cork floor

How to Clean Cork Floors

Cork flooring is gaining in popularity because of its unique look and simple maintenance. Along with its soft but firm texture, cork is stain resistant if it is installed correctly. Follow these essential tips to properly clean your cork floor and protect your investment.

How to clean your cork floor:

Applying sealing agents.

Cork is very absorbent in its natural form. This makes it susceptible to water damage or stains from spills. As a result, cork flooring must be treated with a finishing agent that creates an invisible, protective barrier over the material. Manufacturers usually apply such an agent before distribution. However, another agent must also be applied upon installation. Water-based polyurethane is a popular finishing agent for cork. It provides protection for 5-7 years.

Wax and commercial finishes.

Wax gives your cork floor a bright, shiny appearance while protecting it from spills, stains, and scratches. It has to be re-applied every 6-12 months, depending on how much traffic goes through the area. You should strip the floor every few years and apply a fresh coat in order to remove build-up of materials and debris.

Cork is now very popular in commercial spaces. Building maintenance workers use heavy-duty specialized finishing products to keep the floor clean and long-lasting.

Basic maintenance.

Vacuum and/or sweep your cork floor weekly to prevent the build-up of dust and other debris from foot traffic. Vacuuming and sweeping protects the surface from becoming worn too quickly. Wipe up spills immediately so that they do not seep into cracks between the floor tiles or planks. Place mats at the front door and by the sink to catch outdoor debris and water splatter. You must use a mat made with breathable material as a rubber sealant can ruin the cork.

Sunlight causes cork to fade overtime. You should, therefore, consider some kind of window treatment like light curtains or tinting material.

How to clean.

Clean your cork floor once a month with a dry or damp mop. Never use water to clean your cork floor. Instead, dilute a pH balanced cork or wood cleaning agent in water and use it to clean. Wring out the mop fully before cleaning. In addition, avoid chemical cleaning agents or those that are ammonia-based. For a more “natural” cleaning agent, mix 4 parts vinegar with 1 part water and apply it with a mop. If the solution dries quickly, allow it to air dry. Otherwise, use a towel to soak up the solution as you should not allow liquid to sit on cork.