The cork floor is no longer associated with a certain exotic in the interior. Since the material itself is quite expensive, so manufacturers produce cork laminate, which differs little in appearance, but has a lot of advantages over other materials.
Structure of the material
The material is a combination of chipboard and cork. Usually the coating consists of five layers, each of which has a specific purpose. The lower layer is needed as a substrate. It consists of small crumbs and glue. Its functions include:
- noise absorption;
- surface leveling;
The water-resistant layer is made of a moisture resistant slab made of plywood or MDF. This is the hardest layer, thanks to which the assembly of floor elements.
The third layer is usually a pressed cork, connected by glue with a water resistant slab. It acts as an additional noise insulation and shock-absorbing surface to pay off the loads when walking.
From above there is a decorative layer of a laminate, for manufacturing of which the veneer of cork oak is applied. From this layer depends not only the decorative design of the floor, but also the durability of the operation of the material.
The top layer of lacquer or vinyl coating protects the material from the external effects of detergents and human walking.
Thanks to this complex structure, the maximum functionality of the coating is achieved.
Advantages and disadvantages of laminate from cork
Cork laminate is considered to be durable and durable, as the declared life time exceeds 30 years. However, in addition to obvious advantages, there are many other useful properties:
- Ecological - natural ingredients are absolutely safe for human health.
- Attractive appearance of the surface allows imitating valuable wood species in the interior.
- Thermal conductivity. The material is ideal for cool rooms due to its ability to retain heat for a long time.
- Flexibility and elasticity. The coating slightly springs, which reduces the risk of breaking glassware. With the appearance of small dents from objects with time, the surface gradually becomes level.
- Noise isolation allows to provide noise level reduction in an apartment building.
- A simple laying of the cork laminate is available even for the beginner. The technology of assembly and laying corresponds to the standard scheme of work with laminate.
- The moisture resistance of the material makes it possible to apply the coating even in rooms with a high level of humidity.
- Unassuming care of the surface.
Along with the advantages there are also disadvantages of the material:
- Low degree of reliability of the laminating coating for point load.
- Increased abrasion during operation, due to which lumens and traces are formed.
- High cost of coating in comparison with other types of laminate.
Buying a cork laminate, the pros and cons must be weighed in advance so that money is not wasted.
Features of assembling and laying an unusual laminate
Before beginning the floor design, you need to take care of the purchased cover. The building material must be unpacked and left indoors for a few days. This will allow the coverage to acclimatize. After this exposure, the plug will gain the required degree of humidity and temperature regime, which correspond to the climate of the room.
If you skip this stage of preparation and lay the material at once, then you may encounter problems with the appearance of cracks on the surfaces of the laminate.
Before you lay the cork floor, you must dismantle the old surface, remove the plinth, assess the presence of cracks or small uneven floors. If they are detected, the floor surface should be immediately leveled.
If, in assessing the condition of the floor, it becomes clear that the height differences exceed the norm of 2-3 mm per meter, it is necessary to make a screed. The simplest way is to use a self-leveling mixture.
After full drying, it is possible to spread the substrate joint into the joint. Individual elements can be connected with an adhesive tape. The substrate is laid in such a way that it not only covers the entire area, but also slightly engages the side surfaces.
The wooden floor can be leveled with plywood sheets. After that, lay a laminate on the cork base on them.
How to lay a cover
The cork is laid in a "floating way". Installation of the floor begins as follows:
- Laminated panels are stacked in rows. Begin laying from the far corner of the room.
- To obtain a chess pattern during assembly, the seams of the panels are shifted by one-third or half of one board.
- The assembly is quite simple: a thorn of the next board is inserted int
o the groove of the installed panel. After that, the board is slightly pressed and lowered into a horizontal position. The lock snaps into place.
- To seal the joints of panels on the end of the panel, you need to put a wooden block and hit it with a hammer several times.
Simple rules for laying panels will avoid mistakes and extend the life of the material.
When laying it should be remembered that over time, laminate from the cork tree can expand, and therefore it is necessary to leave the so-called compensating gaps between the coating and the walls, and between it and the barriers (pipes, threshold).
All the gaps left will be covered with skirting boards. The best option is considered to be a product of the same material. However, both laminated and wooden plinths are allowed. To fix them enough, use mounting glue, screws, nails and dowels. To strengthen it it is necessary on walls that between them and a floor there was a backlash in 1mm. This is necessary to ensure the mobility of the coating under loads.
Features of care of a covering
Cork laminate is a coating that does not require a special approach during operation.
However, in order to increase the service life, it is enough to execute several simple rules:
- Cleaning should be carried out with a vacuum cleaner or a slightly damp cloth.
- Do not use hard metal brushes and caustic cleaners.
- For such a covering it is undesirable to select furniture with thin legs. If you change furniture does not go into plans, you can put a small layer of felt cloth or felt.
- In winter it is desirable to slightly moisten the floor to prevent it from drying out due to heating.
- When there are small contaminants that can not simply be washed off, you can clean them with fine-grained sandpaper. After that, you can polish the place of treatment with special means.
- Do not allow excessive moisture to the floor, since the cork - still refers to the wooden materials, and therefore does not like excessive moisture.
- In the case of cuts or serious scratches, you can replace one plate, and not raise the entire floor in the room.
- Since the surface has a sufficiently shiny surface, do not rub it with special means. Their use can make the floor slippery, which is fraught with trauma.
- Surfaces do not attract dust, so cleaning is carried out quickly and without the use of tools with hard surfaces.
- Simple cleaning will prolong the life of the coating and prevent loss of appearance.
Application of the cork floor
Unique properties make cork laminate a universal option for all rooms and different interiors:
- For the bedroom, the cover is convenient because you can walk on it barefoot without fear of a cold.
- In the children's cover protects the baby from injury when falling and allows you to play right on the floor.
- When laying the floor with a cork in the living room, you can create unique decorative combinations for a non-standard interior.
- In bathrooms the moisture-resistant floor surface is always appropriate, therefore the cork laminate will be quite appropriate.
- In the kitchen, made in ethnic style, you can not be afraid that stains of grease or dirt will spoil the appearance of the floor. The material does not absorb the sharp odors, without which it is impossible to prepare food, and therefore the kitchen will always have a fresh fragrance of purity.
The variety of colors and the high quality of the laminate make it possible to create unique interiors that will be appropriate in any room.