Cork flooring is not just for commercial spaces anymore. This sustainable flooring option speaks to eco-conscious homeowners everywhere, and is making a comeback in the world of home design. As one of the few truly renewable options, cork floors make a great addition to most rooms and can be designed to match just about any style. If your attention is peaked, read the following information to decide if a cork floor is right for your space.
Where does cork flooring come from?
Cork flooring comes from the bark of cork oak trees, grown mainly in Southern Europe and Northern Africa. Once just a byproduct of bottle stoppers made from the tree bark, flooring is now one of the more popular uses for this material due to its many favorable attributes, including sustainability. The bark itself, once removed from the tree, is ground and pressed into sheets, planks and tiles that are ready to be sealed and installed in homes, offices and other spaces. The most impressive part about cork, though, is after being peeled from the tree the bark actually grows back, continuing to produce cork, which gets harvested every 8 to 12 years.
What are the pros and cons of cork flooring?Pros:
The special honeycomb-like cellular structure of cork is what gives it so many positive qualities. Comprised of mostly air-like gas, this material can be both lightweight and super durable at the same time, giving this renewable resource a leg up on the competition. Here are a few pros of cork flooring:
- Resilient: The springy, flexible material is kind on joints, knees and backs, yet is firm and dense enough to retain its shape.
- Shock-absorbent: Working like a natural cushion, cork floors will absorb shock, making them great for kitchens or home gyms — think less broken dishes and backaches!
- Holds warmth: Cork is actually an insulating material, so you won’t have to worry about putting on slippers when you sneak to the fridge in the middle of the night.
- Sound-absorbent: All that banging and clanging of dishes in the kitchen will be a little less ear-piercing with this sound-muffling quality of cork.
- Non-slip: Due to its highly frictional nature, cork floors will remain non-slippery, even when wet.
- Hypoallergenic: Cork is naturally resilient to things such as mold, mildew, rot and insects, making it ideal for those with allergies.
- Fire-resistant: This is one material that you won’t have to worry about when it comes to flames.
- Infinite Designs: Cork floors can be any color or look you desire, including reminiscent of wood and stone, for a wide variety of design options.
- Easy Installation: Whether you go with planks, tiles or sheets, installing them is something a DIY beginner can do themselves.
: If properly maintained, cork floors can last for decades. However, there are a few items that you should be aware of before you fully commit to this type of flooring.
- Scratches and dents: The soft surface can be scarred by debris over time, but weekly sweeping or vacuuming should help. However, if your cork floor is colored on the surface, a scratch or dent may reveal the natural coloring below. Heavy furniture can also leave major dents if not moved frequently or resting on floor protectors.
- Sealing: Cork floors needs to be resealed every couple of years either with polyurethane or wax (which requires more frequent applications).
- Fading: Much like carpeting, the color will fade over time.
- Moisture: Cork flooring doesn’t play well with water, and is not recommended for bathrooms, basements or laundry rooms that are prone to flooding or moisture damage.
If you decide cork flooring is the right option for you, be sure to keep it properly maintained and you’ll enjoy its benefits for years to come.
Find where to buy Cork Flooring and get inspired with our curated ideas for Cork Flooring to find the perfect item for every room in your home. With such a wide selection of Cork Flooring for sale, from brands like Globus Cork, APC Cork, and Jelinek Cork Group, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. Shop from Cork Flooring, like the Adhered Floor Tiles Solid Cork Flooring or the Assortment Engineered Cork Planks Flooring, while discovering new home products and designs. Whether you’re looking to buy Cork Flooring online or get inspiration for your home, you’ll find just what you’re looking for on Houzz.