30 May 2024
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Cork is a unique, warm, and famously sustainable flooring option with countless eco-friendly benefits. It’s effortlessly stylish, softer than hardwood, quieter than tile, and naturally insulates your home or workspace. 

The trick to enjoying these benefits for many years to come is keeping up with regular cleaning and care. The good news is that cork flooring maintenance is surprisingly easy! This guide explores essential tips for maintaining cork floors, including considerations for different finishes and cleaners. 

 

Pilates studio, highlighted by modern cork-wise flooring.

 

How to protect cork floors

Proactive and preventative care is the secret to a beautiful, long-lasting cork floor. Unlike wood, which can require regular sanding and harsh chemicals, cork’s naturally resilient surface needs minimal upkeep, and you can stop dirt and scratches before they start! Below are some tips for preventative care.

 

Allow cork to acclimate

Following installation, your cork floor needs a few days to adjust to its new home. Allow for good air circulation in the room for a few days to help the floor dry evenly and prevent warping. Avoiding heavy foot traffic and furniture can also help the cork panels settle evenly.

Use absorbent mats

Place absorbent mats at all entrances. Mats act as trusty first lines of defence to trap dirt, grit, and excess moisture before they even touch your floor.

Protect from scrapes

When moving furniture in after installation, use rigid protective sheets to avoid scraping or dragging items across the surface. 

It also pays to invest in high-density felt pads for the bottoms of your furniture, especially pieces that get moved often. These simple pads prevent scratches and premature wear to keep your cork looking its best. 

Avoid extreme conditions

Protect the floor from extreme sunlight, high humidity, and sudden temperature fluctuations. These extremes can cause fading, distortion of panels, unwanted gaps, or creaking noises. 

 

How to clean cork floors

While preventative measures go a long way in protecting your cork floor, the primary component of cork flooring maintenance is regular and proper cleaning. But before you reach for the heavy-duty cleaning tools, remember that cork doesn’t respond well to steel wool, scourers, steam mops, or wax floor polish.

 

Recommended cork floor cleaners

Most mild detergents and neutral floor cleaners are perfectly acceptable for keeping your cork floor clean. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and check the product label before using anything you’re unsure about.

Unlike other flooring options, cork is quite particular about the cleaning products it tolerates. Harsh chemicals and ammonia-based cleaners are best left on the shelf, as they can permanently damage the soft cork surface.  

To clean your floors naturally, create a gentle solution by mixing ¼ cup of vinegar with a bucket of warm water. Use a soft microfiber or sponge mop to glide across the floor. Remember, hard bristle brushes are a no-go, as their harshness can scratch the protective coating and leave unsightly marks.

Market Timbers sells a range of soft cleaners specifically for our Cork floors.

 

Cork floor care instructions

Weekly: Frequent sweeping or dusting will help remove abrasive particles and prevent scratching. Although it depends on how heavily you use the area, we recommend sweeping or vacuuming cork floors at least twice a week.

Fortnightly: Regular damp mopping with a well-wrung mop will eliminate dirt and grit that can scratch your floors. Keep in mind that only damp mops should be used on cork flooring. Thoroughly wring out your mop before cleaning, and never submerge your floors’ surface in water to clean them. Allow them to air dry, or use a dry cloth or towel to absorb the excess moisture. 

Immediately: Any spills should be cleaned up straight away from cork floors with a damp cloth. Promptly blot spills from cork to prevent liquid from penetrating the sealant and entering the cracks between the tiles or planks. For tougher cork floor stain removal, use a mild detergent and warm water. 

Occasionally: Over time, even beautiful cork flooring can lose some of its lustre. Re-coating with an approved product may be necessary every few years in residential settings. This process is typically handled by floor sanding professionals using either water-based or one-part solvent-based coatings that are specifically designed for cork.

 

A modern, bright office adorned with greenery and featuring cork-wise flooring.

 

Cork flooring care starts with Market Timbers

Like any other material, cork flooring comes in a wide range of styles and specifications. Factors like the type of finish, traffic level, and brand of cork can influence the specific care routine required. Cork Bionatural, for instance, is a water-resistant option designed to stand up to the demands of high-traffic areas and reduce the amount of repair and maintenance. 

For the most up-to-date and personalised recommendations, reach out to Market Timbers, your trusted source for cork flooring. Our experts can help you tailor a care plan that ensures your beautiful and sustainable cork floor continues to impress for as long as possible. 

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