Cork floor is no longer associated with some exotic in the interior. Since the material itself is quite expensive, so manufacturers produce cork laminate, which is little different in appearance, but has many advantages over other materials.
The material is a combination of chipboard and cork. Typically, the coating consists of five layers, each of which has a specific purpose. The bottom layer is required as a substrate. It consists of fine crumbs and glue. Its functions include:
- noise absorption;
- surface leveling;
The waterproof layer is made of moisture resistant plywood or MDF board. This is the hardest layer, thanks to which the assembly of floor elements is carried out.
The third layer is usually a extruded plug connected by an adhesive to a waterproof plate. It acts as an additional sound insulation and cushioning surface to absorb the loads during walking.
From above there is a decorative layer of laminate, for the manufacture of which cork oak veneer is used. Not only decorative registration of a floor, but also durability of operation of material depends on this layer.
The top layer of lacquer or vinyl coating protects the material from external influence of detergents and human walking.
Due to such a complex structure, maximum functionality of the coating is achieved.
Advantages and disadvantages of cork laminate
Cork laminate is considered to be resistant and durable, as the declared service life exceeds 30 years. However, besides obvious advantages, there are many other useful properties:
- Environmentally friendly - natural ingredients are absolutely safe for human health.
- Attractive appearance of the surface allows to imitate valuable wood species in the interior.
- Thermal conductivity. The material is ideal for cool rooms due to the ability to keep warm for a long time.
- Flexibility and elasticity. The coating is slightly springy, which reduces the risk of breaking glassware. With the appearance of small dents from objects over time, the surface gradually levels out.
- Noise isolation allows for noise reduction in an apartment building.
- Easy installation of cork laminate is available even to a beginner. The technology of assembly and laying corresponds to the standard scheme of work with laminate.
- The moisture resistance of the material allows you to apply the coating even in rooms with high levels of humidity.
- Unpretentious care of the surface.
Along with the advantages there are disadvantages of the material:
- Low degree of reliability of the laminating coating with a point load.
- Increased abrasion during operation, due to which gaps and traces are formed.
- High cost of coating in comparison with other types of laminate.
When purchasing cork laminate, the pros and cons must be weighed in advance so that the money is not wasted.
Before you start making the floor you need to take care of the purchased floor. The building material must be unpacked and left indoors for several days. This will allow the coating to acclimatize. After such an exposure cork pick up the necessary degree of humidity and temperature, which correspond to the climate of the room.
If you skip this stage of preparation and lay the material immediately, then you may encounter problems of cracking on the surfaces of the laminate.
Before laying the cork floor, you should dismantle the old surface, remove the baseboard, assess the presence of cracks or small irregularities of the floor. If they are detected, the floor surface should be immediately leveled.
If, when assessing the condition of the floor, it turns out that the height differences exceed the norm of 2-3 mm per meter, it is necessary to make a coupler. The easiest way is to use a self-leveling mixture.
After complete drying, you can lay the substrate joint in the joint. Individual elements can be connected using adhesive tape. The substrate is laid in such a way that it not only covers the entire area, but also slightly captures the side surfaces.
Wood flooring can be leveled with plywood sheets. Then lay a laminate cork base on them.
How to lay a cover
Cork fits "floating way." Installation of the floor begins as standard:
- Laminated panels are stacked in rows. You need to start laying from the far corner of the room.
- To obtain a chess pattern during assembly, the seams of the panels are shifted by a third or half of one board.
- The assembly is quite simple: the spike of the next board is inserted into the groove of the installed panel. After that, the board is pressed a little and lowered into a horizontal position. The lock snaps into place.
- To seal the joints of the panels on the end of the panel you need to impose a wooden bar and hit it with a hammer several times.
Simple rules for laying panels will avoid errors and prolong the life of the material.
When laying, it must be remembered that, over time, the laminate of balsa wood may expand, and therefore it is necessary to leave the so-called compensation gaps between the floor and the walls, as well as between it and the obstacles (pipes, threshold).
All gaps left will be closed with baseboards. The best option is considered a product from the same material. However, laminated and wooden baseboards are allowed. To fix them enough, use mounting glue, screws, nails and dowels. It should be fixed on the walls so that there is a gap of 1 mm between them and the floor. This is necessary to ensure the mobility of the coating under load.
Features care coating
Cork laminate is a coating that does not require a special approach during operation.
However, to increase the service life it is enough to follow a few simple rules:
- Cleaning should be done with a vacuum cleaner or a slightly damp cloth.
- Do not use hard metal brushes and caustic cleaning agents.
- For such a coating it is undesirable to pick up dimensional furniture with thin legs. If you change the furniture does not go into the plans, you can put a small layer of felt fabric or felt.
- In winter, it is advisable to slightly moisten the floor to prevent it from drying out due to heating.
- If you see small dirt that can not just 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 wetting of the floor, as cork - still applies to wooden materials, and therefore does not like excessive moisture.
- In the event of cuts or serious scratches, you can replace one plate, and not to lift the entire floor in the room.
- Since the surface has a fairly shiny surface, do not rub it with special tools. Their use can make the floor slippery, which is fraught with injuries.
- Surfaces do not attract dust, so cleaning is carried out quickly and without the use of tools with hard surfaces.
- Simple cleaning will extend the service life of the coating and prevent loss of appearance.
Unique properties make cork laminate a versatile option for all rooms and different interiors:
- For a bedroom, the cover is convenient because you can walk barefoot on it without fear of a cold.
- In the nursery, the cover protects the baby from injury during falls and allows you to play directly on the floor.
- When laying the cork in the living room you can create unique decorative combinations for non-standard interior.
- In bathrooms, a moisture-resistant floor surface is always appropriate, so cork laminate will be completely appropriate.
- In the kitchen, made in ethnic style, you can not be afraid that the spots of fat or dirt will spoil the appearance of the floor. The material does not absorb sharp odors, without which cooking is impossible, and therefore in the kitchen there will always be a fresh aroma of purity.
The variety of colors and high quality laminate allow you to create unique interiors that will be appropriate in any room.