How To Maintain Cork Flooring
The first essential thing to do when considering the maintenance of a cork floor is to consider how much traffic the flooring will get. If the cork flooring is in a high traffic situation such as a hallway or a livingroom then you need the best polyurethane coating to harden the foor and make it withstand the traffic. Several coatings of a good poyurethane coating is essential.
Use furniture protectors on your furniture legs to spread the weight of impact on the cork. And don't let people wearing cleats and high heel shoes walk on cork flooring because these shoe types can punch holes in the flooring.
Although cork flooring has a natural impermability as a result of the suberin substance found in cork, it is not waterproof flooring. With the right protective finishing it is possible to install cork flooring in a bathroom but still any water or other liquid spilled on cork flooring should be mopped up immediately.
To clean cork flooring simply use a dust mop or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. It is very important to sweep the floor regularly to avoid particles. Also place mats at entrance doors and place a shoe box by the main door to encourage people to take off their shoes before walking on your cork flooring. Particles such as dirt, grit, small stones etc. can be carried into the house from shoes and if they are walked on and dragged across the cork will damage the cork. If you want to damp mop the floor then use a neutral hardwood floor cleaner. Never wet mop or pour water onto the cork flooring.
Two or three times a year a non-toxic water based refresher formula can be added to the cork flooring using a lambs wool applicator. Apply a thin coat of refresher and allow 2 hours to dry. This will restore the finish of the cork flooring and help protect and maintain the flooring.
Care should be taken not to expose the cork flooring to too much direct sunlight. Cork contains organic pigments that will fade after extended exposure to sunlight. Also care should be taken to avoid extreme humidity and too little humidity in a room with cork flooring. Although cork is a very stable flooring material it is not immune to radical changes in humidity levels.
If you maintain your cork flooring properly there is no reason that it cannot last you a life time.