There are as many different flooring options as there are rooms in a home. Tile, laminate flooring, carpeting, and wood floors are among the more popular choices for rooms in the home. However, there are other nontraditional flooring options that may be considered throughout the house, including cork tiles.
Cork Flooring: Safe and Environmentally Sound
Cork tiles are limited in their styles and range, but can be comfortable and quiet underfoot, not to mention inexpensive. Cork flooring is hypoallergenic as well as environmentally friendly. Cork tiles can also add a protective layer when utilized as flooring in the kitchen where dishes, glasses, and even children attempting to reach countertops can take a tumble to the floor.
Cork Flooring and Feng Shui
Furthermore, for those interested in following the principals of feng shui, cork flooring can also be of assistance. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that regards the flow of life energy, or chi, as the most important component to any room; basically the balancing of the exterior to benefit the interior. Cork flooring can represent the "wood" aspect of energy in a kitchen where "fire" (stove and oven) and "water" (sink and refrigerator) are the dominant and opposing energy forces.
Drawbacks of Cork Flooring
However, while cork flooring provides safety, comfort, and even adherence to Chinese philosophy, it can also be much more susceptible to water damage, and therefore may be restricted to certain locations within the home.
Professional Installation Is Recommended for Cork Flooring
Because the appearance, satisfaction, and life span of cork flooring is primarily dependent on the installation, generally it is recommended that the cork tile be professionally installed. The installer will also be trained to recognize areas of the house where excessive moisture may be a problem. Yet, in preparing to have cork flooring installed, there are some steps to take to ensure proper adherence:
- Be sure that the designated area is smooth and clean. This may include the removal of paint, wax, or previous adhesive materials, and it may even be necessary to rent or utilize a machine sander to completely smooth the floor surface.
- Once appropriately smooth and clear of any deposits or debris, the flooring surface must be thoroughly and completely dried.
- Before installation can commence, the tiles should be removed from their packaging and left out in the desired room for a minimum of 48 hours before installation with normal temperature and humidity conditions.
- Then the tiles may be cut, adhered, and installed.