Cork is a specially treated cork bark. The material has a porous structure and a number of advantages, but undeservedly lacking in popularity as a kitchen surface.
Correctly selected cork floor is not inferior to laminate and linoleum, and timely maintenance will extend its service life for many years.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages include:
- Durability. Manufacturers offer a guarantee for ten or more years of daily operation.
- Chemical inertness. The cork is resistant to household chemicals.
- Thermal insulation. The material does not support the combustion process and instantly takes the body temperature.
- Softness. The cork floor is pleasant for walking barefoot, does not slip, relieves the load from the spine.
- Ecological and natural. It does not attract dust, it is suitable for asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
- Stability to deformation and various pests.
- Ease of care. The floor is easy to clean and maintained.
Disadvantages of the cork floor:
- The complexity of laying: Any error in the process can put a cross on the integrity of the floor, which will cause a divergence of its seams.
- Before work starts, you need an additional spend on preparation and leveling the floor.
- The cork is expensive and easy to damage during operation: accidentally fallen object will not cause harm, but sharply moved furniture, animal's claws or children's games can leave a noticeable footprint on the floor.
Can I use a cork floor in the kitchen?
The performance characteristics of the cork floor allow the use of the material in rooms with high humidity, the plug does not affect the hit of household chemicals, it is not afraid of fat. The answer is clear yes, the cork floor can be used in the kitchen.
The structure of the cork floor advantageously differs from the tile, which is so popular in the kitchen. Accidentally dropped fragile dishes will remain unscathed after landing on the cork, and its springing properties will have a beneficial effect on the locomotor system of the owners.
Initially, one of the drawbacks of the cork floor was the lack of color options. But for today its top layer can be issued in various ways, which allows using it in various design solutions of the kitchen.
Color options for cork floor
Types of cork
Cork has mainly natural origin. The bark of the cork tree is processed and pressed into blocks with the addition of synthetic materials, creating several layers of coating.
Cork slab may consist of crumbs, a sheet of whole bark or a combination of agglomerate and veneer. Depending on the installation and structure of the cork floor, two main types are distinguished.
It differs in a small thickness - from 3 mm and labor-intensive packing. The tile is a composition of a base of compacted particles and a top decorative layer. It is fixed with a special glue, and varnish is applied over the glue cork, which ensures its tightness.
Floating or locking floor
Is less suitable for the kitchen. Its laying is much easier with the locks between the slabs, but this is the weak point of the floor.
He will successfully survive a small amount of spilled liquid if it is wiped off in time, but a prolonged exposure to moisture or a household flood can ruin the floating floor forever: it will swell, lose its properties and appearance.
Nuances of choice
The first step is to determine the type of cork floor. The next step will be the choice of the producing country. The market is mainly represented by Portuguese and Chinese cork.
The first is more dense, due to the greater content of the suberin, which is of particular importance for the floating floor: a cheap option will soon begin to creak and acquire slots.
For the glue type, the density of the plate itself is not so important, so Chinese production will be acceptable, the main thing is the quality of the glue and lacquer.
Advice! Choosing a kitchen floating floor, you need to take care of the moisture-resistant covering of the lock between the tiles.
If the kitchen window faces the south side, then you should give your preference to the tinted coating. Otherwise, the cork can lighten a little under the influence of ultraviolet rays.
How much is and where to buy
The cost of the cork floor varies greatly depending on the type and manufacturer. Tiles floating floor will cost a bit more expensive glutinous, but due to the need to purchase additional materials and the complexity of laying the latter, the first look is deceptive.The cost of adhesive plates starts from 600 rubles. The price of the chateau floor is from 1000 rubles. Glue and varnish for the first type will cost approximately 30% of the total cost of the tile, and the service of laying the glutinous floor is almost twice as high as similar work with floating floors and is about 500 rubles per 1 sq. Meter. The upper limit of the price of coating reaches several thousand. Basically, there are so many design tiles with a special texture and design.
You can buy a cork floor in any construction or specialized store. There is a wide range of products on the market, among which the most popular are tiles from the producers Wicanders, Corksribas, Baumtex, Ibercork, etc.
Laying the cork floor in the kitchen
The condition of a durable kitchen floor will be a number of preparatory works for leveling the base. This step must be taken responsibly: the slightest unevenness can jeopardize all further work.
The cork floor starts to be laid from the corner of the kitchen: in this case only solid tiles will be visible in a visible place, and cuttings are placed along the walls. Basically, the selection of the picture is not needed, but there are rare plates with a photographer, the placement of which is important.
Advice! Preliminary marking will greatly facilitate the laying process.
To install the glue cork on a special adhesive, tiles are placed uncontaminated, trying to leave more than 30 cm between the joints of adjacent rows. After the glue has completely dried, the floor is varnished, according to the instructions.
Mounting the glue stopper (video)
Laying the locking floor is much easier. At the pre-leveled floor, they put a moisture-repellent film, and on top of it a lining. Each tile is alternately inserted into the castle of the previous one, gradually filling the entire room. Near the walls it is necessary to leave a gap of at least 1.5 cm so that the floor can "swim".
Laying a floating or locking floor from a cork (video)
How to prolong the life of the cork floor?
The cork floor is not very fond of grooming, but, like any material, it has its own tricks of exploitation, which will allow it to last for several decades.
1. At least once a year or two, it is recommended to apply a special care product to the plug. It will not only update its appearance, but also create an additional protective layer from dust and dirt.
2. Difficult to remove household stains are removed by gently grinding the surface of the floor with a sandpaper or use specially designed cleaning compounds.
3. Minor damage to the coating can be easily hidden with a varnish or wax.
4. Do not use too aggressive tools for cleaning the cork floor: a knife, metal hard wool, etc.
5. To maintain the color of the coating, avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight if the plug is not covered with a special protection.
Reviews of real owners
Owners of cork floors in the kitchen are not indifferent to them: the forums are filled with stormy discussions, disputes between fans and opponents of this cover. The culprit of frustration in a traffic jam is usually not the material itself, but its poor quality, the mistake in choosing plates or the violation of the rules of operation by the owners themselves.
Especially good reviews sound from families with children, where, thanks to a traffic jam, kids do not get injured when falling and do not freeze to their feet, running barefoot. Environmental compatibility of the material prevents the occurrence of allergies and asthma attacks.
Judging by the reviews, the cork floors managed to survive in their homes many tests: they drop objects, they vacuumed, washed, flooded. Particularly curious owners even put small experiments, dropping the remaining trim from the repair into the water. Similar tests cork plates with success pass.