A very complete materialResistant to humidity very easily, cork can be installed in any room in the house. For example, it provides a lot of comfort, used as a floor in a bathroom. Due to its structure - cells filled with air which make it rot-proof, it is a perfect thermal and phonic insulator which also resists the effect of punching; you will install it without problem in a high traffic area. It is absolutely not attacked by insects and does not give off flames or toxic fumes in the event of fire.
A practical presentation
Generally, you will find cork in the form of tiles of 30 x 30 cm and in two thicknesses, or in the form of blades of 60 x 15 cm in 5 mm thickness, rather used when laying in a room with heavy traffic. Regarding the finishes, if you are a fan of traditional floors, opt for waxing cork, which is maintained like wood. If, on the contrary, you want to strengthen the natural shade or even color it slightly, buy a cork to be varnished instead. This finish also allows installation in a humid environment. Even if the finishing is done in the factory, it is always recommended to pass a layer of varnish after installation, which standardizes the color and hides the joints while making them waterproof.
Maintenance sideCork floors require maintenance similar to that of oiled or vitrified parquet. Vacuum then, if the floor is really dirty, a slightly damp mop, added with a cap of "polish". Clean stains immediately with a sponge and do not allow water to stagnate.
The Pro CouncilRecently, manufacturers, aware of the recent craze for this material, offer cork parquet, which could well prove to be the miracle coating of tomorrow! These are boards made up of four layers: the first, in transparent resin, ensures resistance and ease of maintenance, the second, in cork, gives the decorative aspect, the third, still in cork, provides elasticity and insulating quality the covering, the last, a kind of wooden backrest, makes it easier to glue down.
GOOD TO KNOWDo not hesitate to use it in vertical installation, on the walls: you will be surprised by the radical transformation of the atmosphere and the sound of the room. As on the ground, its texture and color immediately bring a feeling of comfort and warmth. It is particularly recommended in a large volume, where you can use it as a base to give a little privacy. However, avoid covering entire walls, especially in a small room, because its very present appearance will tend to stifle the volumes a little.
Know-how - home decor © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2006