Cork flooring is noted for its warmth, beauty and functionality. Though it has always been a coveted option for subfloors and underlayment, today it is popular as simple flooring itself. It is available in planks and tiles and comes in numerous colours and stains. Cork is a natural material which is soft under foot yet durable. A thorough cleaning and maintenance routine will help you get the most out of your cork flooring.
Do’s and Don’ts of Cork Flooring
Keeping your cork flooring as good as new is only possible when you practice certain habits diligently. The following are a few do’s and don’ts when you have cork flooring at home.
- Clean spills immediately
- Sweep and vacuum the floor regularly to prevent abrasion
- Use floor cleaners specifically designed for cork
- Put down door mats and area rugs to prevent moisture penetration and tracking in of dirt
- Wet mop it frequently
- Flood the floor to clean it
- Use abrasive and harsh soapy detergents
- Place mats or padding with a rubber (or similarly non-porous) backing as these trap moisture and affect the cork
5 Ways to Maintain Cork Flooring
The following are five important things you should do diligently to keep your cork floor clean.
1. Use a quality floor mat
Using floor mats at entrances and near the kitchen prevents tracking dirt and debris all over the house. They also absorb moisture in areas where there is a high chance of spills and splashes, like near the kitchen sink. In areas where you may need to stand for long hours and could create an impression on the floor, mats act as a barrier to prevent such damage.
2. Keep your pets’ nails trimmed
Cork is soft, spongy and susceptible to tears from sharp edges and pointed objects. Your pets’ claws can gouge the surface, especially if you have a large breed of dog. Using dog booties or simply keeping their nails trimmed are the best preventive measures.
3. Avoid wearing high heels indoors
The pointed tip of the heel on high-heeled shoes has the same effect as pet claws on your cork flooring. If you wear high heels indoors, choose ones with padding to minimize their impact. The pressure exerted by high heels can create unsightly permanent dents on cork.
4. Use furniture pads
Heavy furniture can leave lasting impressions on cork floors. These look unsightly when you move it around and leave the area exposed. This problem can be solved by using furniture pads. However, avoid rubber-backed pads as these can leave stains on cork which are difficult to remove.
5. Clean regularly
A simple daily cleaning routine can save a lot of time and labour in the long run. Sweep or vacuum the floor daily to remove dust and debris, and clean it occasionally with suitable floor cleaners and a moderately wet mop. Deep clean at least twice a year with professional help to wring the maximum utility from it.
Cork flooring can last for years if you maintain it well and take certain preventive measures to minimize damage. The steps mentioned above are easy but effective ways to clean your cork floor and ensure that it remains in its best state.