- 1 What good is the cork floor in the kitchen: the advantages of eco coating
- 1.1 Advantages of the cork floor for the kitchen
- 1.2 The unique texture and richness of the color palette
- 1.3 Quality and environmental friendliness for a healthy and emotional atmosphere
- 1.4 Adhesive or "floating" cork floor in the kitchen
- 1.5 Cork laying step by step
- 1.6 Care for cork flooring
- 1.7 Market leaders
What good is the cork floor in the kitchen: the advantages of eco coating
The cork floor in the kitchen combines practicality, environmental friendliness, beauty and durability, but pleasure is not cheap. Cork is a natural material with a lot of advantages over other types of flooring. The cork floors in the kitchen are not electrified, do not accumulate dust, do not succumb to putrefactive processes, rodents and other pests, they do not form mold, they are not afraid of fat and moisture, do not absorb odors, do not emit harmful substances and do not support burning. In addition, thanks to the ability of the cork to restore its shape, it does not leave any dents and scratches.
Advantages of the cork floor for the kitchen
Unique performance properties allow you to boldly use a natural cork in any living space, including kitchens and bathrooms. Exclusive texture, rich color palette, harmonious combination with stone, glass, wood, ceramic tiles, metal and textiles give vent to design experiments, allowing you to organically fit the cork in any interior, filling it with warmth and comfort. Due to its high elasticity, elasticity and unique cushioning properties, the cork coatings create a light springy effect under the feet, which has a very beneficial effect on joint health and the entire musculoskeletal system. The thermal insulation characteristics of the material help to maintain a comfortable microclimate in the room.
The cellular structure of the cork, resembling bees' honeycombs, consists of a huge number of minute cells filled with a small amount of gas and separated by a waterproof elastic sheath. It is this unique structure that gives the cork amazing properties: elasticity, water and soundproofness, lightness, wear resistance, chemical inertness, durability, thermal insulation and low flammability. With proper care even after 20 years, the cork floor in your kitchen will look like new!
The unique texture and richness of the color palette
Cork floor advantageously differs from other types of flooring not only with unique performance characteristics, but also with wide decorative features. The texture of the cork can range from fine-grained to marble-like lamellar. The natural color scheme includes pleasant warm shades of brown, yellow and ocher. Revitalize the interior of the kitchen will help color cork and a variety of colorful inclusions. Modern technologies allow manufacturers to create a cork photo package that imitates the color and texture of valuable species of trees, stone, marble, pebble, sand. Depending on the size of the panels and the way of laying, the kitchen floor with a cork coating under different lighting will look completely different. Cork is a material outside of styles and time, so designers often apply it to establish a balance between classics and the avant-garde. Designers love the cork and for its excellent compatibility with other finishing materials. The most advantageous it is combined with wood, stone, bamboo and flax. In combination with large-scale textile, as well as furniture of dairy and boiling-white shades, the ultramodern whitewashed cork looks incredibly exquisite. The possibilities of the original use of the cork floor in the design of the kitchen, the options for combining its textures and colors are limited only by the designer's imagination.
Quality and environmental friendliness for a healthy and emotional atmosphere
The use of cork is an excellent opportunity to create a reliable floor covering for the kitchen without the use of harmful chemicals. To cover the floors use a cork tile thickness from 3 to 8 mm. The thicker the tiles, the more durable the floor covering. Like wood parquet, cork parquet can be easily updated by grinding and polishing the surface. To obtain a cork floor from the individual pieces of the bark of the cork tree, the bark is finely chopped, placed in an oven and pressed. At the same time, from the stopper, suberin begins to be released - a natural cellular substance impregnating and gluing all the pieces, turning them into a cork slab. The cork cover consists of a layer of agglomerate - cork crumb, a layer of wood tar and dust, another layer of agglomerate and an upper decorative layer of natural wood veneer or the cork itself, several times covered with varnish or vinyl. Some unscrupulous manufacturers use curing tiles instead of natural formaldehyde and polyurethane resins. If it is a question of high quality of a product and conformity to the highest requirements for safety and ecological compatibility, only natural substances - natural resins, including the resin of the cork tree itself - should be used as adhesive materials. It should also avoid covering the cork parquet with synthetic substances such as acrylic resin and polyvinyl chloride, as they significantly reduce the positive qualities given by nature to the natural plug, although they significantly prolong the service life of the parquet.
