What is cork and cork tile flooring?
Cork is one of the many wonders of nature- a renewable product of wood, harvested from the bark of some specific oak trees, generally found in Portugal. The outer layer of this bark is harvested while the layer beneath is left so that it regenerates, becoming ready for harvest after approximately nine years. This can continue for around 150 years-after which a new one replaces the old tree.
Cork tile flooring comes from cork fragments that are bound together, then cut down to different shapes, sizes and widths. You can get anything ranging from unfinished and natural cork to prefinished with urethane coating, vinyl-clad and floating cork amongst many other varieties.
The Pros of Cork Flooring
The feel of cork is one such unique characteristic that instantly makes it into an advantage that no other flooring type can offer. It is extremely soft and yielding, which makes it a great choice for rooms where you or the people in will need to stand for extended durations. It is also great for children’s rooms and those where the elderly will be.
Internally, cork is made of air-filled chambers, which can be millions in number. These help in insulating any room from noise-, which means cork tile flooring, can help you avoid the transmission of noise up the ceiling and down from the floor. Cork flooring also acts as a repellant of hair, dust and other small particles, which makes it easier to clean and not cause any allergy-related problems to those who are sensitive. It also contains suberin, which is a waxy substance that repels insects and other small vermin, thus making it an excellent antimicrobial.
The Cons of Cork Flooring
If you are looking for a flooring option that will stay pristine and damage free all the time, then cork is not for you- since it gets torn and scratched from a number of materials. Being a soft material, it is also highly susceptible to damage, and any sharp objects dropping on cork tile flooring will puncture it. Even heavy furniture or appliances can sink down and damage the floor permanently- though this can be avoided by using furniture coasters (this is not a permanent solution.
If you are looking for a flooring solution that is soft, hypoallergenic and hygienic, then cork flooring is for you- provided there is not going to be too much rough usage of the same on a regular basis.