Cork Flooring 

Cork has become a popular material for flooring in recent years. It is eco-friendly, attractive, and unique. The flooring can be utilized throughout your home, though there are some details you will want to consider.

Cork Flooring Reviews

Cork flooring is made through the process of harvesting the bark from cork oak trees. It is environmentally friendly because only about half of the tree’s bark is harvested at a single time. Cork is a renewable resource so there is no need to take down the entire tree. Trees can be harvested for their bark approximately every 9 to 10 years.

Cork has a high level of resiliency due to the tiny air pockets found naturally in the honeycomb structure. It gives way to put pressure as well as objects that bounce on it while keeping its original shape. As such, you will find that it has a little bit of “bounce” on it as you walk in comparison to hardwood or laminate.

Cork is also hypoallergenic and will repel various pests, including termites. It will also prevent mildew and mold from growing into your flooring.

Cork has the ability to give on impact, making it great for children and pets. The floor can withstand a significant amount of traffic. You may also be able to explore various finishes that will give it extra scratch protection. Mats or area rugs can also be placed in some of the high traffic areas.

If you are looking for a natural noise insulator, cork works well. It is a popular choice for recording studios and libraries because it can muffle sound more effectively than other flooring materials. It’s also important to note that the quality of cork plays a role in noise insulation. If this is an important quality, consider talking to your flooring professional about a higher quality cork.

Choosing Cork Flooring

When you decide to buy cork flooring, there are several things that need to be considered. It will ensure that you are able to achieve the desired aesthetic across the various rooms of your home.

Composition of Cork Flooing

The composition of the cork flooring is available in three different styles:

Homogenous Cork

  • This composition is one of the most common. The cork is ground up, compressed, and sheets are created from it. It is then baked and then cut into tiles or planks. Depending on its thickness, it can be sanded and refinished several times, similar to that of hardwood flooring.

Mosaic Cork

  • This composition is made of recycled wine corks. Circular slices of the cork are attached to a mesh or paper backing. It is then laid onto the floor, crowded, and sealed.

Veneer Cork

  • The veneer composition generally is made up of five layers. The underlayment is a low-density Cork while the second layer is high-density fiberboard. There is then a cork core, a cork bark veneer, and the final layer being a sealer. If it is sealed and installed properly, it can be used in wet areas.

Cork Configuration

The configuration needs to be taken into consideration as this will impact to the overall appearance as well as how the cork flooring is installed.

Cork Tile

  • The tiles are available in several shapes and sizes. These can be glued directly to wood subfloors or concrete floors.

Cork Plank

  • Cork planks are similar in nature to laminate flooring in that they are available in various lanes and can be installed using the floating floor or click and lock method. No adhesive or glue is needed and it can be laid over existing flooring or a subfloor.

Cork Texture

There are many design opportunities when you look at the texture of cork. Although some brands will create different names for the cork they are selling, they are still identified as either peeled or burled. Much of it has to do with the size of the granule. Smaller granules provide an even texture while larger granules create a highly textured flooring.

Peeled

  • The appearance is similar to the cork oak tree with strips of cork being laid together.

Burled

  • Cork chunks are mixed together to create a wavy, highly texturized aesthetic.

Cork Flooring Colors Reviews

One of the reasons cork flooring is becoming so popular is because of the color options available to you. The color is achieved during the baking process. You can choose from natural colors that fall into categories of light, medium, and dark. You can also have the cork floors stained similar to hardwood. It’s also possible to have cork floors painted, allowing you to choose any color in the spectrum.

We Cork

Natural Lemon

We Cork Corkoleum Natural-Lemon

We Cork

Sunset Acacia

Sunset Acacia We Cork

We Cork

Dark Shade

dark shade We Cork

We Cork

Ash

We Cork Ash

APC Cork

Slate

APC Cork Slate

CorksRibas

Runway Gris

CorksRibas Runway Gris

iCork Floor

Bleached Birch

iCork Floor Bleached Birch

Globus Cork

Whitewashed

Globus Cork Whitewashed

Amcork

Marble White

Amcork Marble White

Jelinek

Corkstone

Jelinek Cork Corkstone

Jelinek

Sierra

Jelinek Cork Sierra

USFloors

Symmetry Gris

USFloors Symmetry Gris

Torlys

Burl Chocolate

Torlys Burl Chocolate

Torlys

Nunavut

Torlys Nunavut

Torlys

Burl Shoreline

Torlys Burl Shoreline

Torlys

Vintage Pearl

Torlys Vintage Pearl

How Cork Flooring is Installed

cork flooring installationWhen cork flooring is installed, you want to make sure you do everything to protect your investment.

