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Cork Floor Care and Maintenance

Posted: 01 JUL 2002

There could be any number of reasons why cork was your choice for a new floor, but certainly durability was at the top of your list. After all, if it is sturdy enough for the Library of Congress, it should be able to handle your family’s use. Of course, the Library of Congress has a crew to keep their floor clean and maintain its beauty…but actually, that’s not difficult to do.

Cork is one of the easiest floor coverings to maintain. With a little common sense and regular light cleaning, your floor should outlast the one in Chicago’s First Congregational Church – and it’s been in use since 1890!

The advice listed below is generic and is provided to illustrate the ease of caring and maintaining a cork floor. However, you should always refer to your flooring manufacturer’s recommendations for specific details.

To help your cork floor keep its “just installed” look, try these preventive maintenance suggestions:

  • Place breathable mats in front of sinks and in doorways
    Note: do not use mats with rubber or other non-porous backings since these could trap moisture and affect the finish
  • Put felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scuffs
  • When moving furniture; lift it, don’t drag it
  • Place a drip pan under potted plants to catch water seepage
  • Prevent fading from excessive sunlight with window treatments, like curtains, drapes, blinds, or with window tint

When it comes to cleaning, cork flooring requires no special equipment or harsh chemicals. The basic steps are as follows:

  • Wipe up spills immediately
    Note: cork is a wood product and therefore will absorb moisture
  • To reduce scratches, sweep or vacuum regularly to remove abrasive debris
  • To clean a heavier soiled area, use only a cleaner formulated for pre-finished hardwood floors

If your cork flooring should loose its luster due to high traffic, check with the flooring manufacturer for refinishing recommendations.

By using the preceding information and always following your flooring manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll have a beautiful and long-lasting floor that will rival the cork floors of big libraries and old churches everywhere.