The excitement caused by, in his time, the advent of affordable artificial finishing materials, gradually subsides: people are starting to understand that the unique properties of natural materials is not easy to reproduce. For example, cork flooring with its heat - and sound-will put to shame many of the artificial surface.
Cork is a natural material, biological tissue of the cork oak and some other trees, which consists of tightly Packed dead cells. Cork provides the plant with additional moisture and thermal insulation. These properties of cork have long been used in everyday life, including in the manufacture of wall and floor coverings.
Cork flooring (cork laminate flooring, cork flooring ) made of top layer of the bark of the cork oak. Usually this coating consists of several layers. the total thickness of which is 3-12 mm. The bottom layer is a panel made of several layers of a pressed cork. A decorative layer is a veneer of cork or valuable species of wood. For additional protection, a layer of varnish or a special vinyl layer may be applied, but it may not be.
Fit cork flooring in different ways. There are coatings that are simply glued to the substrate. And there are cork coverings, which consist of separate elements, connected with each other by means of grooves and ridges. The result is a floating floor, which is not attached to the base.
Adhesive floor looks more solid, of plates of equal thickness can be unique, unusual patterns. But floating floor. fastened on the principle of laminate, if desired, you can disassemble and rearrange in another room, and the adhesive is permanently attached. So you need to choose a specific type of cork cover, depending on your needs.
Cork flooring has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the advantages. Tube is a lightweight natural material that has good heat-, vibration - and soundproofing. which is especially important for our houses with "cardboard" walls and ceilings. The cork also damages when walking, reducing the load on the joints and spine. It is a soft and warm material, so it's nice to walk barefoot on the cork floors.
Tube resistant to deformation. boasts sufficient wear resistance and durability (especially if the cork floor is additionally protected by a vinyl covering), although the tile or the wood floor in this respect loses. This natural material is easy enough to clean, because the cork practically does not absorb dirt. Cork floor does not accumulate dust, because the tube is not electrified.
This eco-friendly material, safe for health. since it does not release toxic substances (for example, formaldehyde, which some cheap finishing materials "commit"). The plug does not rot and is immune to mildew and pests, has high fire resistance and chemical inertness (not susceptible to most chemicals except alkalis).
But nothing in this world is perfect, so cork flooring has its drawbacks. The first of these is, of course, the high price. Natural finishing materials always cost more than artificial ones - for quality and environmental friendliness it is necessary to pay extra.
Despite its durability and resistance to deformation, cork has low tensile strength. That is, if you just walk around the cork floor on his heels, nothing will happen to him, but if you accidentally walk over it with a heel-stud, you can tear it inadvertently.
Cork absorbs moisture and it swells and warps. So not worth it to lay cork flooring in rooms with high humidity. for example, in the bathroom.
Natural cork is rough to the touch material. this is not liked by everyone. The way out can be a varnish or vinyl coating, but then the cork floor becomes more slippery. So in this case you will have to choose what is the lesser of two evils for you.
If you have decided to choose cork flooring, please note that it must fit the decor of the room. Cork is a durable, eco-friendly material with excellent characteristics, but it also has its drawbacks, which must be taken into account when choosing this type of flooring.