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Cork | Glossary

The time it takes for cork flooring to adapt to the temperature and moisture levels in the rooms it will be installed.

Acoustic insulation
Cork’s ability to reduce sound transmission makes it a perfect flooring choice for acoustic insulation.  Especially useful for sound reduction between floor levels in your home.

An adhesive material, such as a polyurethane resin, used to join particles of cork together to produce planks or tiles.

There are many different qualities, types and shades found in cork flooring products, just as there is in nature.

The natural material harvested from the bark of the Cork Oak tree.   See our “How It’s Made” section for a full description of how cork is harvested and made into cork flooring products. Portugal is the world leader in cork production, and has the largest forests of Cork Oak in the world.

The cork floor’s surface coating.  Polyurethane, UV acrylic varnish and resin are the most common types of finishes used.

An installation system for cork flooring where an adhesive, or contact cement, is used to adhere the cork to an existing floor or subfloor.  If installing over existing flooring is feasible, precautions must be taken to make sure they are clean and levelled, and smooth surfaces need to be roughed up and completely cleaned prior to installation. Using a professional flooring installer is recommended for these types of installations.

An installation system for planks and tiles that click or joint together by a tongue and groove system.  No glue is necessary in the installation of this product.

Cork floors have a natural resilience and undergo tests to see how well they recuperate after static load (loads that exert a constant amount of force).  Some manufacturers report a recuperation of about 90% and the indentation left behind below .4mm.

Cork has wonderful insulation properties with its ability to resist noise transmission and avoid heat loss or gain.

Cork flooring products should never be installed in where moisture is present beneath subfloors, and on levelling compounds that are not completely cured.

Phthalate Free
Phthalates are substances included in plasticizers to improve their flexibility and durability.  For years, manufacturers included phthalates in their finishing products on vinyl, laminate and cork flooring products.  Today, many manufacturers using healthier and environmentally friendly products that are phthalate free, while still maintaining flexibility, transparency and durability.

As with all floors, protective measures must be taken to maintain the beauty of your cork flooring.  Non-rubber/latex mats at entrances, vacuum or sweet as necessary to remove particles of dirt and grit, use furniture protector pads, use PVC mats under office chairs to protect from caster wheels.

Radiant Heat Systems
Certain types of cork flooring products can be suitable for use above radiant heat systems, but there are precautions and care that must be taken when doing so.  Check with the manufacturer as to a product’s suitability, and have a professional flooring installer complete your project.

UV Light Resistance
Natural flooring products are affected by UV rays from sunlight.  Cork is also susceptible to natural discolouration.  There are many types of cork floor finishes that have UV light resistant properties – this can improve, but not prevent UV light discolouration entirely.