Cork Flooring Facts
Cork, it’s not just for the walls anymore. As a renewable and sustainable resource, cork is an environmentally friendly product with multi-purpose appeal. It’s harvested from a particular type of Oak tree found primarily in the Mediterranean areas, and is readily available and abundant in supply without destroying the tree.
Try it as a flooring option for the ultimate in comfort flooring. It’s a natural shock absorber due to the air in the cells, so you can’t beat the comfort on legs and feet. So where it can it be used? Any room you need soft flooring. The favored use for cork flooring is the kitchen. Slaving over a hot stove on Thanksgiving won’t be as hard on your back and legs with cork flooring.
You would think it would be too delicate for use on a floor, particularly in a kitchen, but it’s more durable than it looks. Besides the comfort factor, there are other advantages to cork flooring:
- It reduces noise and is perfect for acoustical applications, such as a home theatres;
- The patterns and colors available are attractive – much the same as hardwood, but with more pattern to them.
- Cork has natural properties that are hypoallergenic and insect resistant. It contains a naturally occurring waxy substance that not only repels insects and mites, but mold as well.
- Cork doesn’t dent from heavy objects like hardwood tends to do when heavy furniture is placed on it. If it does dent, the air inside springs it back in to place.
There are a few drawbacks to cork flooring, nothing major, but things you should keep in mind if considering cork:
- Cork can get nicked with sharp objects, luckily it has a pattern that tends to hide smaller flaws, but pets with long toenails can be an issue.
- Cork tends to need resealing more often than wood flooring, for high traffic areas it can be required as much as annually.
- Although you can damp mop a cork floor, regular commercial cleaning products can’t be used, so say goodbye to Mr. Clean in the kitchen. For a more thorough cleaning than damp mopping, a specialty paste is needed, which is labor intensive.
Cost in cork flooring depends on thickness, quality and pattern. It costs roughly $3 - $6 per square foot, not particularly expensive, but more so than many ceramic and vinyl tiles.
Cork is certainly worth considering when choosing a flooring, whether it will work for your home is more dependent on your taste and lifestyle. But you sure won't find a more eco-friendly flooring than cork.