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cork floors care & cleaning

 

 

Looking for the basics on how to take care of your cork flooring? You'll find the answers you need right here. Cork flooring is not only attractive, it's easy to maintain, so you can keep your cork floors looking great for years with minimal effort.

When you get your cork flooring installed, get a manual or other information source from the installer on how best to take care of your cork floors. A manufacturer's guide can offer recommendations for specific products to use in caring for your cork floors, and will be a great resource.

Cork Floor Care Products

Prevention and Maintenance

  • Find an installer you can trust to do the job right, and stop any major problems from happening in the first place.
  • When installing over concrete subfloors where moisture levels may be increased, you should seal the concrete or use a moisture barrier with a floating cork installation.
  • Add felt protectors to the corners and feet of your heavy furniture to prevent indent marks.
  • Set up floor mats in front of doors so dirt won't get tracked in.  Choose floor mats with a canvas backing (never rubber).
  • To prevent gouge marks when you're rearranging furniture, lift the furniture up instead of dragging it across the cork floor.
  • Stop direct sunlight from fading your cork floors by installing curtains, blinds, etc. over windows.
  • If you live in an area that experiences extremes of high and low humidity, invest in a humidifier to keep the room at 55–82% humidity and prevent buckling or warping of your cork flooring.
  • Consider area rugs for high–traffic areas, as well as non–rubber mats for spaces near sinks, dishwashers, and other water sources.
  • If you really want to take care of your cork floors, institute a no–shoes policy in the house to prevent dirt from being tracked in.

Care and Cleaning

  • Sweep or vacuum your cork floor regularly.
  • Damp mop your cork floor once a month with a mild soap or detergent.
  • Avoid using harsh, ammonia–based, or abrasive cleaners on your cork flooring.
  • Clean up any liquid spills immediately.
  • Look for cleaners specifically labeled as cork floor cleaners.

Special Notes on Finishes

  • Depending on the foot traffic and amount of wear your cork floors experience, cork floors with a urethane finish should be refinished once every 1–5 years. There are other types of cork flooring finishes available that do not require periodic refinishing.
  • Urethane finishes can be reapplied when needed; simply sand the floor lightly and then apply several coats of urethane for water resistance.
  • Wax finishes can be buffed using a low rpm setting on a buffing machine with a lamb's wool pad.
  • Varnished cork tiles can be polished and buffed, but should not be waxed.

For immediate help from a flooring professional or fellow remodeler, you use our Flooring Forums.