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Cork Flooring Articles

Cork Flooring - All about Durability

Cork has been serving as an exemplary flooring material for well over 100 years now. Cork flooring stands out as a distinctive, affordable and beautiful floor covering option with numerous benefits. Durability is one of cork flooring's outstanding advantages and can be attributed to three elements - cork's finish, resilience and its unique structure and chemical composition.

Finish: Cork itself is a highly abrasion resistant material and treating it with a protective finish further increases its durability. The factory finish (acrylic, urethane or wax) applied to cork flooring's surface protects it from harmful elements like moisture, chemicals, dirt and other damaging substances.

Resilience: Cork flooring is incredibly resilient once installed. The resiliency feature contributes to the durability because it allows the floor to naturally resist damage from scratching and denting due to impact and friction. It has excellent recovering ability from high heels, heavy weight, and abrasion. Moreover, it lends help in the time of expansion and contraction due to cork's elastic nature.

Structure and Chemical Composition: The cellular structure of cork comprises of hollow, 14 sided cells joined together in a honeycomb like arrangement. These cells have extremely strong yet flexible cell walls. Moreover, cork has suberin in its chemical composition. This is a waxy substance that functions to prevent water from penetrating the cork tissue. This composition contributes hugely in making cork flooring waterproof and airtight, maintaining cork's aesthetic and structural integrity for decades.

The bark of the cork oak tree serves as a protective barrier during its average 500 year lifespan, defending against harsh climatic changes and numerous fires inherent to the region. It is also resistant to more than 38 species of insects, including the termite, and to the development of microbes. The natural structure, chemical composition and defensive nature of cork oak bark contribute to cork flooring's amazing properties: durability, endurance, and insulation against heat, noise and insects.

Because of cork flooring's durability, it is highly suitable for both commercial and residential applications including installation in places where other flooring types are not recommended. A 3/16" thick product is suitable for residential use and a 5/16" thick piece for commercial usage. Cork flooring, like wood flooring, has the ability to give generations of beautiful and reliable service to your home and office, if properly maintained.

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