A material found in the bark of certain trees, including cork oak, cork protects the tree from insects, cold and bad weather while allowing it to breathe, since its cells are filled with air. Since it does not absorb liquids, it has been used for centuries to make corks and close wine bottles, but also to make shoe soles, car seats, hand-made trivets, instruments. music, buoys, floats… Even the fashion industry has used it, turning it into clothes, handbags, hats and jewelry.
In the field of housing, boosted by the rise of ecological houses, it is now considered because of its many advantages.
Comfort and safety
Renowned for its phonic, thermal and vibratory qualities, cork is a floor covering that can be used inside the house, where it can reduce the noise of footsteps, falling children’s toys or the claws of pets. A rot-proof, water-repellent material that is very resistant to bad weather as well as to freezing and thawing cycles, cork is now invading exteriors, balconies and terraces. As it is water resistant and does not rot, it can endure rain without a hitch and has a long service life. Adapted to intensive passage, it also repels attacks by rodents and insects as well as the proliferation of fungi.
Lightweight, comfortable and aesthetic, it also secures the outdoor space, since it is non-slip and absorbs shocks. A good way to dress up the perimeter of a swimming pool or to create a play area. Its flexibility brings comfort and its material, which stores heat, is never cold.
The charm of cork
The cork covering can be integrated into modern buildings as well as old buildings. At the beginning of the 20th century, he was also the darling of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Timeless, natural and pleasant to the touch, it brings charm and originality to an exterior designed to relax.
You can also paint or stencil patterns on unvarnished natural cork. For this, we will have to use a latex or acrylic paint then a wax, a wax oil or a special varnish to protect it.
An eco-responsible material
Ecological and 100% natural, cork is an environmentally friendly material. Antiallergic, it does not emit flames or toxic fumes in the event of a fire. In addition, the creation of its raw material is the natural result of photosynthesis, which does not require energy. The cork oak captures twice as much CO² as any other tree.
Forms and installation
To insulate a floor or build a terrace, we will instead use pure expanded cork. It is found in the form of plates, panels, rolls or even slabs to be glued directly to the ground. At the installation level, some companies pour the cork directly on site, like a concrete slab, for a uniform rendering. Very light, it can be applied to all substrates such as bitumen, embankment paving, old tiles or a floor.
The must are the floating clip-on slats. Like a real parquet, the cork version is equipped with a nesting system that facilitates installation and does not necessarily require the services of a professional. Prices for cork flooring generally vary between 25 and 50 euros per square meter, depending on the quality.