Cork floors are made from the bark of the Cork Oak tree, which is first grounded then processed into layers. It’s then baked and sliced into tiles for both residential and commercial purposes. It’s considered a “green” floor type since only the bark of the tree is used and the tree is left standing. The trees are prominent in Spain, Portugal and Tunisia and can live up to 800 years. The bark itself grows back every ten years, making it a fully renewable resource.
It has a natural wax material inside of it, which helps to repel bugs, germs and mold, making it an excellent choice for those plagued by allergy symptoms. Unlike some floors, cork insulates very well. It helps keep your home of office cool during the summer and warm during the winter time. Since it insulates better then wood flooring, it can make a difference on your energy bill and also reduce sound throughout the house. Cork floors are long-lasting and can handle everyday wear and tear.
Sweeping and vacuuming regularly is all that is needed for simple upkeep. Dampening a mop once weekly to remove excess dirt is also recommended.
General Guidelines to Keep Your Cork Flooring in Great Shape
Keeping your floors looking great is vital since flooring is one of the most expensive and time consuming aspects of home improvement. Simple steps can prolong the life of your floor, regardless of the type you may have. Here are some tricks that will keep your cork flooring looking new:
- Close curtains and blinds — UV rays from sunlight can fade colors on floor and cause discoloration
- Place floor protectors under furniture
- Clean, wipe or blot spills immediately to help prevent stains.
- Place doormats at every door- this helps to trap dirt at the doorway instead of transferring it to the floor inside the home. The coco mat, featured on QVC, traps all types of particles such as dust, mud, snow and can be used for the front door, patio or even the garage.
- Take care when moving heavy objects like furniture and equipment — utilize furniture coaters to transport heavy objects across floors.
- Dust and vacuum floors regularly to maximize beauty and decrease buildup of debris.
- Exercise caution when using bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, drain openers and plant food, as these contain strong chemicals that can discolor floors.
- Always follow your manufacturer’s guidelines on products that are safe for your flooring.
- Treat grout with a sealer to simplify cleaning.
- Vacuum cork tiles without a beater bar and use a microfiber mop which is gentle on the floor to prevent scratching.
- Never use steel wool, scouring powder or any other strong abrasive on a cork tile. This could leave permanent scratches on the surface.