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Full Version: Cork Flooring Pros & Cons
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(06-04-2017, 06:45 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: [ -> ]cork is an excellent insulator.  and  sound barrier,  however it's very heavy.  the ratio of  R-Value  to weight is not very good.  highdesertranger

when you say cork is very heavy, I'm at a loss. when I pick up cork, it feels super light (like styrofoam). I'm guessing you are referring to planks or tiles which are reinforced with manufactured sandwiches of other materials in the middle and laminated with cork. or, perhaps I'm missing something about cork (I am new to researching it, so I certainly am no expert)
I have cork tongue and groove planks in my van, but after the furniture was moved in, I can't even see it anymore. It's covered all up. If decor is important, cork is very beautiful and unique looking. It can scratch, I scratched mine moving the bed in. Don't know about long term walking back and forth, like I say, my van's floor space is packed!

I will say I almost was tempted to pull out the cork and redo the floor with a nice hickory hardwood. I kept reading pros and cons, and cork didn't come up with too big a con, so it stayed.
once we tore down an old packing plant 2 separate buildings were refrigerated the older of the two was insulated with cork the newer one was insulated with some type of foam I did not pay attention at the time what type of foam, it wasn't Styrofoam. more like polystyrene. I tell you what that cork was damn heavy. we cut the roof into about 6ft x 6ft squares with chain saws. it was about 1ft thick. it took 3 big guys to even flip over a cut out piece. in fact one time one of the guys got in the way when we flipped a piece and it hit him in the lower leg snapped both his tibia and fibula like a dried out wishbone. when we tossed the cork off the side of the building if anything was in the way it did considerable damage. on the other building with the foam we had the total opposite experience if fact we had to be careful with any kind of wind. the wind would catch a piece and send it flying, sometimes a considerable distance. with those pieces of cork not even a hurricane would have budged them, ok a hurricane might have moved them. mind you this cork was not laminated to anything but it was very dense, no air pockets. I tell you what though it was a very good insulator. highdesertranger
(06-06-2017, 06:11 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: [ -> ]once we tore down an old packing plant 2 separate buildings were refrigerated the older of the two was insulated with cork the newer one was insulated with some type of foam I did not pay attention at the time what type of foam,  it wasn't Styrofoam.  more like polystyrene.  I tell you what that cork was damn heavy.  we cut the roof into about 6ft x 6ft squares with chain saws.  it was about 1ft thick.  it took 3 big guys to even flip over a cut out piece.  in fact one time one of the guys got in the way when we flipped a piece and it hit him in the lower leg snapped both his tibia and fibula like a dried out wishbone.  when we tossed the cork off the side of the building if anything was in the way it did considerable damage.  on the other building with the foam we had the total opposite experience if fact we had to be careful with any kind of wind.  the wind would catch a piece and send it flying,  sometimes a considerable distance.  with those pieces of cork not even a hurricane would have budged them,  ok a hurricane might have moved them.  mind you this cork was not laminated to anything but it was very dense,  no air pockets.   I tell you what though it was a very good insulator.  highdesertranger

wow. indeed it sounds like the cork you were working with was super heavy.
I finally made my flooring purchase today. I went with a vinyl click lock plank which is a sandwich of fake wood vinyl on top, middle layer of vinyl and bottom is cork. it is made of all recycled products and I think it looks pretty good. I'll install it over the weekend and make a youtube video of it.
For others googling

SeaCork or Marine Deck are brands of

cork boat decking material

durable and waterproof

not cheap
7Wanders, I know that you've long since made your decision, but if you're concerned about noise and off-gassing, you might be happy with Eucaboard. It's cheap, has no synthetic binders (just the lignin from the wood it's made from) and is surprisingly good at killing rumbling/rattling noises.

I can't say for sure that it would stop noise caused by the whole truck shaking, but it was very effective in a hard-sided canopy bed that I made to deal with a street/airport noise problem. It will have the same vulnerability to moisture as cork, but the surface is very scratch resistant and you could coat it with something waterproof and inert like epoxy. The other caveat is that most Masonite/hardboard/fiberboard has a lower stiffness-to-weight ratio than plywood.
The interlocking puzzle mats that come in various colors and thickness are a good flooring solution. They are made of EVA foam. EVA foam is a very good at sound absorption and it is also a decent insulator. It is also inherently non skid so you won't have to glue it down. It can be cut with shop shears or with a utility knife. While it is not a natural product such as cork is it does not off gas.

