Cork Flooring: A Sustainable Option for Homes (2021 Update)

When it comes to flooring, cork is a sustainable and eco-friendly option. It’s harvested from cork oak trees which makes it a renewable material. The resulting cork panels have multiple layers of additional protection and support which add to its durability while offering cork’s natural advantages (outlined below).

If you’re looking for home flooring but are unsure if cork is the right choice, let’s examine its many benefits.

9 Benefits of Choosing Cork Flooring for Your Home

Read this blog and discover what makes cork flooring a smart investment.

1. It’s Sustainable

It's Sustainable

Cork is harvested from trees, making it a sustainable resource. Unlike bamboo or hardwood, cork oak trees don’t need to be cut down to create flooring. Instead, the bark is harvested every 9 to 10 years until the end of the tree’s lifecycle which can be over 200 years. Fertilizers and pesticides are rarely used throughout this time. Moreover, dead cork oak trees can be recycled.

Throughout their lifespan, cork oak trees absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide from the environment. In exchange, they release oxygen.

2. It’s Comfortable

It's Comfortable

Cork consists of millions of microscopic cells that resemble a honeycomb. These cells contain air pockets that give flooring a bit of bounce without feeling spongy, making it comfortable to walk and stand on for long periods. This helps ease joint and back pain.

Cork flooring is also safer than harder flooring options for the disabled and those seniors at risk of falling and hurting themselves.

3. It Dampens Noise

Cork flooring reduces the transmission of vibration and sound. The tiny cells in its structure contain air that acts as miniature cushions to absorb direct impacts and the resulting vibrations. This makes cork suitable for bedrooms, home offices, living rooms, gyms, home libraries, entertainment rooms and pretty much anywhere sound needs to be kept to a minimum.

4. It’s Scratch-Resistant

It's Scratch-Resistant

Cork is suitable for homes with pets and/or kids as it’s naturally resilient to scratches from pet claws or children’s toys. Its structure also allows it to spring back into shape when pressure is applied, such as from falling items.

5. It Provides Thermal Insulation

The tiny compartments within cork’s honeycomb structure efficiently trap air which insulates against thermal transfer. Its low heat conductivity makes cork a great insulator that ensures your home has a comfortable temperature throughout the year. This makes it a cost-effective alternative to heated subfloors, ensuring your floors stay warm without spending a fortune.

6. It’s Durable

Cork flooring’s elasticity offers superior durability and enables it to recover quickly from compression. This allows it to perform well in high-traffic areas like kitchens, hallways, and living rooms.

Cork flooring can easily be repaired if damaged and has a long lifespan. It resists abrasions and cracking while standing up well to liquids.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about indents being left behind by heavy furniture as cork flooring retains its shape. Many flooring providers also offer a polyurethane finish that protects the surface to ensure it withstands wear and tear. In fact, when taken care of properly, cork flooring can last up to 40 years.

7. It’s Antimicrobial

Cork trees have a natural defence (a chemical called suberin) against mildew, mould, and insect infestation. In turn, so does cork flooring.

Also, it doesn’t shed any microfibres, or off-gas to affect indoor air quality. This makes it a great choice for allergy sufferers.

8. It’s Easy to Maintain

It's Easy to Maintain

Cork is a low-maintenance flooring option compared to hardwood and marble. It also has antistatic properties that ensure it doesn’t attract dust.

To keep it clean, vacuum occasionally or wipe the surface with a microfibre cloth. Spills should be wiped up promptly with a clean, dry cloth.

Clean up more stubborn residue with a damp cloth. Be sure to avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners and never use a scouring pad.

9. It’s Fire Resistant

Cork is a naturally fire-resistant material that doesn’t burn as easily as other types of flooring like carpet and wood. If cork flooring does catch fire, it burns slowly and won’t give off any toxic fumes. This is especially beneficial for multi-storied houses as cork can slow fire’s progress.

Cork flooring is an attractive and warm material that has an informal appearance and offers comfort. If you’re in search of flooring that stands up to daily wear and tear, it’s the perfect option. However, it’s vital to make certain you choose a reliable flooring provider so you know you’re purchasing high-quality products that will last.

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