Natural Properties of Cork
If you want flooring that is quiet, warm and soft underfoot, as well as being completely renewable and 100% biodegradable, then cork flooring is for you!
Cork is one of nature’s unique materials. It is incredibly elastic. It has a high rate of compression and great structural memory. It is able to withstand 50% compression with 95% recovery. This makes it a perfect flooring choice for dog owners. The anti-slip surface of cork allows dogs to utilize the soft pads of their feet to gain traction. Should their nails become too long, the natural compression/recovery property of cork allows the floor to absorb the pressure of the claw without scuffing.
It is also impermeable to moisture. It is a very buoyant material that has natural rot-resistant and fire-resistant properties. No synthetic material can replicate cork’s unique set of properties. These properties are achieved as is a result of cork’s flexible cell membrane and its honeycombed structure.
The cork oak, Quercus Suber or Querqus Veriabilis, is a unique tree. Its outer bark can be stripped and removed several times within the tree’s lifetime, with little harm to the tree. Since the cork oak can live up to 200 years, this constitutes a steady source of a truly renewable raw material.
Benefits of cork flooring
The unique properties of cork combine to give cork flooring a wide range of benefits.
Eco-friendly: Cork is a renewable, reusable, and self-sustaining resource. Cork oaks are not felled for their timbers but are peeled for their bark. This intern reduces the need for replanting. The owners of a cork orchard may not need to replant their orchard for two or three generations.
Soft and comfortable: Cork has a wonderful cushioning effect because of its compressibility. This makes walking and standing on it very comfortable. People who suffer from stiff joints, headaches, back aches or arthritis find that impact absorbing cork flooring to be a great comfort.
Heat Retention: The honeycombed structure of cork bark means that tiny compartments of air are trapped within the cellular structure. This trapped air provides a layer of insulation against thermal transfer. This low heat conductivity makes cork one of the best insulating materials in the world. It is “Nature’s Styrofoam” without the off-gassing. So not only will you be reducing heating costs in winter but your bare feet will have something comfortable to on which to walk on cold winter mornings!
Durability: Cork flooring has superior durability to many other types of flooring and it owes this property to its incredible elasticity. This elasticity enables it to recover well from compression and thus cope well with areas of high traffic.
Acoustic Insulation: Air is one of Nature’s great insulating materials; and cork is full of it. Not only does air prevent heat loss, it also prevents sound transmission. This is why cork is used as underlay. Cork is a great choice for intensive building projects such as apartment buildings where there is a need to reduce invading sounds.
Resiliency: Cork produces a high concentration of suberin. It is the high levels of suberin that give cork its anti-microbial properties. Suberin is what makes cork rot-resistant as well as fire resistant. Suberin also holds the cork together, the tie that binds if you will. Cork does not shed its fibres which in turns reduces dust build up. Molds and mildew are unable to establish colonies. All of which make cork an ideal material for people who are allergy or asthma sufferers.
Water Repellant: Suberin’s properties make it ideal as water repellant. The trapped air makes cork float; the suberin makes it water resistant. For these very reasons, cork is a strong candidate for kitchens and baths.
Ease of Maintenance: Cork is easy to clean. Because Forna floors are factory finished with three coats of polyurethane, anything that makes its way onto our cork floors is easily cleaned away. The polyurethane does not require “refinishing”. There is no need to “wax and strip” your cork floor. If the appearance of your Forna floor begins to dim or lose its luster, an application of water based polyurethane acts as a quick pick-me-up.
Physically Appealing: Cork comes in natural shades of honey or natural oak. It can be stained to meet any taste. At Forna we believe that the natural grain of the bark should show through, and therefore we have chosen to produce our cork within Nature’s own colour palette. Our products are factory finished and then shipped to our warehouse. This enables our clients to use their floors as soon as possible.
While cork is impermeable to liquids and can safely be installed in rooms such as bathrooms, large spills (such as water splashed from the bath) should be mopped up quickly. It is not the cork that requires saving, but the subfloor underneath. When installing cork in a bathroom or kitchen it is important to caulk the perimeter of the room before installing the baseboards.
Because of its many superior qualities, cork has been a popular flooring choice in a variety of settings, from schools to hospitals, restaurants to hotels, shops to offices. On the domestic scene, it is suitable for all rooms in the house and is especially good for homes that have children and pets.
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20612 84th Ave. S,
Kent, WA 98032 U.S.A.
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