Are you thinking of updating or renovating the flooring in your home? Then consider replacing it with cork flooring.
While it’s likely not your first choice to replace old hardwood or carpet, cork is one of the most stylish, economical and sustainable materials available. It’s also a natural material with unique properties.
Still unsure? Here are seven key facts to know about cork.
Cork Flooring: 7 Things You Should Know About It
Here are some facts about cork flooring to make it easier to decide if it’s the best choice for your home.
1) It’s Sustainable
Cork is used in flooring, furniture and ceilings, but how many of us know its origins? Cork is sourced from cork oak trees that naturally grow in northwest Africa and southwest Europe, among other places.
Like bamboo, cork grows quickly, making its cultivation easy on the environment and a sustainable flooring option long-term. Since cork is made from tree bark, the trees themselves needn’t be cut down. The bark can be removed once every 9 to 14 years for about 200 years, after it’s reached 25 years of age. It will then re-grow and offer the same quality due to the harvesting process which doesn’t affect the tree. This means cork oak trees enjoy a long life, removing the need to deforest entire areas. Additionally, cork is biodegradable and breaks down easily once it’s ended its lifecycle.
When used as flooring, it can easily be moved from one room to another without harming it, making it a renewable material.
2) It’s Shock Absorbent
If you love padding about your home barefoot, you will appreciate the comfort of walking and standing on cork flooring. It offers pliable and soft cushioning, and the air pockets in its structure make it shock absorbent. This allows cork flooring to withstand denting from furniture and the impact of falling objects; it also decreases the likelihood of objects breaking if they fall.
3) It Retains Heat
Those same pockets filled with air make cork flooring a great thermal insulator as they heat your interiors. Generally, solid flooring is colder to walk on during the winter months, unless it has subfloor heating. However, cork flooring remains naturally warm, diminishing the need to turn up your heating and reducing energy bills.
4) It’s Moisture Resistant
Cork contains a waxy substance called suberin that is moisture-resistant. This is why cork is used as a stopper in bottles of wine. And since it doesn’t absorb water, it’s resistant to mould and mildew.
5) It’s Hypoallergenic
Cork flooring can repel dirt, dust and other small particles, while suberin’s waxy nature repels insects and vermin and prevents microbes from growing on it. This makes cork a cleaner alternative to other flooring materials and also allergy-friendly as it doesn’t hold contaminants such as mildew, mould and mites.
Being naturally grown and harvested, cork doesn’t emit toxic fumes like many manufactured materials. This makes it a great choice for homes with pets, children and allergy sufferers.
6) It’s Soundproof
Cork’s structure allows it to absorb sound. This makes it a suitable option for homes with thin walls, large rooms and multiple levels, where sounds or echoes from other floors or rooms can be distracting. This soundproofing makes it ideal for theatres and offices.
Cork is a versatile flooring option. It can be installed over different types of subfloors such as concrete, wood, tile and vinyl as it doesn’t need to be glued but rather floated. This lets you coordinate the material with various styles of decor due to the wide assortment of colours and styles available. These range from stained cork to ones that mimic hardwood with richer and deeper colours.
Now that you’re armed with the facts about cork flooring, we hope you consider adding it to your home. Just be sure to select a good quality product that’s installed properly. (Low-end cork can be far from satisfactory, and high-quality types can fail to live up to expectations if not put in properly.) To be sure of your purchase, work with a reputable dealer in cork flooring who can guarantee your new floor will last for years.