Cork has been a popular underlayment material for a long time. If you want a flooring that is soft underfoot and long lasting, opt for cork. Toronto-based flooring stores offer many products so you can find the best match for your home. These days, cork is processed and manufactured into tiles and planks of differing textures and qualities. This post will help you learn about the various criteria for choosing cork flooring.
Criteria for Choosing Cork Flooring
The types of cork flooring available in your local flooring store are classified based on several criteria. When you short list them based on these criteria, choosing the right kind of cork for your home becomes easy:
Cork flooring is available in many colours, from natural hues to stained options that run slightly darker or lighter than natural cork to many other colourful painted options. Cork can be double-toned as well or have cherry or green flakes within its natural hue. The following are the most common categories of corking flooring based on their colour:
- The natural tone of cork is a light golden brown. This is universally flattering and popular among many homeowners. It adds a natural warmth to homes, making their ambience soothing and serene.
- Stained cork is available in a variety of tones that are either lighter or darker than the real colour. Varieties of browns like chestnut, cashew, hazelnut, and sesame can be achieved by staining cork.
- Painted cork creates a unique look and comes in an array of colours. They are even available in painted designs and patterns that create a very artistic style of flooring.
This refers to the surface construction of the cork. Differing textures can truly alter the overall look of a room, and there are many different types:
- Small granules where the cork is finely milled create a classic look. This type is nearly smooth and looks very sophisticated and serious.
- Medium granule cork flooring is created by mixing ground cork with large chunks of solid cork to impart a slightly dramatic look to your flooring. If you are looking for a unique texture that is not overly dramatic, this is a great choice.
- With peeled cork, strips of cork are laid together to create the floor’s surface. This is a great way to incorporate the natural beauty of the cork tree into your home décor.
- Burled cork flooring is the most striking texture of cork. A variety of cork chunks are used to make the floor tiles and planks, such that a wavy texture is created. Burled cork flooring looks particularly beautiful when stained, as it brings out this wavy texture.
Homeowners who love the texture and look of hardwood but prefer softer flooring can instead opt for cork tiles with a high-quality image of hardwood embossed on them. This looks a lot like hardwood provided the image quality is good and is of a species, like oak, maple or pine, that has a consistent graining pattern.
The structure and composition of the cork flooring you choose should be taken into account. The different types you will come across are as follows:
- Single cork flooring: This most popular type of cork flooring is made by mixing ground cork and resins to create tiles, sheets and planks. These are installed by gluing them to the plywood or concrete subfloor.
- Engineered cork flooring: Compressed cork is bonded to a medium-density fiberboard over a layer of bonded uncompressed cork to create this flooring type. The fiberboard can be of a medium or high density. This is a popular choice when you do not wish to remove old damaged flooring but still want a new look within a reasonable budget.
- Mosaic cork floors: This is an artistic style of cork flooring made from recycled wine bottle corks. It is made by gluing circular cork pieces to a special type of paper that serves as the base of this material. They can also be installed using special mortar and grout with waterproofing properties. This means that mosaic cork flooring can be used in showers and saunas, as well as around indoor pool spaces.
- Thickness and style
Cork flooring comes in tiles, planks and sheets that range between 6 and 13 mm thick. Choose your thickness depending on expected foot traffic and any other requirements, as its longevity is directly proportional to its thickness. The choice between planks and tiles depends entirely on the kind of look you want to achieve. Sheet cork flooring is a great choice to if you primarily need noise insulation; the thicker the cork, the better it absorbs sound. The method of installation also affects the style of flooring. Planks and sheets can be glued down or click locked and floated over the subfloor.
Choosing cork flooring is a cost effective and comfortable choice, particularly if you want soft flooring. Keeping in mind the criteria mentioned above will help you to find the right type of cork flooring for your home. For further assistance about the different brands and qualities of cork flooring available in the market, ask the experts at your local flooring store.