Cork floors in humid regions?


Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows in the Mediterranean region. In addition to being considered a renewable resource, cork flooring feels soft, insulates, and is relatively durable compared to other wood flooring. Typical costs:Having a cork floor professionally installed starts around $5-$12 a square foot for both materials and labor, or $1,250-$3,000 for a 250-square-foot kitchen. However, it can run $12-$20 or more a square foot for specialty shapes, styles or colors, for a total cost of $3,000-$5,000 for the kitchen. Glue-down cork flooring tiles are usually less expensive than "floating" click-together panels/planks, but require a better subfloor surface and more preparation, and take more time to install. Prices are typically based on the density of the cork (denser is better), the type of binder or finishes used, the number of coats of finish varnish, and the color.Cork flooring installation can be done with moderate do-it-yourself skills,...
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Cork flooring is a bit of a mystery – not just to me but to everyone I’ve ever asked … although they don’t all admit it. If you do any research on cork at all, you will find all sorts of conflicting information. Normally I could turn to my overwhelming experience and share more information than you would ever want to know except I have only used cork on the floor in a project once before – in this kitchen:


Cork Floor in modern kitchen

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The harvesting of the bark is a process that does NO HARM to the trees. Rather the bark naturally grows back every 9-10 years, allowing a single crop of Cork Oaks to continue producing for decades. Once the bark is harvested it is granulated, and then pressed flat with binding agents such as resin. It is then baked into the sheets that are used in flooring installations. Cork bark is made up of a tiny sealed honeycomb cellular structure (14-sided polyhedrons) containing gas of 90% air. These cells provide resiliency (cushion) and insulation and there are about 40 million of these cells per cubic centimeter. Cork can be compressed up to 40% and quickly returns to its original shape. This all works to make cork a very special flooring material.

Types of Cork Flooring: Cork now comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. But as you can see, the depth and richness that cork can have is very special. Some companies mix rubber with cork to provide a special texture, some...

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Cork bathroom flooring is one of the most environmentally friendly and safe building materials, corresponding to the demands of bathroom conditions: warmth and humidity. This amazing material consists of gases by 87%. Cork floor for bathroom can be called the best alternative to expensive ceramic tile. Why is cork flooring good for bathrooms?

The answer is simple: cork flooring for bathrooms has lots of advantages. Let us dwell on cork flooring in bathroom pros and cons. First of all, cork is relatively warm. Tiles, for example, do not have this advantage. It is unpleasant to walk barefoot on the tiled floor. To solve this problem you can install floor heating, which sufficiently increases the costs of repair and maintenance. Besides, tiled floor is prone to fungus and bacteria.

Cork floor in bathroom is completely devoid of these problems. Its natural warmth and pleasant tactile sensations are highly valued. It is extremely pleasant to walk on cork floors in...

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Although hardwood floors are a beautiful and valuable addition to any home or property, depending on where you live, some kinds are better a fit than others. Due to the heat, humidity, and beaches for which Florida is famous, it’s important to consider several factors when you shop for hardwood flooring.

Looking for great and affordable hardwood floors to add to your Florida home? Then you’ve come to the right place, HERE!

Hardwood floors continue to be a popular flooring option, due to their classic appearance, durability, and convenience. Although there are cheaper types of flooring, hardwood floors are a fantastic way to raise the value of your home because of the tremendous benefits they bring. While this also holds true in “The Sunshine State,” it’s important to consider Florida’s unique climate to make the most of your investment.

Choosing Your Hardwood Floors

Not only do you want to find hardwood flooring that fits your budget and looks amazing...

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Colorado and the surrounding mountain states are among the most challenging regions for all wood products because of our extremely dry climate. The concerns of relative humidity control have been addressed by all major wood flooring manufacturers and are clearly documented by them and the National Wood Flooring Association. The following are important points to consider:

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to keep the relative humidity within a constant and acceptable range. Consideration of an appropriate humidification system should be given when a home is designed, or when hardwood flooring is added to an existing home. Experts differ slightly on the range they feel is the most appropriate, but a consensus would be between 25% and 40% relative humidity. Any in-home environmental conditions at the low end of, or below, this range will probably result in drying and cracking to some extent of most woods. Without additional humidification, in-home relative humidity can...
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Choosing the right flooring takes a bit more than picking out a color. Install the wrong materials and you could find yourself with unexpected problems. Before making a decision, consider your climate and which materials work best there.

Vinyl and Linoleum: Not What You Might Think

Vinyl and linoleum are words that are often used interchangeably, but they’re different materials. There are numerous, high-quality vinyl flooring options that aren’t your grandmother’s flower-patterned kitchen floor. Some even realistically mimic wood and stone.

Vinyl is synthetic, but linoleum is a natural product made from ground cork and linseed oil. The color is solid throughout, so it doesn’t show damage as easily.

Both vinyl and linoleum are available in sheets and tiles and they clean up with a damp mop. While they’re suitable in any climate, they can feel a bit chilly underfoot.

Take time with your contractor to learn which flooring is best for you.

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In our Climate–Friendly Flooring section you'll find the pros and cons of the most common floor types in relation to humidity. Before purchasing new flooring for your home, it may be a good idea to first determine your region's humidity level. You may be surprised to know extremes in humidity can have a dramatic affect on certain floor types and result in damage that may be inconvenient and/or expensive to repair. Choose the floor best suited for your humidity level and help increase the longevity and performance of one of the largest surfaces in your home!

Below are links to common types of flooring and how they relate to climate and your environment. Also, at the bottom of the page is a map that shows how humidity can vary from region to region across the United States (September humidity is shown in this...

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