Cork flooring in the kitchen is one of the most profitable solutions in the price-quality ratio, but probably because of insufficient awareness of consumers, they do not enjoy popularity. In this article, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the material, as well as how to choose floor covering with 11 tips and 20 photos of cork floors in the interior.
Advantages and disadvantages
Cork floors have the following advantages:
- They are very pleasant to walk barefoot. Moreover, due to its structure consisting of many air cells, cork floors amortize every step you take. So, for those who have problems with joints, spine and musculoskeletal apparatus - it is better not to find coatings;
- Do not let your dishes break in case of a fall - again due to their softness and springiness;
- Cork helps to keep the heat and itself remains warm, even if the room is cool;
- Do not slip (however, in many ways it depends on the protective coating);
- The plug is easy to clean, does not absorb fat, and also such liquid products as beet juice or red wine. In addition, it does not attract dust, since it does not accumulate static electricity;
- Waterproof and not subject to rot, as the cork contains lignin, zemerin and ceroids. This means that in the case, say, of a pipe break, the floor will not spoil and will not be covered with mold. But, strictly speaking, serious "flooding" will withstand only glutinous cork floor;
- Not subject to combustion. The cork can only be charred;
- Have a long service life. A good cork floor will last you at least 20 years in perfect condition;
- Thanks to the air cells, which make up the cork, the cover has a volume memory. This means that neither kitchen furniture nor fallen heavy things will leave dents on it. They will more accurately leave, but in due course the form will be restored;
- They muffle both air and shock noises, both from inside the room, and from the outside;
- The price for cork floors is from 1500 rubles per square meter. m - it is cheaper than a parquet or a massive board, almost 2 times, despite the fact that in terms of performance, the cork in many respects exceeds the tree.
Unfortunately, this unique material has its drawbacks:
- Although the cork is waterproof, it can still swell from prolonged exposure to moisture. Especially it is subject to lock cork floors in places of joints of dies. Glutinous floor water is not terrible, but because of the protective 3 layers of varnish the floor can become as slippery as a laminate or polished massif;
- The cork is afraid of sharp objects. However, on the lacquered floor from the games of a child, a cat or a drop of knives can remain only subtle scratches, which are amenable to restoration;
- The cost of cork is higher than laminate, tile or linoleum;
- The glued floor, which is most suitable for the kitchen, requires a perfectly flat base and professional, and not self-installation, which affects the overall price.
11 Tips for Choosing
Advice 1. The glutinous floor is better suited for a kitchen, the owners of which are often cooked and spend time there
The glutinous floor is good in that it can be laid as tightly as possible - there are no joints between the plates or near the walls. Due to this, it will not be damaged even because of the large volume of water and will not allow it to "flood" the neighbors from below.
Characteristics of the material - tiles glue coating two-layer: the lower layer consists of a pressed cork, and the decorative layer - from cork veneer. After laying the coating is treated with wax, oil or varnish. Tiles are produced in different formats, but since their dimensions are multiples of each other, you can play with the design of the masonry - laying the floor with herringbone, flinging, chess order and even zigzagging as in the photo below.
Cons: unlike the lock adhesive floor requires an ideal foundation and high-quality professional laying. In addition, it can not be reused after dismantling.
Tip: The cork adhesive floor in the kitchen needs to be covered with 3-4 coats of lacquer.
Tip 2. If you live in a rented apartment, do not cook so often and do not want to carefully level the base, then it is more profitable to buy a lock floor
Lock ("floating") floors are more suitable for finishing a little exploited kitchens and dining rooms, as they can withstand spilled liquids, but only up to 24 hours. But the spoiled tiles are subject to replacement, and most importantly - the coating is very quickly and easily mounted independently. Even a varnish on it is not necessary to apply, more often it is already sold with factory processing. In addition, the "floating" floors due to the use of a substrate (when laying) and a base of MDF can be placed on the base with drops of up to 2-3 mm per 2 m, which will also save you time, energy and money. Another plus - a lock plug can reliably simulate the floor or parquet board.
Characteristics of the material: the "floating" floor plates consist of MDF-base, the center of the pressed cork and the decorative layer of cork veneer (2-3 mm). According to the format, size, method of installation (on the principle of "spike-groove"), and sometimes in appearance cork strips are similar to laminate.
Cons: As it was already noted, the lock cork coverings have a weak spot - the seams. If the water seeps into the joints, the ends of the strips swell, and the cork can slightly peel off the MDF plate. Another drawback - the price of the locking floors is slightly higher than the glue, and they also require the purchase of a special substrate.
Tip: To keep the floor in the kitchen in the best condition for longer, choose a material with moisture resistant ends and be sure to seal all joints with a waterproof sealant.
Tip 3. The thicker the material, the better
- Glue cork for kitchen should have a thickness of 6 mm, and not 4 mm.
- The castle floor is 10-12 mm thick. Other things being equal, the thicker material will be more reliable.
Tip 4. If you want to buy a light floor, then give preference to the varieties with chamfer
White, beige, light gray coatings make seams and any errors in laying are more noticeable. This can be avoided if you select a floor with chamfers (bevels at the edges).
Tip 5. Do you want the floor to always seem clean? Choose a material with a characteristic pattern and texture of cork veneer
Not too light (beige, gray, brown, dark brown) toned coatings with a characteristic "cork" texture always seem clean. Small crumbs, drops from water, stains and other household pollution can be noticed only if you look closely.
Council 6. Tinted cork retains its original color longer than unpainted
If the kitchen goes to the sunny side, then you should prefer the tinted material, since the cork of natural color, simply covered with varnish will eventually "burn out" from the ultraviolet.
Tip 7. Buy a cork from one batch
Due to the specifics of production, cork floors from different lots differ slightly in tone and size, which becomes noticeable only during the laying process. For the same reason, we advise you to be safe, and buy tiles with a margin, especially if you buy a lock plug.
Tip 8. Avoid solvent-based adhesives
If you decide to lay a glutinous floor, then pay special attention to the choice of glue. The best choice will be glue on a water basis, and here the compositions on the basis of solvents can permanently impregnate your floors with an unpleasant chemical smell. Do not be afraid of the high price of water-based adhesives, because they have 2 times more economic consumption.
Tip 9. Pay special attention to buying varnish
- Elastic varnish, as well as glue, is better to choose on a water basis;
- Keep in mind that coatings treated with lacquer with ceramic chips, although they increase the durability of the floors, but walking around them is not so pleasant, and children can completely erase their skin. And they ... can wear out the socks of the household members more quickly;
- After varnishing the plug, wait at least a week before starting its operation - do not walk on it in shoes or put furniture on.
Tip 10. If you want to buy a cork skirting, give preference to plinths with factory varnish
In terms of time, money and labor, it's more profitable to buy lacquered skirting, since non-varnished ones are cheaper, but they still have to be treated twice with lacquer.
Tip 11. To extend the life of the coating, use special care products
- Complex dirt, which in the kitchen is inevitable, should be removed with special soft cleaning agents for cork floors, for example, Euku-clean.
- Once in a year or two, apply special wax and paraffin wax to the floor. They will restore the beauty of the cork and increase its antistatic properties.
- Once in 5-10 years, update the lacquer layer.
Photo of cork floors in the interior of the kitchen
And finally, we present you a selection of photos of cork floors in the interiors of kitchens in classical and modern styles. Let's start, perhaps, with the classics.
But the photo-examples of the use of cork in the interior of modern kitchens.