When Cork Board Fails
The front of a modern-day classroom bears little resemblance to one of 30 years ago.
Gone is the blackboard with its dusty erasers and brittle chalk, replaced by the white board, magnetic white board and then the interactive board, tv and other electronic display devices.
Everything has changed it seems, except for one thing.
The cork board and the cork bar were introduced and established in educational settings around 1960s. Today it can be found in K-12 classroom everywhere as designers and architects continue to specify cork bulletin board and cork bar for new school constructions.
Cork rails entered the nation’s classrooms during the 1960’s.
Why the Longevity?
Cork rail and cork board have survived in the classrooms for over a half-century because of their sheer simplicity and unmatched versatility – the same reasons why they’re so difficult to replace.
Consisting of an extruded aluminum channel with an adhesive-backed cork strip, cork bars can be installed over drywall and concrete masonry units (CMUs), the two most common school wall construction materials. The cork bulletin board can be installed on the same surfaces.
Employing readily available sharps such as thumb tacks, pushpins or staples, cork bars and cork board can be used to display paper materials in different shapes and thicknesses ranging from tissue paper to poster boards.
So, any new display technology that is not as simple or versatile as a cork sheet doesn’t stand a chance in today’s classrooms. And to finally end the cork reign, it would also have to excel in areas where the cork board and cork bar fail.
The Risk is Real
Sharps are needed before cork display rails can be pressed into service. Which means they must be inventoried, requisitioned, purchased, and stored to make sure they are always available when needed. Sharps also must be removed, resorted, and stored again before they can be reused.
Sharps such as thumb tacks, pushpins or staples used as fasteners for cork rail and cork bulletin board can easily be misplaced and turn up unexpectedly, accidentally injuring a student who steps on them with thin soled shoes, for example, or a preschooler who sticks one in their mouth.
Sharps are also magnets for those little mischief makers who like to put thumb tacks on chairs. Catching victims by surprise, this not only inflicts pain and embarrassment, it can also expose the school to complaints and possible litigation from parents.
The parents of a 3-year-old boy who choked to death after swallowing a pushpin at
the Oceanside Montessori School has filed a lawsuit against the school.
Los Angeles Times
Parts Not Included
Because there are so many cork board and cork bar on the market, vendors typically sell parts separately to lower the base price and be more competitive. End caps for cork rail are the item most frequently excluded with customers either purchasing them separately or fabricating their own – often with less than ideal results. Mounting hardware is also often missing, so installers may use their own which can include round head screws that cause cork inserts applied over them to bubble and crack.
Another way suppliers are cutting corners is to be more competitive is by making inserts thinner. So, sharps bottom out on the metal rail and provide less support for heavier items. Cork is a natural product that changes over time. As it dries, it shrinks and tears loose from the adhesive, most visibly at each end
Cork also becomes brittle as it ages and can crumble and peel away at the surface – especially in places where sharps have been repeatedly inserted – creating voids that can no longer retain sharps.
The Stains Remain
Cork is extremely porous and will soak up everything, especially ink from pens and markers. Once defaced, there is no way to restore cork to its original appearance, so the only option is to replace it. Until that happens, the writing is on the wall for everyone to see, whether it’s slanderous, sexually explicit or simply unsightly
Graffiti can constitute bullying, and create concerns for parents, school administrators and even law enforcement officials.
“… graffiti can violate state laws against vandalism, malicious destruction of property, threats and intimation and hate motivated offenses. The graffiti itself is tangible, legal evidence of the crime.”
An Uneasy Fix
Replacing the cork inserts in a display rail is easier said than done and almost impossible on a cork board. Removing the adhesive is usually difficult and time consuming, and if done improperly, prevents a satisfactory adhesive bond from forming between the aluminum channel and new insert.
Usually, it’s simply more cost effective to replace the entire rail or board which can involve patching, sanding and repainting the wall before a new one can be installed.
On the other hand, before you replace a cork bar or a cork bulletin board, maybe you should consider an alternative that’s already proven itself in classrooms all across the country.
