That wood flooring is gaining popularity is well known. When home owners see just how beautiful and inexpensive a natural wood floor is they are keen to get it installed in their own home. Hardwood flooring is the first choice for most when they are looking at installing a wooden floor in their home, Oak and Cherry because of the variety of colors and shades are two popular choices, sometimes a more exotic hardwood like Bamboo is the hardwood of choice. But one environmentally friendly choice is also available and that is cork. Cork has been around for centuries and used for floors for a very long time and for a number of reasons,among those reasons is the fact that it is a very long lasting product and that it comes from a renewable resource.
Cork is harvested from the bark of cork trees, which are a variety of Oak The cork is gathered through stripping off the bark on the outside of the trunk,this regenerates in about six years ready for harvesting again. This means that rather than cutting down a tree just once for material,cork farms can strip the bark away again and again; there are still trees being used in bark harvesting that are around 200 years old! For for those of us who care about the environment, this makes cork flooring an ideal material, since it comes from a renewable resource. Even for those who have not considered the source of the material, cork flooring is a wonderful alternative for hardwood floors.
Often when we think of cork, we think of the soft material used in cork boards but in reality Cork is one of the strongest materials used. Not only is it scuff resistant, it is elastic and hard to damage under normal circumstances, but it also resists water penetration, unlike other hardwood floors, so it is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens, for this reason too, it is used as stoppers in wine bottles.
Because of the hard wearing qualities of Cork, there are flooring installations that have lasted for over 100 years. It is also one of the floorings of choice used in the United States Library of Congress. Cork has excellent insulating properties, so good in fact that it can help reduce heating or cooling costs. This makes it a very good flooring material for basement floors for example. Cork flooring is a good sound insulator too, a fact well known in the building industry for years and useful for home owners in reducing noise transfer from floor to floor.
Cork flooring has a mottled appearance that we are all familiar with and which makes it different from all of the other wood floors. It comes in a variety of patterns and colors that you can select from to match your own particular decorating style. Because of it’s elastic nature Cork flooring is comfortable and quiet to walk on. – ideal for apartment dwellers.
Cork flooring is much more than just an environmentally friendly material,it is a naturally hypo-allergenic substance which does not support the growth of mold or mildew , it does not produce toxins or shed any fibres and it is antistatic. All of these properties are good news for those people who suffer from allergies
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better — 2 coats of sanding sealer + 2 coats of polyurethane or 4 straight coats of polyurethane?
I am getting quotes on the installation of new unfinished red oak floors that will be stained medium brown. The major differences in the quotes are:
Quote 1) 2 coats of Fabulon sanding sealer and 2 coats of Fabulon Professional oil modifed polyurethane
Quote 2) 4 coats of Fabulon polyurethane
The 4 coats is slightly more expensive. What is better, quote 1 or quote 2 and why?
We did two rooms and a hall ourselves and it was recommended that we do 4 coats of poly. It turned out beautiful. Each coat got better, much smoother, and even a richer flooring all over. Why aren’t you doing it yourself? Rent the sander with vacuum, use 3 different grades of sandpaper and in 4 hours you are ready to stain or finish. You cannot walk on it with socks, only bare feet because your socks will let a linen look. It took about 4-6 hours to dry after each coat. We left it overnight each time. You brush it on with a smooth cloth applicator. It is not hard to do.