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How to Care for Your New Cork Flooring

Cork flooring installation
Cork flooring is a sustainable, beautiful, and relatively modern flooring type that homeowners are quickly coming to appreciate. In fact, one of the many excellent qualities about cork flooring is that it's easy to maintain.

In terms of maintenance needs, cork flooring is similar to hardwood. The most important thing to remember is that cork is sensitive to water, so you should take steps to protect your cork flooring from water damage.

Dry Mop Daily

Dry mopping daily can help your cork stay clean and attractive. Use a microfiber dry mop to pick up pieces of dirt and debris. When dry mopping, address all high-traffic areas. Shake out the mop periodically to remove the excess dust and debris.

If you are dry mopping an entire house, you won't be able to dry mop every corner and crevice. However, it's helpful if you clean a new part of the house every time so that the majority of the house is cleaned over the course of a week. Launder the microfiber cloth regularly to ensure that it maintains its ability to pick up dust. 

Wet Mop Only When Needed

Cork’s sensitivity to water doesn't mean you can't use water to clean your floors, but you should only use water in small amounts and only do it when it's absolutely necessary.

Use a slightly damp mop to wipe up the floors, and never leave the mop sitting in place on the cork flooring. You can use cork-safe floor cleaner or a mild, liquid detergent to clean your floors. If the floors are wet when the mopping is finished, use the dry mop to remove excess moisture. 

Wipe Spills Up Immediately

Not that you would ever leave a spill sitting on your floors, but you should definitely never do it if your floors are made of cork. Like hardwood, cork is hygroscopic. This means it absorbs water from the environment. In the event that a spill is left to sit on your cork floors, this could eventually cause the cork to absorb moisture and become warped. 

Train your kids and anyone else in your household to pick up their messes quickly before the cork absorbs the water or becomes stained. If your family produces a lot of spills, keep extra paper towels around so they will be easy to grab when they're needed.

Refinish Your Floors When Necessary

Just like hardwood, cork needs to be refinished periodically to continue looking its best. Cork floors can go years without being refinished. Unlike hardwood floors, cork is usually finished with an untinted coat of polyurethane (not stain). This polyurethane repels moisture and helps to protect the cork from water.

You'll be able to tell when your floors need to be refinished because water will absorb into the cork instead of beading up on the floors when there's a spill. The floors also might start to look scratched and dull. 

Keep in mind that if you have cork veneer floors instead of solid cork floors, they cannot be refinished. If your cork veneer floor is starting to look dull, you may be able to extend its service life by applying a cork conditioning product to your floors. 

To refinish your floors, get help from a flooring contractor. He or she can refinish your floors safely and without damaging the cork. 

Contact a Flooring Expert in Your Area for More Information

If you have more questions about your cork floors, contact an expert. At Traditional Hardwood Floors, we are happy to answer any questions you might have about maintaining hardwood floors. Call us today to request more information.