You naturally have to think about the proper and correct cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care when you decide to install it at home. Cork flooring has its own benefits and perks, but it won’t last if you have never cared for it. If you take the floor for granted, any kind of floor won’t stand even for a year. Caring for the floor isn’t difficult, but it isn’t super simple either. There are some extra precautions and considerations that you need to take before you decide whether it is the right floor for you – or not.
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Cork Flooring Matter
A lot of homeowners didn’t believe in cork flooring – until they had the floor at home. It turns out that cork flooring is pretty durable and quite sturdy. If you can manage the proper cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care, then the floor will last for many years – even decades. Many homeowners install the floor at heavy-traffic sections and areas, and the floor has proven itself to be quite reliable.
But then again, you need to properly maintain, clean, and care for it so the floor will retain its natural beauty and appeal. You need to remember that the floor may not be for everyone. It is perfect for those into vintage and classic look. Homeowners who don’t mind doing the extra cleaning work will find the floor to be the perfect pick for them.
Basically, the proper and correct cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care management would include regular cleaning, preventive methods, and also maintenance routines. If you finally decide to install the floor at home, you need to make sure that the floor is well cared for – and you can protect it from wear and also damage
The Cleaning Routine
It is crucial that you regularly sweep and mop the floor. If you want to maintain its integrity, sweeping and mopping it on a regular basis is crucial. Don’t let dust, debris, and dirt accumulate on the floor. Once you do, they have similar characteristic of a sandpaper, causing scuff and scratches on the surface. Whenever you walk on the floor, new scratches would be created. That’s why you need to have correct and proper cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care management.
If you want to use the vacuum, you can also do it but make sure that you use the one able to suck up the particles. Don’t use the harsh or brittle brush – again, you will scratch the surface and it won’t be shiny anymore. When you mop the floor, use a damp mop – NOT the wet one. Water is the main enemy of cork flooring. Sure, the floor is water-resistant, but it doesn’t mean that it is 100% waterproof. When mopping the floor, wring it properly out so it is only damp. Never let water pool or flood the floor. Don’t saturate the floor with water either. When there is spill, you need to remove it right away. Feel free to use the manual mop (where you use your hands to the floor) or you use the regular mop with handles.
Preventive Actions for Cork Flooring
There are several preventive actions that you need to make to maintain the floor in its good condition. These preventive things should be included in your cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care routine. They are pretty easy, but they can be super beneficial for long-term effects.
First of all, you need to have floor mats. Place each of them at every room’s entrance to reduce the possibility of damage. You see, the mats would pick up the debris (from your shoes) so the debris won’t end up on your floor. Mats are also effective for splashes. They are pretty comfortable to stand on, so it doesn’t hurt to place them on places where you will stand for quite a while. The kitchen island or the front area of the sinks is the perfect examples to use the mats.
Second, don’t forget to have curtains, especially in areas and rooms with wide and big windows where sunlight will shine directly on the floor. The color of cork flooring can fade when exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. Not to mention that the heat can also cause the floor to peel. Install blinds or curtains so they can block and filter the sunlight. Another alternative is to have rugs covering the floor. This will protect the floor, for sure.
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Third, you may want to reconsider cork flooring if you have pets. Cork flooring is prone to pet nails as the nails will definitely scratch the surface. If you have pretty active pets, they may even gouge the floor. If you insist on having the floor, then have their nails trimmed regularly. Well-groomed nails will keep all the damages at bay.
Fourth, heavy furniture can leave impressions or dents on the surface of the floor. The best way to protect the floor is to use the furniture pads. They are pretty inexpensive and yet they are super helpful. Just place the pads under the legs and you are good to go. Make sure to choose the high-quality pads – remember that they are pretty inexpensive. Another alternative is to move the furniture around so each piece won’t stay too long in one spot, which can cause permanent impression.
Fifth, if you wear high heels, it is advisable that you remove them while indoor. The effect of high heels is pretty similar to heavy furniture. The pointy tip of the heel will definitely dent the floor. You can have a special padding for the heels. But if you want the easier solution for your cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term caremanagement, simply take off the heels whenever you are inside the house.
Long-Term Care and Maintenance
For the long term care, you need to seal the floor – it will protect the floor from staining agents and also water penetration. Make sure to use a special sealer, consisting of mixture of UV resistant polyurethane that will create an invisible barrier on the floor’s surface. But keep in mind that you need to re-apply the sealer regularly because the finish generally wears off after a while. If you want to maintain the protective seal on the floor, don’t forget to constantly re-apply the sealer.
But keep in mind that some cork flooring products are pre-finished at their manufacturing factory – and they have a pretty tough one too. If you have such a product, consult the manufacturer about the matter of sealing the floor and their recommendation in doing so.
Essential Cleaning Tools
In managing your cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term careroutine, make sure that you have the correct tools and essentials.
- If you have a broom, make sure that it is soft-bristled.
- You can also use the vacuum cleaner – WITHOUT the beater bar.
- A static duster is even better. If you have one, you can definitely use it.
- Clean the floor around 2 times to 3 times a week, but if you have pets, you need to daily clean it. When you mop the floor, there is no need to use any cleaner. Warm water is enough.
- Use a rag to dry the floor.
- Steam cleaner is not advised for cork flooring. The moisture from the machine will cause water spots and even mold. Not to mention that the action of dragging the machine across the floor will create dents, marks, and scratches.
What if there is stain on the floor? Just use a sponge – you can easily blot the affected areas. In case you want to use soap (in the warm water), be wise about the amount. You can use the mild wood cleaner or dish detergent – just use several drops only. It is advisable that you use a cleaner for cork flooring or it comes with proper pH-balanced content.
Here are some other tips to deal with the stains on the cork flooring:
- Don’t let any spill to sit because it will create staining.
- Bleach is a no-no. The floor will definitely absorb the chemicals and then give it away. You will only shorten the floor’s lifespan. You are free to use wood cleaner, but make sure that it doesn’t contain oil, solvent, or wax.
- Don’t use sprays mops – they are similar to steam cleaner. They can damage the floor.
- Never underestimate any spill – no matter how little it is. You may think about air-drying it, but the prolonged time allows the moisture to seep into the floor. So, make sure to wipe it off right away.
In the end, having cork flooring at home isn’t complicated – it won’t cause any drama either. However, there are some extra cares that you need to make to make sure that the floor will last. With proper care, your floor should be able to last for around 25 years – even more! As long as you plan and schedule the cork flooring regular maintenance and long-term care routine properly, you should be able to make the floor last for decades – even more than 2 decades.