A floor is the underside of a floor or vehicle. Floors differ greatly from simple dirt beneath a stone floor to many-layered, multi-layered surfaces designed with modern technology for industrial, architectural or even residential applications. Floors can be hard wood, metal, stone or any other material which can withstand the expected traffic. These floors also vary in quality and thickness depending upon the application.
Most of us are familiar with typical floor construction. The floor plan of a home, office building, industrial building, school, college or other structure is typically composed of solid floors with some combination of carpeting, non-slip flooring and the like. Solid floors can be constructed of one of several materials including concrete, plywood, linoleum, ceramic tile, terrazzo, marble or any other material which can withstand the weight and pressure typical of its application. As stated earlier, many floors are constructed with either suspended or impervious rubber or plastic tracks to control the weight of the floor and prevent it from tipping or becoming damaged.
In contrast to traditional floors, most vinyl floors (other than vinyl tiles) are fabricated utilizing various materials including fiberglass, laminates, plastics and other synthetic resins and polyurethane. The vinyl flooring is a more durable, affordable solution to typical maintenance concerns. Unlike linoleum, vinyl tile is more resilient and more resistant to water, stains and other damage. Vinyl flooring is also more flexible and can be installed to fit an existing space with greater precision than linoleum or ceramic tile.
One of the biggest challenges with repairing or renovating a floor typically involves moisture. The presence of moisture will reduce the structural integrity of solid floors because the floor’s integrity is based largely on its ability to resist moisture. To reduce the risk of water damage and repair a damaged floor typically requires specialized tools such as heavy-duty steam cleaners that are capable of suctioning up through standing water, cleaning wet spots without damaging the subfloor underneath.
In comparison, cork flooring is a much more flexible flooring solution. Cork planks are available in a wide variety of thicknesses and widths to accommodate a wide variety of installation needs. The thickness of a plank is typically in the range of three to six millimeters, while planks of more than six millimeters are generally not used. When purchasing a cork flooring planks, it is important to check the manufacturer’s direction for recommended planks thicknesses and widths because different manufacturers utilize different numbers.
When comparing cork flooring to traditional flooring solutions it is important to remember that the moisture absorption rate is significantly less with cork flooring than it is with ceramic tile and laminate. With these floor types, if the planks are completely saturated it can cause expansion and result in uneven floors. As a result, excessive moisture absorption can be a problem in high-traffic areas. In contrast, the moisture absorption rate with the bonded per square foot condition provides controlled, uniform flooring and is recommended for use in high traffic commercial spaces.