Wednesday, 6 February 2008

How to Install Cork Flooring

Benefits of Installing Cork Floors

Cork is not always the most obvious choice when thinking about having flooring installed in your home. Typically people tend to think of installing laminate, oak or carpeting. When people think about cork, they don't think "oh, what a great flooring choice." The think "oh yeah, that's what you put in wine bottles or you use it as a pin board." As unlikely as it may seem, installing cork flooring can be one of the best things you can do. There are so many reasons to buy this type of flooring such as insulation benefits, friendly on the environment and is ideal for those who are allergic to dust mites.

One benefit of having flooring of this type is the insulation qualities. Energy bills continue to rise well above the rate of inflation so it's important to make sure you're home is as well insuallated as possible. This will help keep the heat inside your home and not let it escape. However, it's all about keeping your home warm in the winter, it's great for the hot summer months as it helps keep your home cool.

It's not just heat insulation cork can help with, installing cork floors will mean that noise will be insulated too. Cork flooring is soft so sounds get absorbed and prevents the sounds from being carried about your property. If you live in an apartment, your neighbors will be especially pleased that you have cork installed because they won't have to be woken by you clumping about in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the toilet or if you have friends round.
For those eco warriors, let's face it many of us are that way inclined, you'll be glad to know that installing cork flooring is great for wildlife. Cork is mainly grown in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Portugal. The problem is that the cork producers are having a really hard time of it in recent years. Most cork is used in the production of wine stoppers and so many wine makers are choosing plastic or screw tops. This is leaving cork producers in a very difficult situation. They need the cork oak trees to make a living but at the moment this is very difficult for them.

Cork oak trees are an amazing habitat for an enormous array of birds and animals. The particularly interesting thing about cork oaks is that they can live for many hundreds of years even although their bark is being stripped off. It's because of this that the trees don't need to be felled so create the perfect habitat for vulture, lynx, deer and many other animals.

Because people aren't buying cork in the same quantities are previously, many producers feel that they have no other option but to remove the cork oak trees. Either by uprooting them or burning them. This is devastating news for wildlife that call the forests home.

Another reason for installing cork floors instead of carpeting is the fact it is so perfect for allergy sufferers. People who are allergic to dust mites are advised to avoid installing carpeting because they hold the dust and the dust mites. Hard flooring such as cork, laminate and bamboo are much better.

One of the things that may put you off installing cork floors is that you're worried about the durability of them. Don't worry, they can more than tolerate everyday life and people walking over it. Just make sure to ask about the protective coating that has been applied. Cork floors which have had several layers acrylic, urethane or wax should be guaranteed to last for 15 years. Some people in the trade maintain that urethane is the best choice.

People love to have a choice when they are buying anything. The only problem is that when we are faced with too many choices we tend to get overwhelmed. This may be the problem you face when thinking about having cork flooring installed. There are many colors to choose from and some even have the most amazing paterns running through them. You'd be forgiven for thinking you are looking at marble!

When buying cork flooring, ask the sales assistant what the density is as this directly affects the durability. Look for cork floors with a density of at least 30 pounds per cubic foot. The thickness should also be at least 3/16 inch.

When comparing cork flooring, you'll need to think about whether you want tiles or "floating floors." If you have a perfectly smooth surface to lay the floors on then tiles are perfectly acceptable. If on the otherhand your floor is a bit uneven or lumpy then floating floors are the best choice.

When is comes to actually installing the cork flooring, you shouldn't have too much difficulty if you are fairly experience with DIY. When you take delivery of the cork flooring, make sure you unwrap the cellophane and allow the flooring to breath and adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room. After three days you should be ready to install your flooring. The reason for doing this is that cork expands and contracts with heat and cold.

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