What Is Cork Flooring? Cork Flooring Pros and Cons | How to Maintain Your Cork Floor
Cork Flooring Pros and Cons |Advantages & Disadvantages of Cork Flooring |Cork Flooring Alternative Options
What Is Cork Flooring?
Cork flooring is a natural, renewable resource made from the bark of cork oak trees. It’s durable, environmentally friendly and water-resistant!
Cork flooring is one of the best and most environmentally friendly options for flooring. It is manufactured using cork shavings made from the bark of Quercus suber, a type of oak tree native to Iberia and North Africa.
The manufacturing process is one of the greenest and causes minimal impact on the environment. Cork is produced with no chemicals, no glue, and no pressing required, making it an eco-friendly product.
It also does not require toxic adhesives as cork floors are designed to be glued directly to the subfloor using polyurethane.
One of the factors that make cork such a sustainable flooring option is its approval for use in the European Union. It also performs better in very humid areas.
Cork flooring can be installed on almost any surface, but some will need to be prepped before installation.
The recommended surfaces for installing cork flooring are: concrete, ceramic tile, vinyl tile or stone floors (and reversible), and natural wood floors (both exteriors and interiors).
Design-wise, Cork is both durable and attractive. It is available in numerous styles, from traditional to contemporary. Thanks to its low moisture absorption and high shock resistance, it has become the preferred flooring for use in new construction and remodeled homes.
Because Cork flooring is an eco-friendly option for your home, it is used in environmentally friendly applications such as schools, athletic facilities and restaurants where frequent spills of oil or water will damage the environment.
Benefits of Cork Flooring
Cork flooring is a great alternative to other flooring materials such as hardwood flooring, vinyl, and carpet because it is 100% biodegradable and sustainable, it has a very good insulation capacity and it does not need to be underlayment for carpets.
It Cork flooring is a great option for those who are looking to remodel their home. In addition to being eco-friendly, cork is also hypoallergenic.
It does not contain any dust or pollen and can be laid either tile-style or plank-style on any level in the house.
Cork flooring is an eco-friendly option for your home. Cork floors are made of natural cork, which is a renewable and sustainable resource.
The cork tree grows more quickly than trees used in plywood or lumber production, so it helps the environment by being a sustainable product.
One of the best things about this type of flooring is that it doesn’t need to be sealed with polyurethane finish like other types of hardwood can require–you just buff it with furniture polish!
This means you don’t have to worry about having chemicals in your home from sealants that could cause sicknesses or respiratory problems over time.
The only downside to cork is that it is very susceptible to water damage and requires a very specific installation process that is not done by just anyone. It’s best to contact a professional cork installer and follow their recommendations.
How Is Cork Flooring Made?
Cork flooring is an environmentally friendly flooring type that utilizes cork bark as the primary constituent.
Cork tree bark (a renewable, sustainable, and natural material) is harvested from the tree and ground into a fine dust that is then compressed.
The compressed dust is mixed with other materials such as resins, chemicals, and plastics to create the final product. Cork flooring is often used in restaurants where the cork floors help to reduce noise.
Cork flooring is a type of floor that is popular in both home and commercial settings. It has the look and feel of wood, but it’s much more durable.
Cork floors come in many different styles including: bamboo, oak, maple, cherry and walnut to name a few.
The most popular style of cork flooring is called “engineered cork” which means that the boards are made from layers of cork with paper backing between each layer for strength.
This makes engineered cork floors resistant to wear-and-tear from heavy foot traffic or pets as well as moisture damage.
Cork flooring can be installed over existing floors as well so you don’t have to worry about damaging your home with renovations.
Cork Flooring Pros and Cons
Pros of Cork Cooking
1. Engineered Cork Flooring Is Easy to Install
Engineered cork flooring is very easy to install. When you are laying the floor, you only need to lay the boards out in a manner that is easiest for you to install.
This means that they can be placed side-by-side going across the room and do not have to be placed in a pattern or “stacked” in any way.
You don’t have to worry about cutting into doors or walls with an install like this, which makes it even easier!
