Though cork has been used for over a century in Europe as flooring material, it has gained universal recognition of late due to its intrinsic resilience and flexibility. The thermal insulating properties of cork give the material a buoyant feel even as it protects against heat and noise. The most advantageous reason of using cork flooring is that it is environmentally safe and due to its natural properties, it is anti-allergenic and does not store mites or shed microfibers.
In the United States, due to the resurgence in the popularity of the material, cork flooring and cork tiles are becoming a popular choice for residents. The Quercus suber tree or cork oak tree has a life span of nearly 250 years. It is primarily grown in the Mediterranean regions and cork is harvested from the bark of this tree. The tree grows for the first 25 years and then the bark is stripped by traditional methods using hand labor. Every nine years, nearly 50 percent of the bark is stripped. New layers of cork bark continue to grow and therefore this renewable source is a healthy choice. It is renewable as well as biodegradable.
Cork tiles may be glued down with adhesive to last for hundreds of years. The tiles are removed from the carton and left to acclimatize in the space where they are to be installed. The material on the subfloor should be level before you glue down the tiles.
Cork floating floors are made up of planks which are normally 1’ x 3’ size which interlock when installed over existing wood. This type of cork floor finish has a nice textured feel and the finished effect is similar to stone masonry.
Cork flooring is ideal for people with allergies as it is antimicrobial and not easily affected by mildew or mold. The substance, known as suberin in the bark, is a insect repellent and does not release toxic gases. You are able to effect considerable energy saving with the thermal insulation provided by this material.
The surface of cork floors is anti-static and durable. The cellular structure of cork is unique and provides a soft feel which is ideal for people who have to spend long hours standing or for their joints in general. You can either lay the flooring yourself or get a professional carpenter to do the work. Cork floors and tiles come in their natural forms or with veneers pressed on them for added design and colors.
Before making a selection, you can visit stores online and check out the various types of flooring and decide which ones will suit your home. You can request for free samples from distributors who will send the same to you to enable you to make the purchase. Most of the distributors offer free shipping if you order in bulk. Use these tiles in your home and enjoy the acoustical and thermal insulation that it provides. Your home will have a new look and you will be able to enjoy this type of flooring for a long time as it is highly durable.