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What is Cork Flooring?0

Cork: The Ultimate in Eco-Chiccork flooring

Cork flooring is the ultimate choice for style-savvy consumers because of its exquisite design possibilities, durability, reliability and eco-friendly features.  Cork is one of the newest floor covering choices available today and also the least understood.  The more you learn about cork’s incredible story, the more you are going to want this amazing product in your home.  Cork flooring is the ultimate in “Eco-Chic”.  It is one of the hottest trends in design and décor combining cutting edge styling with the best environmental story in floor covering.  It is also incredibly warm and comfortable underfoot, durable and easy to maintain.  It just may be the perfect floor.

 

Cork: An Amazing Natural Material

It all starts with the amazing natural material itself – “cork”.  Cork is truly one of nature’s miracles. Mankind has yet to invent a synthetic material that matches the amazing natural properties of cork.  Even in the most advanced technological setting, cork has its place. NASA has been using cork in its space program since 1964, most recently as an insulator for the space shuttle. Cork is comprised of millions of tiny 14-sided polyhedron shaped cells resembling a “honeycomb” structure. Two hundred million air cells fill every cubic inch of cork lending natural insulating, and cushioning properties.  The cell structure is also waterproof and airtight which makes the product durable and resistant to moisture, decay and damage.  Cork is one of the best sound proofing materials and is used for this purpose as a substrate on walls and ceilings as well as floors. Cork cells are also extremely crush-resistant. Cork has natural memory and will bounce back from hard impacts. Even when compressed to 40% of its original size, cork will retain its original shape.  Think of a wine or Champagne stopper. Cork stoppers are incredibly resilient and will seal and protect the liquid contents for centuries.  Now imagine what all of these amazing characteristics will do for your floor; soft and warm underfoot, quieter to walk on, moisture resistant and highly durable and tough.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Indoor air quality is on everyone’s radar, and, as you might guess, a natural product like cork is a great help in this respect. Cork flooring is anti-allergenic because it naturally repels mold, dust and germs. It is also fire resistant. When exposed to fire it does not spread flames or release toxic gases. Cork also contains suberin, a natural insect repellent that is mold and mildew resistant!

Cork is 100% biodegradable and recyclable, making it one of the most renewable and ecologically friendly materials found anywhere in the world. The GreenGuard Environmental Institute, an independent ecological
certification body, recognized these benefits. They have awarded all Wicanders Cork Flooring with the “GreenGuard Children & Schools” certificate. This indicates that it is exceptionally “green” and suitable for prolonged use in light commercial applications, like schools. Since children can be especially sensitive to toxins, this certification is particularly significant. It further guarantees that cork is the ultimate safe and comfortable floor.

Cork: The Natural Choice

Cork is the ultimate in Eco-Chic.  Just like hardwood and stone tile, cork has natural colour and shade variation which adds to its appeal.  Interior designers are gushing over cork’s rich textures and patterns which include burled, blocked, ribbon, pebbled and marbled looks.  Today, cork patterns and designs can range from traditional and vintage to contemporary and artistic. Similar to stained hardwood, cork can be found in a myriad of colours, from earthy beiges and browns to more vibrant blues and whites.  Cork can also take on the look of other floor covering materials. By adding a vinyl layer on top, cork can take on the look of natural stone tile or even hardwoods like oak, pine and maple. WicandersVinylComfort is a great example.

Due to its durability, moisture resistance, warmth and comfort underfoot, cork is an excellent choice for kitchens, laundry rooms, playrooms, bedrooms, hallways, living and dining rooms, home theatre rooms and basements. Cork is especially appropriate for any room in which you will stand and walk for extended periods of time, because the underfoot cushioning reduces foot fatigue and back pain.  Care and maintenance is easy. Simply vacuum, or use any hardwood or laminate floor spray cleaner.

The most recent technology in cork flooring like Wicanders is its unique construction. Water resistant high density fiberboard (HDF) core is sandwiched between two layers of natural cork. Cork is very easy to install especially in the more current “floating floor” systems available.  Floating cork floors feature individual panels, planks or tiles linked by a click locking system.  Panels are laid down on the sub floor and simply lock together without the need for nails, glue or other adhesives.  The floating system also enables you to easily replace damaged tiles or even move an entire floor.