Go4cork is the professional team bringing us our newest piece of design / architectural inspiration. Go4cork enhances houses and other structures’ visual aesthetics and practicality by also keeping the environment in mind. That is thanks to one of the most natural and clever materials on the planet: cork.
Cork is ideal for the 21st century where everyone needs to contribute to a more balanced and sustainable world. Whether it’s for extra insulation, a quieter environment or simply to complete our homes and workspaces, cork brings a firm dose of style, functionality, and performance that serves a real purpose in our day-to-day lives.
And it also presents a few benefits in terms of flooring…
Nobody can deny the visual appeal of cork with its soft texture, earthy palette and natural pattern.
Cork ensures a more quiet and pleasing space. That is because it goes a long way in reducing footstep noise while also allowing for a softer underfoot sensation, plus extending the life of the flooring surface.
• Cork is the perfect option for thermal insulation and acoustic isolation. It might be warm to the touch, but does not permeate or absorb body heat. And it has a very low conductivity to heat and noise.
• Natural cork possesses properties that allow for the stabilization of temperature and humidity; thus, as a natural material it has a positive impact on a space's microclimate and acoustic.
• It is extremely fire resistant.
• 90% of cork is volume and 50% of it is made up by air. In effect, cork weighs about five times lighter than water. And since it is impermeable, it is unsinkable as well.
• It is perfectly resistant to damage thanks to its structure, which allows for more abrasion than other underlay materials.
Cork might be one of the most lightweight materials on earth, yet it is very durable. Add to that the fact that this natural material allows for a very easy installation method, and it’s no wonder more and more people are opting to bring cork into their homes – and under their floors!
In terms of the environment, don’t forget that cork is also a 100% natural and recyclable raw material. Thus, its natural qualities ensure it’s a cut above synthetic materials, aiding in its high performance, comfort factor, and “green” characteristics.
But what makes cork such an ideal choice for floor underlayment? This natural material contains millions of air-filled pockets in every cubic inch, which improves its cushioning effect. When put under pressure, these air-filled pockets compress and retain their shape when the pressure is removed.
These same characteristic which make cork a perfect surface flooring material also enhances its success as an acoustic insulator. It is estimated that a quarter inch of cork can help to reduce noise levels by as much as 10 decibels. As an added bonus, cork underlayment also contributes to absorbing vibrations and act as a barrier for dampness.
So, even though cork is not recommended for a floor’s top layer, it makes for an excellent underlayer with wooden floors, laminate surfaces, ceramic tiles, stone, vinyl, and linoleum.
Don’t think that you are presented with only one choice for your floor underlayment. Cork may be made up of only cork agglomerate or contain other recycled materials like PU (polyurethane), recycled rubber or EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer). Some of Go4cork’s underlayment options also have a pre-attached vapor barrier.
Let’s see a few more images that show how cork can be used as floor underlays throughout homes and offices…