Cork floors can be kept beautiful by providing proper on-going maintenance. Cork flooring has the following natural properties:
- Fading: Cork floors contain organic pigments. Just like other wood products, cork can and will fade and should never be exposed to direct sunlight. When possible, use drapes or other systems to protect your floor from excessive light. Cork will yellow when fading.
- Joints: Cork floors expand and contract in response to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. By controlling the environment, maintaining an adequate temperature and relative humidity around 50%, you can minimize the visible effects of the normal contraction and expansion of your floor.
To protect your cork floor, please take the following precautions:
- Vacuum or sweep as needed, to help eliminate fine particles of dirt/grit that act like sandpaper and will scratch any floor.
- Spills should be wiped up immediately.
- Use walk-off mats at entrance doors and in front of the kitchen sink. Avoid rubber backed or other non-ventilated mats or rugs.
- In the kitchen, use a rug in front of the working areas such as in front of the stove and sink to prevent local premature wear.
- Install proper protectors under “feet” of furniture.
- Caster wheeled chairs should have wide casters. A protective mat should be used under office chairs.
- Maintain a minimum humidity of 50% in the room. If necessary, use a humidifier.
- Periodically check floor for signs of wear.
- Weight distribution is a key factor in preventing indentation.
Sweep or vacuum the cork floor frequently in order to avoid build up of abrasive particles. Use only cleaners specified for use on pre-finished hardwood available from your local retailer or home center. WET MAINTENANCE IS NOT ADVISED!
Most cork decorative patterns are made of thin veneer laminated to a cork base. Failure to maintain the finish could result in irreparable damage. The longevity of the finish is relative to traffic intensity and quality of your cork floor care. When the cork floor starts to show a traffic pattern and signs of wear it is time to renew the finish. It is the responsibility of the owner to judge when the floor needs recoating. For cork floors surfaced with acrylic finish a new coat of polyurethane will make the floor look new again and prolong its lifespan. We recommend that a flooring professional be employed for this process and that strict adherence to the finish manufacturer’s guidelines be observed.