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An introduction to cork board tiles

Cork board tiles are made of granulated cork, a by-product of the bottle-stopper production process. It is harvested for commercial purpose from the bark of the cork oak tree, distinctive in its cellular structure. A primer on properties, applications and availability of cork board tiles can help you decide on choosing this handy material.

Properties

The characteristic traits of impermeability, buoyancy, insulation and elasticity are attributed to the honeycomb structure of cork. Cork board displays superior thermal and acoustic insulation properties. Suberin - a natural, waxy substance, secreted by the bark makes the cork resistant to fire and damage to mold or insects. Fine-grained cork is self-healing. It does not show pin-holes or small cuts in the cork body. Cut tile pieces placed adjacent to each other give the appearance of a single piece. Special textures may be produced for floor tiles by mixing rubber and simulate other finishes. Harvesting of cork does not require cutting the tree and the granulated cork is a by-product of wine bottle stopper production. This makes cork board tiles an environment-friendly choice.

Applications

Corkboard tiles are both functional and decorative. They are used in cork notice boards for home and business organisation and are great for pinning up kids' artwork. They can be cut to fit available dimensions with ease and offer great flexibility. Due to the decorative nature of their grain, they may be used as wall and ceiling coverings. The superior performance of cork wall tiles can help attain desired acoustic comfort. Installation is simple and requires cleaning the surface and using high quality adhesive or self-adhesive tiles. Self-adhesive cork is very sticky to touch. Cork flooring tiles and cork panels are appreciated for their resilience and softness, insulation and fire resistance.

Availability

Cork board tiles are generally available in sizes of 12"x12" but can also be procured in irregular dimensions like 4"x4" 17"x17" and 18"x36". Floor tiles are also available in polygonal cuts to create patterns. They are commonly sold in the natural state without surface treatment. However, they can be waxed to enhance the natural grain appearance and for protection. Tiles may be colour stained, using a water-based wood stain to match decor or create interest. Though not common, they may be painted to create colourful patterns when applied in children’s room décor. They can be purchased from Arts and Crafts stores, Office supplies and DIY stores or ordered online. Often sold in packages of six, go for smooth surfaces which are free of bark and wood particles. The natural beauty of cork and its handy size make it a popular DIY material.

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