How to Clean Cork Floors

how to clean cork floorsCork floors can be one of the greatest investments you can make for your home.  Cork flooring has been a flooring option for centuries but had just recently gained popularity in the US market.  Cork flooring has so many benefits for the environmentally conscious as well as those simply looking to live a healthy lifestyle.  Cork flooring is the most sustainable flooring available today.  Cork is produced from the Cork Oak tree.  Only the bark is harvested from the tree which grows back, so the tree is not harmed during harvesting making it a very sustainable resource.  Also, during manufacturing by-products from other cork production, such as wine corks, is used and zero waste is produced.  Cork flooring is truly a green product that is safe and sustainable.

Cork flooring also has excellent health benefits.  Cork flooring is naturally mold and mildew resistant which can help keep the indoor air quality of your home high and spore free.  Also, many building materials can release harmful gases for days or even months after manufacturing and installation decreasing air quality and even making it dangerous to occupy a newly built home too soon.  Cork flooring does not release any harmful gases during or after installation.  Also, cork contains a substance called Suberin which is an insect repellant and will keep any fungus or other foreign substance from growing which makes cork flooring very hypoallergenic.

Aside from all these environmental and health benefits, cork is surprisingly comfortable.  The biggest complaint most people have with wood floors is that they are hard and cold, but cork is just the opposite.  Cork provides a very soft and comfortable underfoot feel due to its simple construction of bark and a binding agent.  Also, cork makes a fantastic thermal insulator which not only will save you money on your heating bill but will also keep your cork floors feeling warm rather than cold and hard.  For more information on cork, check out this article on the benefits of cork flooring.

With all these benefits, you made a great choice installing cork floors in your home!  Now that you’ve grown to love your cork floors, it is important to keep them looking great for years to come.  That all starts with a good cleaning plan to make sure you floors do not get permanently damaged or stained, so for the rest of this article we will look at how to clean cork floors.

With any floor care routine, it starts with a regular sweeping.  Keeping dirt and sand off your cork floors will reduce the amount of wear and keep small particles from getting ground into the surface from foot traffic.  For Cork, make sure you use a soft bristle broom to keep from marking the surface.  Next, a regular mopping is important to keep your cork floors clean and stain free.  Make sure you do not use any waterless mops or harsh wood floor cleaners.  Cork floors are slightly porous and will absorb the chemicals used to clean them.  These harsh chemicals can damage the structure of the cork floors and even cause the wood to swell causing buckling at the joints.  Instead mop with a mild soap solution using dish soap or another mild detergent.  Also, make sure you wring out your mop after rinsing it to keep as much water off your floor as possible.

Regular sweeping and mopping should help keep your cork floors looking great for years and years.  If, after years your floors start to look dull or worn in certain areas you can re-seal your cork floors to bring back a uniform shine.  Start with a sweeping and a damp mopping.  This time do use a hardwood floor cleaner to mop with which will help remove all stains and foreign materials from the cork.  Make sure the floor is completely dry.  Using a roller, apply a water based urethane to seal the floor and bring back the beauty of your floors.

If haven’t yet had your cork floors installed, consider calling Carolina Flooring Services at 843-225-0700.  Carolina Services is Charleston’s number one installer of cork flooring and can help transform your home into a luxurious space where you can enjoy all the environmental and health benefits of comfortable cork flooring.  For more information about our flooring services, visit our website to learn more about cork flooring.

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cork_floors.jpg – By Mike1024 – Licensed By Creative Commons via Wikimedia – Original Link

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