Cork wall panels have long been a novelty in the domestic market of finishing materials. And yet, in the repair of the premises, they are used less frequently than usual paper wallpaper or decorative plaster. The idea of decorating walls with cork panels is still perceived by many as exotic, despite all their merits. What distinguishes wallpaper from cork among other finishing materials?
Subtleties of production of cork coating for walls
In the manufacture of wallpaper used cork oak bark. It is grown on special plantations in the western regions of the Mediterranean basin solely for the sake of cork.
The bark of this evergreen plant is incredibly light and elastic, which allows products to recover from it quickly after strong compression. It badly passes a sound, but well keeps heat. Such unique qualities turned out to be very popular in the production of finishing materials.
Interesting fact! Obtaining raw materials is a long process. The first layer of cork is removed from trees whose age reaches a quarter of a century. In the future, the oak bark is cut every 9 years.
For the production of wallpaper, the crust is crushed and pressed at high temperatures. The resin, released at the same time, firmly glues small particles into a single whole. As a result, it turns out. For the production of wallpaper, the crust is crushed and pressed at high temperatures.
In the process of making decorative cork panels for walls, a special substrate is often used. It gives wallpaper strength.
Depending on which substrate was used (and if it was used at all), there are several types of wallpaper:
- groundless – they are produced only from cork, therefore they are not very strong;
- wallpaper on non-woven or paper backing – very flexible, thin and quite simple to install;
- panels in slabs – their cost exceeds the cost of cork rolls, but this is due to the improved characteristics that allow this type of coating to be applied even in bathrooms;
- self-adhesive cork canvases – they are glued to fiberboard, glass or painted surfaces.
To cork wallpaper does not absorb unpleasant odors, moisture, and were more resistant to damage, they are often impregnated with a special lacquer composition or rubbed with wax.
All the advantages and disadvantages of cork panels are directly related to the characteristics of the raw materials from which they are produced.
One of the main advantages of cork coating is its durability and strength. Such wallpaper can decorate the walls for at least ten years. They do not fade and practically do not wear out, keeping the interior of the apartment in its original form throughout the entire life cycle.
Cork panels are not afraid of scratches and do not require complicated maintenance, do not electrify, do not accumulate dust and dirt, do not absorb odors, and do not cause allergies. Due to the special bactericidal properties of oak, such wallpapers are resistant to the appearance of fungi and mold. They are not subject to fire and do not emit chemical compounds harmful to human health.
You can increase the level of sound insulation of walls with cork panels, reliably protecting the room from extraneous sounds. In addition, the insulating properties of the material allow you to create a completely unique microclimate in the room: it will be warm in it even in the winter and cool in the heat. At the same time, the problem of wall insulation from inside with cork panels is solved.
Judging by the numerous reviews, cork panels for the walls are not only practical, but also very beautiful, because they are distinguished by a large variety of colors and textures.
Important! Can be used such panels for walls for the interior of the children’s room, as they are completely safe, do not cause allergic reactions and can easily withstand additional cleaning and harsh mechanical effects.
The main disadvantage of this type of finishing material is its high cost. The price of cork wallpapers for walls in rolls, photos of which look so attractive in magazines, can significantly exceed the average repair budget. Last but not least, it is connected with the use of high-quality natural ingredients in their production.
The cork absorbs water, which is why the coating made from it can deform. Therefore, for rooms with high humidity should choose cork wallpaper, treated with a special water-repellent composition.
The installation of wallpaper itself is associated with certain inconveniences. To install them, you need to very carefully prepare the surface and use a special glue. Difficulties may arise later when dismantling the panels. Since they are fastened very securely, it will not be easy to remove such wallpapers.
There are certain rules for gluing cork panels to walls. First of all, you need to carefully prepare the surface. It should be dry and perfectly flat, without rough edges. You must first remove all remnants of the previous finish, seal the cracks and smooth the walls with plaster. In addition, the surface should be treated with a primer and let it dry completely.
The cork rolls are cut and left for a while so that they straighten. Using a level on the wall make markup.