How to Care for Cork Floors: Cleaning, Product Suggestions & More
Cleaning cork floors doesn't have to be a difficult or intense process. Simply follow this cork floor care guide from 1877FloorGuy to learn the basics of cork floor care, from sweeping to deep cleaning. We're cork floor experts who carry a broad selection of high-performing cork floor cleaners, finish, maintainers and even cork floor cleaning equipment to help you apply products like a professional. You'll always want to clean cork floors using a cleaner with neutral pH and leaves no residue. When you find the right cleaner and implement these cork floor cleaning tips, your floors will maintain their beauty for the long-term.
What Is Cork Flooring?
Cork is a highly resilient, eco-friendly flooring material that has a unique aesthetic appeal and can reduce stress on your feet and legs when you spend a lot of time standing on the floor, when compared to other hard surface floors. Cork is not as commonly used as other types of flooring materials, such as wood, vinyl and laminate. Because of this, not everyone knows how easy it is to maintain a cork floor.
Choosing the Right Cork Floor Cleaners
When asked for cork floor cleaning tips, we're often asked to list the best cork floor cleaning products available. Unfortunately, it's not always that simple. As previously mentioned, cork floors should be cleaned with a pH-neutral cleaner, but there's more to the story. You always want to make sure you're choosing top name brands. For example, when it comes to cleaning cork floors, Bona and Basic are safe choices. These brands make cork-specific cleaners that will ensure that your cork floors turn out squeaky clean without damaging the finish or compromising the performance of the flooring. Basic and Bona cork floor cleaner products are often specifically recommended by cork flooring brands.
Only use manufacturer recommended cleaners on your cork floor to uphold your warranty on a new cork floor. Check your manufacturer's warranty for specific time frames and details. If you don't know the flooring manufacturer, there are products approved for use on cork floors such as Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner or Basic Squeaky Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. These are spray cleaners that spray directly onto the floor then mop with a flat microfiber mop pad. Both, Bona & Basic have a mop kit that includes cleaner and mop. Replacement mop covers (Bona & Basic) can be purchased separately. Bona also has a spray mop for all-in-one cleaning.
Other awesome cork floor cleaning products include the Loba line of floor care brands which includes the cleaner, mop sets, and then necessary finishes for cleaning not only your cork flooring but also your hardwood floors.
Hilway Direct is a multipurpose brand that offers products that clean a wide array of flooring types including wood and cork flooring. The Hilway Direct Hardwood & Laminate cleaning products work best on cork as a spray and wipe cleaner.
Quick Tips & Basic Cork Floor Cleaning Suggestions
- Use a pH-neutral cleaner: You'll want to choose a pH-neutral cleaner on cork floors because they are gentler and safer on cork finishes than more acidic formulas. In addition to closely following your floor maker's cleaning instructions, you always want to make sure that your cork floor cleaning product specifically says "pH neutral" on the label. One thing that you should never do is flood a cork floor with water or cleaner!
- Frequent vacuuming: A cork floor should be swept frequently enough, depending on the amount of traffic it gets, to remove loose dirt and debris off the floor thereby reducing the instances of microscopic scratches that occur when these particles become ground or rubbed into the floor. Microscopic scratches will dull the appearance of your floor. Always sweep your cork floor prior to mopping or use a vacuum on the "hard floor" setting. Note: Vacuums with metal beater bars or in poor condition can damage cork so check your machine before vacuuming.
- Dirt accumulation prevention: Place walk-off mats near exterior doorways to limit dirt and debris tracking on your floor. Avoid rubber or non-porous types of backings on mats because they tend to trap moisture that could damage your floor.
- Clean up spills right away: Clean spills with a soft cloth because, like hardwood floors, moisture is not cork's friend. To clean up after a spill, if it's something other than water, use a spray cleaner to remove any residue left behind. Wipe the cleaner until it's dry. This should be the same product that you use to clean the floor.
- Minimize scuffs and scratches: Save your floor from furniture scratches by using felt pads under furniture legs and bases. This is a MUST DO to protect the floor from scratches especially on tables and chairs that are frequently moved! Beware of spike-heeled shoes or shoes with worn-out or excessively heavy heels that can dent and damage the floor. Remove shoes or ask others to do so in order to save your floor. These rules apply to any hard surface floor in your home.
- Don't drag furniture: When moving large pieces of furniture or appliances on cork, don't drag! Cork will scratch or gouge if a heavy or sharp object drags across it. If possible, lift objects to move them. If items are too heavy to lift, such as hutches or large appliances, use tools to assist you such as EZ Moves felt bottom slides. This will save your floor and your back! Again, good practice for any hard surface floor.
Follow these basic rules, along with the manufacturer's care instructions, and your cork floor should look good for many years into the future. Finishes can sometimes be applied to cork for added protection in high traffic areas. To be sure you select a compatible finish, we recommend you call us at 1-877-Floorguy or contact the flooring manufacturer for guidance before you purchase and apply a finish.
Check our website under Cork & Rubber Floor Care for some manufacturer recommended care products or our Hardwood Floor Care section because many wood care products work well on cork floors. For assistance from one of our knowledgeable agents, call 1-877-FLOORGUY with your questions.