A moisture barrier is often recommended, though it will depend on the specific flooring that is used. This will go in between the subfloor and the cork flooring itself.

Special flooring adhesive will need to be used when you choose cork tiles.

Trims will need to be specifically explored based upon how flooring will expand and contract based upon temperature and humidity changes. Some extra space should be left between the wall edges when the flooring is being installed. Trim and molding is available to hide the extra space. Various accessories are available for you to create the desired aesthetic:

  • T-moldings
  • Reducer moldings
  • Quarter round
  • Stair nose
  • End Cap

Caring for Your Cork Flooring

You want your cork flooring to last as long as possible. A few tips should be followed so that you can care for them effectively.

Climate

The natural composition of cork will react to the temperature and humidity level in your home. If you are in a dry climate, consider a humidifier. If you are in a moist climate, consider a dehumidifier. This will help you to regulate the humidity so that there are no issues with the flooring.

Sunlight

If you have a significant amount of sunlight coming through the windows and doors, it’s important to understand that the color can fade as a result of high exposure to sunlight. You may want to consider installing window treatments or adding a UV protective coating on your windows.

Cleaning

Sweep or vacuum the floors regularly to remove excess debris and dirt. You should also damp mop periodically with a mild cleanser for a deeper clean. Spills and other accidents should also be cleaned up immediately. You should never use an ammonia-based all-purpose floor cleaner due to their abrasiveness. You may also want to consider pads on your furniture as you don’t want to drag furniture across the floors for fear of scratching and denting.

Cork Flooring Comparison Guide

As you explore flooring options for your home, you may be drawn to the warm tones and exceptional beauty of cork flooring. Cork floors are manufactured using cork oak tree bark, so it is considered to be eco-friendly. The material shares many benefits with hardwood flooring, but it also has unique properties that set it apart from other options that you may be interested in. Before deciding on a product for your home’s new flooring project, take a closer look at how cork stacks up to other popular flooring materials.

Cork vs Carpeting

Both carpeting and cork are available in numerous styles and colors, which gives you control over style and ambiance in your home. Cork is a softer yet durable wood that has give under your feet. Therefore, carpet and cork are both comfortable to walk on. Cork, however, is easier to care for, is more suitable for use in homes of allergy sufferers and has a superior lifespan. Consider that carpet usually must be replaced within 5 to 15 years, depending on its quality and how well it is maintained. Cork’s longevity extends to 40 years.

Cork vs Tile

Both cork and tile are impermeable to water damage and have similar care requirements. They are also well-suited for homes of allergy-sufferers. However, cork will not crack when heavy objects fall on it. Because cork has a cushioned feel under your feet, it is more comfortable to walk on. It also has noise-buffering qualities and is warmer to walk across in bare feet during cooler months of the year.

Cork Flooring vs Hardwood

Hardwood floors are popular because of their elegance, warmth and convenient maintenance requirements. Nonetheless, they can easily be scratched and damaged by water. They also have poor acoustic benefits and may release chemicals into the home that impact indoor air quality. On the other hand, cork also has simple maintenance requirements, but it is not as susceptible to water damage or scratches as hardwood is. It is well-suited for promoting excellent indoor air quality and can buffer sounds more effectively than wood can.

Cork vs Vinyl

Many homeowners opt for vinyl flooring because it is water-resistant, durable and affordable. However, through its manufacturing process, the coloring and pattern are only present in the upper layers. As vinyl wears down, you will see obvious and increasing signs of wear. With cork, the coloring and pattern is present throughout the entire material. This means that cork will continue to look great in your home and may have superior longevity.

If you have not yet looked at cork flooring options, you may assume that the material is available with a narrow selection of colors and patterns. However, a closer look reveals that there are numerous colors and styles of cork flooring available in both tile sizes and planks. You can install these pieces seamlessly or use alternating colors as desired. Now is a great time to check out the many cork flooring options that may look great in your home.