Adhesive or "floating" cork floor in the kitchen
Cork floor coverings can be divided into two main types:
Adhesive cork parquet is produced in the form of small slabs 2,3,4 and 6 mm thick with a special base. It costs more than floating because of its longer durability. Adhesive cork tiles are of two types: densified (lacquered) and uncompacted. Sealed tiles do not need additional processing. It is ready for use immediately after installation. Floor coverings from uncompacted cork tiles before commissioning need additional processing with varnish, oil or wax.
This is a special type of cork parquet. Unlike conventional technology, cork tiles are not glued to the floor. Using a unique locking system allows you to attach the plates to each other without the use of glue. When moving, such a floor can be easily unmounted and taken with you to a new location.
Since the "floating" parquet is more sensitive to temperature changes and intense moisture exposure, it is more advisable to apply a cork for the kitchen floor.
Cork laying step by step
The choice of glue for laying cork parquet
Since the cork has characteristics similar to linoleum, if the back of the tile is not treated with artificial compounds, you can safely use the same materials as when laying linoleum. Especially good for laying cork parquet is suitable dispersion glue.
- Substrate preparation for cork flooring
Cork parquet perfectly lays on any smooth surfaces, previously cleaned from dust, moisture, grease and paint. The surface should be flat and smooth. Surfaces with a strong absorbency must first be primed using, for example, a water-dispersed dispersion glue. Before proceeding with the laying of parquet, the primer should dry completely. Floors in the kitchen with a wooden, linoleum, carpeting or a cover from any other synthetic material are not suitable for a parquet base. An unsuitable coating should be removed or covered with a chipboard.
- Treatment of the cork floor in the kitchen after laying
As noted above, in the additional surface treatment, cork flooring from uncompacted tiles is needed. There are two main ways of treating coatings from cork: a coating of wax or oil and coating with varnish.
- Cork coating with wax or oil
The optimal way of processing surfaces from natural cork, which allows to preserve all characteristics of natural material. Before applying a wax or oil, it is desirable to prime the surface, impregnating it with natural resins. Impregnate followed by a damp surface. 15 minutes after the treatment of the floor with natural resin, excess resin should be removed with a cloth. After the primer has dried completely, you can start surface treatment with wax or oil. Such delicate processing of the material with natural substances allows to preserve the natural structure of the cork, to give the surface a light shine, to protect from dirt and to ensure easy care for the cork floor in the kitchen.
- Coating cork surfaces with varnish
Treatment of the working surface with a layer of lacquer maximally protects the cork floor, especially in the kitchen, from contamination and simplifies the maintenance of it. Although the lacquer coating retains the feel of the cork floor, the varnish closes the pores in the material and deprives it of many positive natural characteristics. The choice of lacquers today is very wide. The most safe and harmless are considered water-dispersion varnishes.
Care for cork flooring
For optimal care of floor coverings from natural cork, a little warm water is enough with the addition of a small amount of mild soap. Extend the life of the cork floor in the kitchen will help special polishing compounds, forming a protective film on the surface and giving the cork a beautiful shine. To restore the gloss of both varnished and waxed or oiled surfaces will help mastic for the floor. Too contaminated surface is first peeled and grinded with fine-grained sandpaper, and then covered with wax, oil or varnish.
The cork is extracted from the bark of cork oak, which grows mainly in the southeastern Mediterranean: Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco. More than 50% of raw materials come from Portugal. Cork oak is an evergreen tree, reaching 10-12 m in height and 1 m in width. The bark is taken from trees that have reached the age of 20 years. The new cortex grows for 9-11 years. The tree has a life expectancy of 250 to 350 years. Cork is a valuable natural renewable raw material. Used mainly for the manufacture of floor coverings, insulating materials and bottles. Under the influence of pressure and high temperatures, the crushed cork crumb is pressed into blocks, from which cork slabs are subsequently manufactured. If synthetic materials are not used in the pressing process, 100% natural material that meets the highest environmental standards falls on the consumer. Utilization of the cork also does not pose a danger to the environment. Famous cork floor producers represented on the Russian market: Wicanders, Ibercork, Corksribas, Baumtex, Valerio, MJO, Bertran Cork, Roda, Primacork, Arescork, DECOSA.