A Lot to Give: The Many Amazing Benefits of Cork Flooring
The benefits of cork flooring cannot be undersold — even though this flooring type can be overlooked. Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, which are native to Spain, Tunisia, and Portugal, cork flooring provides homeowners with many perks that make cork a major contender for anyone looking for exceptional quality and value from their wood flooring installation.
How is cork flooring made?
After being harvested from the cork trees, bits of cork shavings are grounded up, compressed, formed into sheets, and then bound together with resins.
Next comes pigment to give the cork its various colours and designs. Finally, the finish is applied.
The Benefits of Cork Flooring
It’s Beautiful. Cork flooring is aesthetically versatile and stunning. It comes in different sizes of tiles or planks as well as different colours, so you can use it to create any number of flooring designs. Planks will provide a virtually seamless look while tiles can be used in alternating colours to create a truly novel looking floor.
Warm, natural, and more traditional cork finishes make this flooring choice perfect for more informal rooms. Manufacturers also made cork flooring that mimic natural stone, ceramic and marble – which look incredible in foyers and living rooms.
It’s Durable. Cork flooring has a lot of give, bouncing back so that indents from furniture won’t stick around. Cork also resists abrasions and cracking and is impervious to both liquid and gas. We’ve been doing wood flooring installation for decades and we’ve seen cork flooring that still looks amazing after fifty years.
It’s Affordable. Cork usually starts at around $2 per square foot and can go up to $12. The exact cost depends on the quality of the cork, the material’s thickness as well as the finish. Regardless, the cost of cork flooring is generally less expensive than hardwood. What’s more, because cork flooring is easy to work with, it’s also a cost-effective flooring to have installed.
It’s Allergy Safe. As an antimicrobial flooring type, one of the big benefits of cork flooring is that it is resistant to mold and mildew. It’s also resistant to termites (and their waste) so it will not compromise the quality of indoor air.
It’s Fire Resistant. Cork only ignites at an extremely high temperature and even if it does combust, this flooring type emits less smoke than other flooring types.
It’s Comfortable. As mentioned, cork has a lot of give — literally. Cork has a lot of cushion and is a great natural temperature and sound insulator, so it is warm and quiet. As such, cork flooring is sometimes also used as a noise-damping and thermal regulating subfloor.
It’s Eco-Friendly. Cork is perhaps the most ecologically friendly flooring type, which explains much of its current trendsetting status. The cork bark is only harvested when the tree is 25 years old and even then, the cork can be safely gathered every eight years without hurting the tree–which can live up to 800 years.
Another sustainable benefit of cork flooring: the cork used to make this flooring type is a byproduct of making wine corks so there is precious little waste byproduct.
Easy to Maintain. Cork flooring is easy to clean. Sweep regularly and then use a one part vinegar to three-part warm water solution to mop.
Also, you can refinish cork floors easily — just as you would with hardwood flooring — by sanding, staining, and refinishing.
Learn more: Flooring Laying and Refinishing: Which is Best in Older Homes?
The benefits of cork flooring are obvious. From its durability to its safety, comfort, affordability, and sustainability, the natural charm and beauty of cork flooring make it a smart and stunning selection for many homeowners.
Have questions about cork wood flooring installation? Contact us today! We’re happy to answer your questions and provide a free consultation for your next project.