Cork floor in the kitchen
Natural wood with its aroma, color and unique texture was used in Russia during the reign of Tsar Gorokh. His “colleague in the shop” – cork oak bark – is just taking the first steps on Russian soil, but every day the “walk” of the Mediterranean comrade is becoming more confident and even. The growing popularity of cork floors can be explained not so much by fashion trends for everything natural as by the combination of unique properties of this material, which successfully competes with the latest developments in the market of floor coverings, and its versatility. Cork flooring in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the nursery, in the living room is not uncommon, but if in the last three variants of use the behavior of the coating is quite predictable, then how will the cork behave in the first case, because the kitchen is a room with a high degree of pollution and no less high patency. We will talk about this in this article..
- About the attractive qualities of cork
- Types of cork coatings
- Cork floor in the interior of the kitchen
- Cork coating
- Rules of operation and care
About the attractive qualities of cork
Surely you have already heard about the wonderful properties of cork coatings, but once again making sure that this material is really so good will not hurt.
So the cork:
- environmentally friendly natural material that does not contain any impurities and additives. In the kitchen, whose floor is finished with cork, and breathes easier and more air.
- antistatic. It pushes away dust and dirt, which allows you to forget about endless cleaning..
- not combustible. For the kitchen, this moment is very relevant.
- It does not rot and is not afraid of water. It really is. In one of the Portuguese monasteries, the cells of the monks were corked and even after 300 years the remains of this material were found on the walls of the premises, which have been preserved in their original form.
- possesses high heat-insulating properties. You can even walk barefoot on the cork.
- soft and non-slippery – an important quality, especially in the kitchen.
- does not absorb odors.
- during deformation, quickly restores its shape.
Types of cork coatings
There are two types of cork coatings: adhesive floors and floating. The first are thin two-layer plates: the top layer is a decorative veneer made of bark, the bottom is a pressed cork. This coating has a thickness of about 5 mm, which is quite enough for the kitchen.
Floating cork floors are made on the basis of HDF-boards – wood-fiber plates, which are glued with cork veneer, pressed cork and covered with several layers of varnish. It would seem that such a rigid design should provide the coating with durability and a long service life, but this is not entirely true. Floating floors are really strong and strong, but they do not withstand temperature fluctuations and intense exposure to water, because the floorboards are interconnected by means of a locking mechanism, which, unfortunately, cannot provide the proper level of reliability.
Glue cork coatings have a different connection method – thanks to the chamfer, the plates are adjusted to each other as tightly and firmly as possible, forming a continuous surface without differences at the joints. Such a coating is ideal for the kitchen, and it will last not 2-3 years, like a floating cork floor, but all 10-12 years.
For greater reliability, you can cover the floor with varnish, which will give the cork extra strength, however, the surface of such a floor will slightly change its properties – it will become less elastic and less soft, which can affect safety.
Cork floor in the interior of the kitchen
The decorative possibilities of cork are almost endless. You can pick it up to any color scheme of the interior, whether it is white, black, green, red or even a gray-brown-raspberry shade. In addition, the cork floor will successfully fit into the classic, and rustic, and modern styles such as hi-tech, modern, minimalism.
The cork floor of natural shades looks very original – brown, yellowish, ocher. This color scheme is suitable for furniture made in the same color scheme with the floor. No less interesting are the coatings with various impregnations, as well as those decorated with photo printing. By the way, the latter option is very unusual, because thanks to modern technology, a cork floor can imitate almost any material – oak, pine, solid wood, American walnut, rosewood, marble, pebbles, sand – and this is not the whole list.
Just imagine: under your feet snow-white, soft, warm sand, flowing and airy, it beckons to you, but … It’s just a mirage, so precisely created by the hands of a designer that even an Australian native can not distinguish cork floor from the beach.
It is better to entrust the laying of cork flooring to professionals, since this coating is very capricious about uneven surfaces. The surface of the floor should be perfect – the slightest bulge, pit or bubble – a potential hole in the freshly laid cork.
Before starting installation work, marking must be done – it will facilitate installation and save time. You need to start from the center, gradually moving towards the walls of the room, while you do not need to pay special attention to the tile pattern – after laying, the floor surface will still look like a single whole. And to make the result even more pleasing to you, do not stick the tiles in even rows (as when laying ceramic tiles), do it “in a breakdown”.
To process the internal seams, it is advisable to use a sealant that will give the floor additional strength and reliability, and for gluing the plates, buy a special glue that sets almost instantly.
After finishing laying work, treat the cork surface with protective oil or varnish.
Rules of operation and care
To keep the cork floor in the kitchen as long as possible, process it several times a year with polishing agents that will give the surface a shine and extra strength.
To remove strong impurities, you can use a fine-grain skin, however, after applying it, you will have to resort to polishing or varnish (to hide the defect). But for daily cleaning, any non-aggressive detergent without abrasive particles and a soft rag or mop are quite suitable. Yes, and no brushes, much less metal sponges!
In general, the cork floor in the kitchen is an ideal coating that meets all the requirements for this room, however, it has one drawback – the high price compared to other types of floor coverings. But there are more advantages!