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Full Version: Cork Flooring Pros & Cons
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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.

1. some folks arent in it for the green points. they may have chemical sensitivities.
2. there are nontoxic alternatives to poly resin-not too expensive either. all different types.
3. cork does resist moisture. otherwise itd be a useless cork. why not cover everything in plastic wrap- who needs a piss bottle?!
The processes used for the thin cork you will find in the flooring aisles at the big box stores is not the same process that is used to produce cork that has the best insulation value. Mostly it is sold because of the people who want "Eco" products. But what they don't even think about is that is a cork byproduct. It has been ground up and is held together with chemical resins which means it is not a true Eco product. One of the biggest issues is that the rolls of cork sheets are very friable, they break easily therefore you would have to spread out a continuous layer of adhesive to bond it in place.

The other choice of product for underlay that insulates and deadens sound is an EVA foam product. It is not an ECO choice but it has more advantages than cork. It is water proof, EVA is a closed cell foam. It is an excellent sound deadening, same stuff they use in the thick, adhesive back car floor mats. It does not need to be glued down, some tape along the edges will hold it in place as will the layer of plywood you put on top of it. You can put down more than one layer if you want more sound deadening.

You can find some high quality vinyl flooring that has a layer of EVA foam bonded to it. But I think plywood on top of underlayment will do a better job of sound control other than sound from the interior will bounce back and forth off of wood. Easily controlled by using a few throw rugs on top of the floor.

Throw rugs are nice and warm on bare feet, they reduce wear and tear on the floor. They soak up any spills, capture dirt so it can be rolled up and shaken loose outside of the van. They can be washed in the big side opening machines at a laundromat and of course they deaden sound. Think of your interior flooring as a system, not as one single component that has to do everything.
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