Construction professionals have focused more and more on the use of cork in recent years, in order to take advantage of its exceptional features. Cork floors cushion the shocks given their elasticity. They also reduce the noise due to the absorption capacity of cork. The floors are comfortable, natural, ecological, hygienic, resistant and easy to maintain.
The focus on design and the most advanced technology of preparation and treatment of surfaces allow the most varied types of textures, colours and shapes to be made available, which follow the fashion trends.
Using cork by itself or in combination with other materials such as wood, vinyl, and leather provides a wide range of elegant and sophisticated looks that allow for the most varied environments to be created, which are enriched by the unique qualities of cork.
However, it is necessary understand the types of cork flooring to obtain satisfactory results, whether for floating or glued floor, considering the composition and form of application (both are available with varnished, wax, oil or natural finish), to be finished at the work site.
Floating cork flooring is composed of a layer of decorative cork, then agglomerated cork layer, a middle layer of HDF (high-density wood fibres) and a bottom layer of agglomerated cork. The panels, which can have a thickness of 10 to 12 mm, are cut to specified sizes and the edges are milled with a profile that allows the mechanical fitting of the panels to each other without using glue. This type of flooring is laid directly on the existing floor without glue, hence the “floating” designation.
The great advantage of the product is its easy installation and its use on various types of existing underlay floors.
Cork floors for gluing are formed by a simple sheet of high density cork agglomerate or by overlay of a decorative laminated sheet and a sheet of high density cork agglomerate. The flooring is cut into tiles of various sizes (the most common are 600x300mm and 300x300mm) and different thicknesses from 3.2 mm to 6 mm. The tiles are usually pre-finished with a surface finish that gives them strength.
When installing glued flooring, the underlay should always be treated, levelled and waterproofed beforehand.