2. Cork Is Water-Resistant
Cork flooring is a water-resistant flooring material. This means that you don’t have to worry about any moisture damage to your home, specifically in bathrooms.
Because the cork is submersible, it wicks away moisture from liquids and soaks it up instead of absorbing it.
This means that you won’t have to worry about wood rot or mold, which would be due in part to high moisture levels in some homes and basements.
3. Cork Flooring Has a Warm Feel and Texture
Engineered Cork floors have a warm feel and texture. This means that it doesn’t have the look and feel of plastic or hardwood, but of natural materials such as wood. It also has a very organic look to it.
4. Cork Flooring Is Very Allergen-Free
Cork floors are hypoallergenic and don’t produce any dust or pollen when they are made or installed in your home.
This means that anyone with dust, pollen, or pet allergies won’t have to worry about reactions or sickness because of a cork floor.
5. It Can Handle Wear and Tear
Cork floors can handle wear and tear like scratches or scuffs. This makes it much easier to live with than the other types of wood flooring.
6. Cork Flooring Absorbs Noise
Cork flooring is a very durable product. Unlike other types of floors, you’ll have to worry about, the cork absorbs sound and reduces noise while it’s in your home.
7. Cork Flooring Is an Eco-Friendly Option
Cork flooring is a sustainable option for your floors that will help protect the environment and won’t take a toll on the earth.
8. Cork Floor Patterns Disguise Flaws
Cork flooring can be installed with a pattern or not. This gives it a very clean, uniform look if you install it in your home, whether you’re upgrading or remodeling.
This makes it easier to repair any flaws or damage over time because they won’t be as obvious.
9. Cork Flooring Is Easy to Clean/Cork Floors Are Low Maintenance.
Cork floors are easy to clean and maintain with respect to dust and dirt. Sweeping and occasional mopping with a damp cloth is all that’s needed to keep cork floors looking their best.
10. Cork Flooring Is Safe
Cork floors are a safe option for anyone in the household because of the fact that they are hypoallergenic and don’t produce any dust or pollen.
11. Most Cork is Sustainable & Biodegradable
Most cork floors are made from sustainable and natural materials so you won’t have to worry about harm to the environment or long-term damage in your home.
12. Cork Flooring Durability
Cork flooring is the most durable type of floor with respect to wear and tear, moisture, scratches or scuffs, etc. This means that you can definitely live with this type of floor for many years.
Cons of Cork Flooring
1. Cork is Sensitive to Moisture Damage
Cork flooring, similar to other natural materials such as hardwood, is very sensitive to moisture damage.
This means that it does not need to be sealed with polyurethane like many other types of hardwood floors do.
If you don’t, the cork will have a lifespan of about 15–20 years, so it’s important to be careful with how you install and maintain it over time.
2. Cork Flooring is Sensitive to Heat
Cork flooring can become susceptible to damage if it’s too hot for too long.
This means that you have to be careful about installing this type of flooring so that it does not get too hot and will not burn your feet.
3. Cork Floors are Expensive
Cork flooring is one of the more expensive types of flooring in terms of initial installation and maintenance compared to other types such as hardwood or tile.
4. Cork isn’t as strong as other types of hardwood
Cork isn’t as strong as other types of hardwood flooring. This means that if you have a lot of children and pets in your home, you may want to consider another flooring option.
5. Cork Floors Can Fade from The Sun
Cork floors are very susceptible to sunlight and heat.
This means that if you have a lot of natural sunlight in your home, the cork can become discolored or faded over time.
Other types of flooring do not suffer from this problem as much, so if you have many windows or live in a warm climate, you should consider another type of flooring.
6. Blunt or Sharp Objects Can Dent or Scratch Cork Floors
Cork floors are very soft and can be damaged by sharp or blunt objects.
This means that if you have children or pets in your home, you should consider buying a cork floor protector for underneath the furniture they use regularly to be on the safe side.
7. Cork Flooring Does Wear Down Over Time
Cork floors do wear down over time with furniture and foot traffic in your home.
This means that you may need to wash the floor a few times per year to keep it looking its best.
