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
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.