types listed below:
Technical traffic jam
It is produced in the form or plates, or rolls, or granules. Most often, the technical cork is used as a substrate for laminate (if it is sheets and rolls) or as insulation and soundproofing material, poured into the hollows of floors and walls (if it is granules).
Adhesive cork based tile coatings
The size of such plates in centimeters can be: 30 × 30, 45 × 15, 60 × 30, 45 × 45. Of these, you can lay out multi-colored patterns or drawings. With their help, you can make a cork floor in the bathroom or in another wet room.
Decorative application of cork is very diverse. The cork floor in the apartment looks original and prestigious, pleasing the eye with yellow, ocher, light brown shades, which, by the way, are best chosen taking into account the color of the furniture and the overall design idea.
Positive is the fact that the type of cork floor varies depending on the size of the panels and how they are laid. In addition to samples with traditional textures, many manufacturers now also offer cork coatings of the most varied colors, with colorful blotches and unusual design. For example, the cork floor in the kitchen looks great, especially if it is a white cork floor.
- An environmentally friendly material is used (natural cork cannot cause allergic conditions, harmful substances do not accumulate in it, insects do not live in cork coverings).
- They have an antistatic effect (electric charge does not appear on the cork coating, dust does not accumulate on it, it becomes less polluted and easy to clean).
- Such floors are waterproof and waterproof at the same time (that is, even if a flood occurs in your apartment, the cork floor will retain its consumer qualities and appearance, and the cork floor in the kitchen or cork floor in the bathroom is a perfectly acceptable solution) .
- The cork practically does not burn (which increases the fire safety of the dwelling).
- Cork floors do not absorb odors (which is especially important when using them in the kitchen).
- They have a high coefficient of friction (which means that it is impossible to slip on the cork floor, which is important for parents with small children).
- Have a long service life (usually not less than 15 years).
- Cork coating is resistant to many chemical reagents (except for caustic alkalis).
- Do not fade, retain their original color well, even if sunlight falls on them.
- Cork is a good heat insulator (therefore, it is pleasant to walk barefoot on the floor made of such material, and it is not cold to crawl for young children if there is a cork floor in the nursery).
- Cork is an excellent sound insulator (which means that the neighbors below will complain less if your child likes to run in an apartment).
- Orthopedic doctors sometimes recommend the use of cork floors in the presence of problems with the musculoskeletal system (the cork springs a little when walking, which contributes to a more even distribution of the load experienced by the joints of the legs and the spine, which also reduces the feeling of tiredness and stress in healthy people).
Disadvantages of cork floors
- Dents may appear on the surface of such floors when exposed to narrow heels and legs of heavy furniture.
- Cork does not have tensile strength.
- If on a cork floor they walk in dirty shoes, the dirt can be pressed into its surface.
- From contact with rubber soles, as well as with any rubber objects on the cork coating may remain a trace.
As you know, there are two mounting options, and there are floating and locking floors, and there are adhesive ones. The first ones are mounted the same way as the castle laminate: a spike into the groove. The second ones are not locking and therefore are attached to the base of the floor using special glue. It is absolutely obvious that there are significant differences between the two types of sexes.