Cork, Vinyl, & Rubber
Cork is nature’s versatile treasure. It is the outer bark of the cork oak tree, grown predominately in the southern half of Portugal. Cork is used in products ranging from engine gaskets to wine corks. Cork has adapted to the worlds rapidly changing tastes and technology for over two hundred years. Beyond the versatility of cork, it is also one of the most environmentally sensitive materials available. This characteristic includes both the organic techniques used to grow the cork trees and the manufacturing processes, where much of the work is performed with traditional hand labor. Why use cork? Cork provides the most functional, beautiful flooring available that combines functionality, ease of maintenance, beauty and environmental sensitivity together. Is cork durable? If properly maintained, cork flooring can last for over 80 years, even under high traffic. Why is cork durable? Cork flooring can be purchased with factory-applied polyurethane or wax finishes, which are extremely durable and resistant to scratches and gouges. Cork is naturally resilient, so it tends to give if materials are dropped or moved across it, whereas hard flooring surfaces will scratch or gouge. Is it easy to maintain? Regular damp mopping with a well wrung-out mop and mild soap (Ivory Liquid) is all that is necessary to maintain your cork floor. Cork is not easily stained, so it does not require scrubbing or use of harsh cleaners. Can cork be refinished? Both waxed and polyurethane-finished tiles can be refinished many times during the life of the floor.
How long does the finish last? The life of the finish directly relates to the care given to the floor. Polyurethane finish can last up to 10 years in a residential installation if properly maintained. Polyurethane is an extremely durable surface, but it will wear if gravel and dirt are not regularly cleaned from the floor. Wax is also a very durable finish, but it requires periodic paste wax application and buffing. Paste wax application every 12 months is typical for properly maintained residential installations. Will cork flooring tile shades fade? The shades will lighten slightly over a period of years. The original shade can be brought back by sanding and refinishing the cork tiles. Cork tiles and other flooring surfaces should be protected from UV-Rays using a window treatment.
Today’s vinyl floors (also called resilient floors) and vinyl floor tiles are more durable and stain-resistant than over before. Many of the designs and colors are inspired by nature and will add style and color to any room. Vinyl floor designs are extremely realistic-looking. Patterns range from simple, contemporary designs to beautiful, weathered stones to rich, hand-scraped hardwoods. If you haven’t explored vinyl floors for a while, you will be amazed at the new, exciting vinyl floor offerings.
Vinyl flooring is still one of the best solutions for bathrooms, mud rooms and kitchens. Vinyl floor tiles are also a great solution for those looking to install their own flooring in a kitchen or bathroom.
Rubber flooring is durable enough to withstand the most demanding environments, including commercial gyms and large-scale weight rooms, and they are also a great option for use in home exercise rooms, garage floors and many other areas. A wide range of colors and thicknesses are available for rubber flooring products. Most importantly, buying rubber flooring products is great for the environment, since the primary raw material used in producing rubber flooring that is 100% post-consumer material is derived from recycled tires. Durable and flexible, non-slip garage flooring solutions in the form of garage floor tiles are used for garage floor and as trade show and exhibit flooring, kitchen floors, basement flooring, laundry room and locker room floor locations.