Andersens renovating series: Cork, a revival tour
Are you one for revival tours? Do you love it when Johnny Farnham announces he’s got another tour happening and this will in fact be the very last one, for the tenth time? Well we are more than happy that this material is back for a revival tour. That’s because we love cork! It’s warm, it’s sustainable and looks great in the home.
When you’re redecorating your home or even when buying one, the flooring is one of the major considerations that homeowners decide on. There are many different types of flooring and you can utilise many of them depending on the design of your house and on the purpose of your room. For instance, you may use ceramic tiles for your kitchen but use hardwood flooring for your living room, den and bedrooms. With the demand for sustainable material, flooring is a way of upping your eco-friendly-meter in your home and thankfully there is now a renewed interest in cork as a suitable eco flooring material.
We all know cork’s uses as the stoppers in wine bottles and corkboards, but what you may not know is that cork is a great material for flooring. It is soft and it absorbs sound and was already used as such for libraries and churches in the early years. With more and more people becoming interested in doing their part in saving the environment, cork as flooring is becoming a very attractive material.
What makes cork sustainable compared to other flooring materials is that although it is harvested from the cork oak tree, you don’t need to cut down the tree to make the material. Cork is harvested only from the bark of the tree every nine years and the tree itself is left to grow back all the cork that has been harvested. Cork when processed into flooring is sound resistant, has a level of fire-resistance, insect-resistant and is anti-allergen. Since it is also a soft material when turned into flooring, you can imagine the way your foot falls on it – a cushioning effect.
In terms of care and maintenance, Cork is very easy to maintain especially with polyurethane coatings.
Cork will fade if exposed to direct sunlight. Furniture and flooring should be moved periodically to even out the fading from sun and UV exposure. It will also react to humidity and moisture. Cork floors should be swept and vacuumed often to avoid the build up of dirt. Dirt can scratch the finish.
Do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents, especially those that contain glycerin. These products can harm the finish making it impossible to refinish. A neutral PH detergent (PH of 6-8) should be used to clean cork floors either with a wrung out sponge or misted over the floor and damp mopped.
Spills should be wiped up immediately and Mats should be used under chairs with casters to protect the finish from becoming dull. Furniture or chair feet should sit on wide coasters to prevent excessive indentation.