Cork flooring has become a very popular choice in the home, delivering both durability and comfort. Although a slightly pricey avenue when it comes to flooring, cork has many benefits that make it well worth the cost. Cork is harvested from cork trees in several Mediterranean countries, and it can only be harvested once every nine years. This creates a limited supply for a material in high demand. Cork flooring is comparable in price to ceramic tile. The many benefits of a cork floor, however, make it worthwhile to invest in cork.
As the main defensive mechanism of ages old trees, cork has natural properties that make it resistant to moisture, insects, and wear and tear. Cork is also comprised of over 90% air, allowing it to take shocks gently, while also quickly coming back to its former shape. This property gives cork flooring great resiliency, allowing it to cushion those standing on it while also maintaining stability. As tree bark, cork flooring is also very tough against moisture. Unlike a normal hardwood floor that may lose its shape when wet for extended periods, cork flooring can keep its shape without cracking. Easy maintenance and clean up of spills will keep cork flooring in prime condition for many years.
A cork floor will maintain its beautiful finish for generations, with just a little care. Suberin, a natural compound within cork, works to keep the cork intact. The compound is also fire resistant, and does not emit any toxic emissions when burnt. The springiness of the cork structure also allows for great noise absorption, absorbing noise instead of reflecting it as hardwood is prone to do.
With just a little upkeep, cork flooring is known to last for many years, as it has in public buildings for a long time. As cork flooring has grown in acceptance, the styles available have also grown. Cork flooring today can be ordered in a wide variety of colors, shades, and patterns. Cork flooring can usually be installed by either gluing down portions, or using interlocking panels called a "floating floor." Interlocking panels are a little more expensive, but will cut down on the associated installation expenses, as well as improved general reliability. Cork flooring is a excellent alternative to hardwood, and is found today in many affordable models.
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Article Added on Sunday, November 16, 2008
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