Though frequently classified with linoleum, cork carpet differs somewhat from both cork tiles and linoleums. It is composed of granulated cork using a different proportion of cork and linseed oil from that usually employed in Battleship Linoleum. It is compressed under heat. As the name implies, it is manufactured in sheet forms. It comes in several solid colors, and in thicknesses of approximately .22-inch (polished) and .26-inch (unpolished). Cork carpet has not the density nor therefore the resistance to wear of the several types of cork composition flooring material, but its great resiliency and relatively low cost give it a very definite utility for solving certain flooring problems.
These classifications cover the principal standard types of cork composition flooring, but it should be noted that each individual manufacturer is constantly developing new combinations and new patterns which have their special uses from both the decorative and service point of view. The essential features here noted, however, may be applied to the newer forms, and hence an extended discussion of them is not necessary before we proceed to the next consideration.
An important new development in the manufacture of linoleum and cork composition flooring materials is the utilization of pyroxylin or nitrocellulose lacquers to produce a surface wholly impervious to moisture, dirt and to the staining effects of many common materials such as ink, foods, greases, and mild acids .... The lacquer finish is not merely a surface painting in the ordinary sense, for the leading manufacturers, while retaining in secrecy the exact nature of the process employed, claim and demonstrate that there is a certain amount of penetration of the lacquer into the upper strata of the material, although no manufacturers claim complete penetration. The lacquer functions to close the minute pores in linoleums and other cork composition flooring products so that ordinary dirt and dust will not be ground into the surface, vastly simplifying the cleaning and maintenance operations. The nature of the lacquer employed is such that most common substances which will normally stain wood, marble, concrete and other types of flooring will not penetrate into the cork compound, and a spot can be readily wiped off from the surface without leaving any stain or mark. To a large extent the lacquer treatment eliminates or minimizes the need for waxing linoleum floors for their maintenance and preservation, although wax may be applied as usual if desired. Undoubtedly this new development marks a real advance in improving the life and utility of cork composition flooring materials, giving added qualities of sanitation, low maintenance cost, improved appearance and probably greater durability.