8. Cork Flooring is not a DIY Project
Cork flooring is more complex and time-consuming to install than other types of floors.
It’s also not the best option for DIY projects.
Cork floors need to be sealed and installed by professionals, so if you’re interested in installing it on your own, you should consider other options.
8. Cork Flooring Can Absorb Water
Cork floors are very absorbent and will lose their original strength if water is spilled on them for too long.
This means that you should be careful when cleaning your floors to ensure that you don’t trap moisture underneath the cork or in the grooves of the wood.
9. Some Cork Floors Can Get a Musty Smell
Cork is naturally anti-microbial and has an air-tight seal around it, but this doesn’t mean that it’s completely bacteria-free.
Cork Flooring Alternative Options:
1. Veneer Flooring
Cork flooring is not the best type of floor for people living in cold climates. You can choose to install it in your home, but if you live in a cold climate,
you should consider other types of floors made from materials that are less sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Veneer drywall may be an option for you if you live in a warm climate. It’s usually made with particleboard and comes in several different styles and colors.
2. Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is another alternative option for homeowners interested in cork floors because of the fact that they are easy to install, durable, and strong.
3. Reclaimed Wood
If you love the look of cork flooring but don’t want to deal with moisture damage issues or expensive installation fees, reclaimed wood may be the right option for you.
Reclaimed wood has a similar look and feel to cork but without the maintenance issues.
4. Porcelain Tile
You can also try porcelain tile if you want a floor that’s easy to maintain as well as look good for many years.
5. Vinyl floors
Vinyl floors are another option to consider. They provide a durable, low-maintenance look and don’t require sealing like cork flooring does.
6. Stone Flooring
Stone flooring is often preferred over cork but is not as easy to install and requires more maintenance than other options such as tile or hardwood floors.
If you love the look of stone flooring but want to save money, consider installing ceramic tile that’s similar in style and price.
Other Types of Flooring:
1. Hardwood Floors
Hardwood flooring is another popular option to install in your home because it comes in so many styles and designs, is easy to maintain, and lasts for many years.
2. Tile Flooring
Tile flooring is another popular option to consider when choosing a new floor for your home. Tiles are durable, easy to clean and come in several different materials such as porcelain, glass, stone, slate or ceramic.
3. Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring comes in so many different styles and designs that it’s difficult to choose just one. You can even download pictures of your choice using a smartphone and then have them installed by professionals.
4. Ceramic Tile Flooring
Similar to vinyl floors, ceramic tile flooring is made with many different materials including porcelain, cement, glass or granite. It’s another popular choice for homeowners interested in cork floors because of the high quality and durability of this option.
5. Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum flooring is affordable and comes in an array of designs. If you don’t like the idea of replacing the floor in your home every several years, you should consider this option.
How to Maintain Your Cork Floor:
1. Use Cork Floor Cleaner Regularly
Cork floor cleaner is recommended for anyone who has cork floors in their home.
It will keep your floor safe and looking its best.
2. Wipe Down Your Floor After Each Use
To keep your cork floor looking new, you’ll want to wipe it down with a clean cloth daily.
This will help prevent dirt buildup on your floors and prevent stains on your furniture as well.
3. Use Furniture Protectors
If you have children or pets in your home, consider purchasing furniture and appliance protectors. This will help you avoid scratches and dents on the cork floor.
4. Don’t Leave Water on the Floor
Never leave puddles of water on your floors for more than a few minutes.
It may cause mold to grow beneath the surface, which can be difficult to clean up.
5. Maintain Furniture and Appliances
Over time, your furniture and appliances will use up the cork’s porous surface space.
You’ll want to periodically clean or replace these objects to prevent damage.
6. Never Rub Oil on Your Cork Floors
Oil attracts dust which can cause scratches and dents on the floor as well as damage to your floor’s porosity and longevity.
It can also discolor the cork flooring over time.
Cork floors are an excellent addition to your home because they add beauty as well as durability to any room in which they’re installed. Cork is a renewable material that’s easy to install, repair, clean and maintain.