Thursday, June 17, 2010

Save Those Wine Bottle Corks!


Are you thinking about replacing the flooring in your kitchen, bedroom, or family room but don’t know what material to choose? In the next few posts, we’ll take a look at some flooring options. Today I’ll discuss a favorite of mine – cork flooring.

Last year, two tiles on my kitchen floor cracked for the second time and were not covered under our builder’s warranty even though the entire floor was not installed correctly. Go figure – that’s just my luck. All I could think about was the awful mess of having the entire kitchen floor ripped up and dust everywhere in my new home! Needless to say, I was not going there. Don’t remember who told me, but I heard that I could have a cork floor installed right over the existing tile floor. Music to my ears! I had to find out more about cork flooring before I decided what to do.

After researching cork flooring, I learned that cork is an environmentally friendly product and considered a renewable and sustainable natural resource (in other words using it will not cause it to become extinct). Cork flooring can be expensive but is well worth the money if you want something a little different.

Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree found in the Mediterranean. It has a natural beauty and the flooring comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and patterns. Cork is soft and comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. It also reduces noise and vibration and can be used on walls. This substance has natural properties that are anti-allergic and resistant to insects, mold, and bacteria. In addition, cork is durable and has been used in public buildings such as churches and libraries since 1898. The picture below shows the texture and beautiful pattern a cork floor has. ( quarter depicted for scale)

Cork flooring comes in tiles or interlocking panels which are used in a floating floor application. This flooring also comes in a glue-down application. The floating floor application is preferred especially if you are installing the cork over existing flooring. Usually, the flooring  has a factory installed sealer on the top to protect it from moisture.


After discovering all of this neat stuff about cork flooring, I decided to have it installed in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how happy my husband and I both are about this decision. Since my husband is the chef, he appreciates how comfortable the floor is to stand on when whipping up his favorite recipes. What I like best about my cork floor is that it requires very little maintenance. Because the pattern is so busy, dirt doesn’t show. The manufacturer recommends vacuuming the floor weekly and mopping it once a month with a little water and a PH- balanced detergent. Once the floor starts to show wear, it can be sanded and resealed.

Even though the cork flooring is sealed, you should avoid installing it in rooms where it could be exposed to water like a bathroom or laundry room. Try it in your great room, kitchen, bedroom, or home office. Below are some more pictures showing the variety of patterns and colors you can purchase in cork flooring. One photo depicts it on a wall.

If any of you in the Jacksonville, Florida area are interested in finding out more about cork flooring, contact me. I have a great supplier and installer who is certified in cork flooring installation. You really don’t need to keep on saving those corks from your empty wine bottles!!!


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