New School vs Old School
Ushering in a new era in display rail technology, the Casso® Display Rail is making a move to the head of the class well ahead of its competition.
Comprised of an extruded aluminum housing with a removable insert, it’s as simple as the cork rail and far simpler than other display rails that have moving parts like hinged tops and metal rollers.
Instead of cork, the Casso Rail uses a unique, proprietary, high tech synthetic insert with two copolymer strips that give it exceptional strength and versatility. These copolymer strips gently grasp paper as it is inserted between them and the aluminum housing and release it just as gently when it’s removed. The thicker the item, the more firmly the strips grasp, so they can support heavier items.
Flimsy and uneven materials can also be pressed against a flat surface beneath the rail slot making insertion even easier. And hanging items of different thickness side by side is never a problem with this wall organizer like it is with rails featuring hinged tops. The Casso Display Rail can also be concealed behind trim carpentry or other wall details so it’s almost invisible, always ready to use. By eliminating the need for sharps such as thumb tacks, pushpins or staples to retain and display classroom materials, the Casso paper organizer reduces the risks for potential accidents in the classroom.
What Goes in is What Comes Out
Sharps used to retain items displayed on cork display rails leave holes and can snag.
Rails with metal rollers can rip and tear materials if they are taken out without using the proper technique, or when the rollers get hung up and jam on staples or other objects.
But with the Casso Display Rail, whatever is secured by its copolymer strips can be removed in the same condition.
Installation is a Snap
Casso Display Rails are shipped complete with everything required for installation and use, and not just for basic installation on a standard surface or with adhesive backed tape like you get with lightweight products designed for non-commercial use. Casso Rail kits include all the mounting hardware such as plastic end caps, mounting clips and universal TripleGrip™ anchors with the proper screws for making a solid connection on brick, cement, gypsum, plaster or ceramic surfaces. Unlike other display rails, everything you need is included with the wall organizer Casso Display Rail.
And installation is easy. Just determine where you want the Casso Rail, drill holes, install the anchors and attach the mounting clips, then simply snap the rail in place. Holes previously drilled for cork display rails may also be repurposed for Casso Rails when making the switch. And since the Casso paper display rail is a bit wider than alternatives, there’s frequently no need to pre-paint wall surfaces at all to mask shadow lines and cover blemishes caused by previous cork rail installations.
There is probably no way to make anything in the classroom completely student proof. But when it comes to state of the art display rail, Casso is probably as close as it gets. Unlike display rails constructed of brittle PVC designed for low traffic place and home uses that can crack and chip, Casso Rails have a sturdy, aluminum outer shell that is difficult to damage. Their anodized and powder-coated surfaces also resist stains and graffiti, while a streamlined design makes them easy to clean and maintain.
Most importantly, Casso Rail’s flexible copolymer strips are almost fully enclosed so they’re unlikely to be damaged. If they ever are, though, all it takes to replace one is to remove an endcap, exchange the insert and pop the cap back on. It’s that easy.
Do the Math
At first glance, cork rail and cork board are relatively inexpensive; in fact, you might even say they’re cheap. But their low initial cost can be highly deceptive. By the time you add up the expense of adding mounting hardware plus the time and materials required for repairing and replacing them over and over again, the total cost of ownership for them makes any up-front savings seem fairly insignificant by comparison.
The new Best in Class
So why stick with cork bar and cork bulletin board that require an unending supply of unsafe sharps, are easily marred and damaged, deteriorate over time, and are costly and time-consuming to constantly repair and replace? Casso Display Rails are simple, safe, versatile, durable, complete and easy to install. Plus, with their streamlined design in a silver, white or black finishes, they blend beautifully into today’s contemporary classrooms.
To learn more about using wall organizer Casso Display Rail for replacing existing rails or specifying them for use in new classroom construction, contact AS Hanging Display Systems at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-935-6949 today.
Casso Display Rails are the newer, smarter solution that really makes the grade.
Call Us Now to Order Yours 866-935-6949