True cork is a natural product but it is also an imported natural product, it is not being commercially grown and processed in the USA, it is imported from North Africa, Spain, Portugal. So you are talking about using a lot of fossil fuel to get it delivered to you. So many times people get hung up on the marketing of something being natural without thinking about what it takes to process and deliver a product. Sure we would all love it if natural would mean no harm being done to the planet in the manufacturing but that is not always the situation. The cork can be harvested from a tree every 9 years, it is then left to dry in the fields for a year. Then it is transported to a factory where it is made into corks for sealing wine bottles. The leftover bits of the cork are then further processed and held together by adding ADHESIVE RESINS to bond the little pieces together. Then after you apply it you will need to seal it with POLYURETHANE RESIN to protect it from dirt and moisture. Of course grit, dirt and normal wear and tear walking on the surface will damage the sealant because the surface is somewhat soft and flexible. So resealing it will need to be done every couple of years.

So what are you really gaining with cork flooring? Well it is at least partially made with a natural material but it is not an all natural product despite the marketing hype. Wine bottle corks are all natural but the flooring products and wall covering products are not.

My own flooring choice was easy, it was gifted to me. It is a vinyl flooring product with a foam back layer. It is fairly light weight because it had to be for the application it was designed for. It is fire resistant and does not off gas harmful fumes. It is very wear resistant and very small coin dot surface that makes it slip resistant as well. It is what they use for the galley floors in Boeing commercial jets. My friend got it from the Boeing Surplus store a number of years ago when they had an open to the public outlet. It is grey, not particulary a color I would have chose for myself but I can't beat the price or quality or its sound dampening and insulating properties.
(06-04-2017, 08:53 PM)7wanders Wrote: [ -> ]Brian, the floor is 100% aluminum along with fasteners and joints. there is zero stuff to rust on my floor so standing water is only an issue for added flooring products. my biggest concern with a floating floor is rattle. I have a massive amount if vibration going thru the floor from the diesel engine as well as the hard commercial suspension. I think anything that is rigid and floats is going to rattle like crazy (even if you put a rubber mat under it as you suggest, I think it is still going to rattle around). the plywood I have is super cheap and not a great surface, it has tons of imperfections and I don't think I could sand them away. I would have to lay down some serious lacquer to cover the imperfections and it has lots of rub marks from the spare tire and shoes. I'm not liking it at all which most likely contributes to my wanting it out. I'm thinking rolled cork flooring will be soft and adhere directly to the aluminum might be really awesome. it would deaden sound, vibration, and give a thermo barrier from cold in winter or heat from parking lots in summer. I really like the idea of rolled cork, but not sure about where to get it, or how to maintain it. I've done about 4+ hours of reading today on cork and thought I'd see if anyone had experience with it in these forums. anyway, thx for your efforts, comments and suggestions. please don't think I'm not considering them, it is mostly that ultimately I'm the one that will be living with it on a day to day basis

I used one inch of Polyiso foam topped by 1/2 inch of CDX (water proof glue) plywood, topped by laminate. After laying the 1/2 inch ply I used a 5/8 Irwin Speed bore and counter sunk 2 inch self tapping sheet metal screws into the aluminum floor at a dozen points. This stabilized the floor from movement or rattling. With 2 inches of polyiso on the top and sides, along with the aforementioned floor, the noise has been reduced by more than 50%. I now can go without earplugs on the freeway and the Cummins noise allows normal conversation in the cab portion.
(06-04-2017, 05:15 PM)djkeev Wrote: [ -> ]I would for sure go with other modern engineered products before using cork.
You want something that laughs at moisture and mold growth.

But, that's just my bias against cork. It has it's place and uses...... mainly wine and alcohol bottle corks.

Dave

cork is hydrophobic. while a puddle of water might eventually soak in, it repels water and has natural mildew resistence as well. 

as for insulation, it has about r1.1 and absorbs some sound.
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