Homeowners who own pets tend to stay away from cork flooring for two reasons. Pet owners are under the misimpression that the cork floors will get easily marred from their pets claws and think their pets would find it difficult to walk on the spongy cork surface. Actually, the truth is, with pets, especially the big ones, you will find they have an EASIER time on cork! They no longer have to use their claws to grab hold as they stand up. They will have less impact on your cork then they would on a hardwood floor. Cork has the ability to compact and then spring back as weight is added and removed.
It is a sayingamong industry experts that pets dont scratch the surface of cork floors; they leave linear dents/dimples. With cork, dents are RARELY permanent. With hardwood or laminate, dents equal a damaged plank!
When a hardwood floor is scratched, a sharp or offending object cuts into the coating or surface of the wood (normally quite brittle) which then leaves white curls of finish. Once committed there is no way to correct the damage.
However with cork, it takes a very sharp blade to pierce the surface layer. Such piercing is a true scratch. Cork flooring RARELY gets to this point. The linear dent is more common and can be ironed out with a SUPER HOT, wet cloth. The heat and the humidity will cause the cork to regain its form FASTER. This means you can treat almost any dent and have it come out at any time.
In a situation, with children and with large dogs (who like to slobber and may well become a leaky pet as they age) it is HIGHLY RECOMMEND applying 2 coats of polyurethane over your ENTIRE FLOOR! This will add the extra protection that your floor will need against spills, leaky pets and claw marks. With these two extra layers of protection, you can be worry free for at least 3-7 years. Any time you feel the floor needs a bit of a pick me up you simply need to add just ONE (1) more coat of the polyurethane. This cycle (a coat every 3-5 years) will then continue for the rest of your floors life. As you keep adding more polyurethane over the years, the better your protection!
There is no sanding, no scraping, no waxing and no stripping involved.All you need to do is simply apply a new coat of polyurethane and wait for it to cure. Once it is all dried, youre good to go for another 5 years. In your situation, the two coats put on at the beginning of your floors life, will pay off in spades over the next several years.
As for regular maintenance, you do not need any specialized tools or any special chemicals to keep your cork flooring clean. Regular sweeping to get rid of debris along with mopping with a damp cloth is all that is needed to keep the floor looking shiny clean.
iCork Floor warehouse is located in Kent WA (roughly 15 minutes from the SeaTac Airport). Customers are more than welcome to come by and pick up cork flooring samples and cork flooring.