Cork flooring has gained much popularity in recent years as it is a sustainable material that does not necessitate ancient trees or tropical rainforest products like parquet floors.
Cork flooring is also compostable, which means it will degrade into the surroundings at the end of its lifetime.
Cork flooring, as the names indicate, is made of the exact substitute as the cork fixed in a wine bottle. The bark of Cork Oak is an environmentally friendly flooring choice.
Cork flooring planks are sourced ethically from living cork oak trees, primarily found in southwest Europe and northwest Africa. The trees can survive up to 200 years, rendering them a long-lasting green material.
The cork does not function like a conventional hardwood surface, which draws us to some intriguing cork floor realities.
But is this flooring material the best option for your house? If you are considering this flooring option, keep reading to learn about the cork flooring pros and cons.
Table of Contents
Pros of Cork Flooring
There are several significant benefits of cork flooring to modern buildings. Some of them are:
Cork plank lasts longer than hardwood floors. It is an extremely tough material that prevents breaking and abrasions while remaining impervious to gas and liquid. Cork floors can perform for more than 40 years if properly maintained and cared for.
It is a fantastic choice for large family homes or homes with excellent foot traffic because of the performance.
Cork flooring recovers quickly, so creases caused by light furniture or human impacts are not irreversible. But scars from heavy furniture might be problematic.
2. Best Insulation (No cold floor)
Cork’s insulating properties are fantastic; kudos to thousands of tiny air pockets that make it warmer in the colder weather and cooler in the spring and autumn.
Cork is also an instinctual thermal and sound insulator, so cork-floored rooms are innately warm and silent.
Configure a cork set up in your bedroom, and you can accommodate a vibrant dinner party in the hallway while your children are sound asleep.
Cork flooring was used in NASA’s heat shield for the Mars Rover, as it is scientifically proven for its temperature-regulating properties.
Only rug surpasses cork flooring for heat if you are the type of person who shivers to the spine when you step on the cold ground on Christmas.
Cork flooring can also assist you in saving money on your heating and cooling bills. The exact property that insulates the room against noise also reduces heat transfer into or out of a cabin in the summer and winter.
3. Healthy And Hypoallergenic
Cork flooring is a fantasy floor for those who are fascinated with sanitation. Cork, unlike carpet, manages to repulse dirt particles, hair, and other tiny particles from its surface, making it simpler to keep clean.
Furthermore, cork has antimicrobial properties – cork includes a waxy material called “suberin,” which innately deflects small vermin and insects. Cork floors are thus resistant to bugs and can contribute to a sterile environment.
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, cork floors are a great alternative. Furthermore, because cork floors are hydrophobic, they do not promote the development of mildew and molds.
They do not emit VOCs or other dangerous substances into the atmosphere. As a result, they contribute to the preservation of indoor air quality.
4. Environmentally Friendly And Sustainable
Cork and bamboo are the leading contenders for genuinely eco-friendly floors that reduce carbon footprint.
The distinction between the two is that the cork tree endures harvest, rendering it a renewable resource. These trees are kept healthy by stripping away the bark every couple of years.
Cork oak trees (Quercus Suber) have a lifespan of up to 200 years. Cork bark can be collected up to 20 times every nine to twelve years after it reaches 25, with the first harvest being the least beneficial due to the defects.
The trees are so well-protected that even automobiles are prohibited in the area, requiring all harvesting done by hand and foot.
5. Fire Resistant
Another family-friendly component of cork flooring is that it is a safety-friendly choice. Cork is fire-resistant, making it ideal for use in kitchens.
Only at extremely high temperatures will it dissolve or inflame. Even if it does spark, cork produces fewer fumes and does not emit poisonous smoke or substances when unintentionally combusted.
Cons of Cork Flooring
Cork flooring offers numerous advantages, whether looking for a new kitchen floor or configuring wood flooring in the main room, guest room, or living areas. But there are some disadvantages of cork flooring.
Cork’s convenience and environmental helpfulness come at an expense. While it is not the most costly flooring, it is more pricey than several other composites.
Cork flooring tiles have an average cost of between $4 and $14 per square foot, based on the thickness of the particles, the performance of the cork, and the finish.
The professional setup is relatively inexpensive, and cork flooring costs about $2 per square foot.
While the cost of cork flooring is cheaper than most wood and stone alternatives, it is costlier than laminate, vinyl, and linoleum flooring.
Furthermore, low-cost solid cork tiles will not be as sturdy or resistant as higher-quality, more expensive products. And it certainly cannot be a DIY project.
2. High Maintenance
While cork is relatively low-maintenance, some facets may be too “high-maintenance” for an ordinary homeowner.
In a broad sense, these types of Cork flooring can be spattered by oil, grime, and sloshes if not fully secured, making it unsuitable for use in a cooking area.
Cork floors, like other hardwood floorings, require sealants for defense. Every several years, cork floors must be retained and resealed. Cork flooring’s thin coating of sealant requires special attention.
It should be swept or damp-mopped constantly, and one should use only gentle cleaning solvents. Never use oils, solvents, waxes, or ammonia-based products on cork floorings.
Cork floors with worn-out topcoats are more vulnerable to water damage, and cork floors without protective coating can collapse.
However, a no-shoes policy, frequent sweeping, and vacuuming can usually extend the life of your sealant.
3. Not Great For Humidity Issues
Cork flooring is more waterproof than other types but is not 100 % water resistant. To defend your cork floors from spillages, you should seal them regularly.
You should never mop cork flooring with much water because excess moisture can distort and damage it beyond repair. Cork floors repel fluids from minimal spills when adequately sealed.
On the other hand, standing water and moisture from high humidity can permeate the surface, damaging the joints and causing the slabs or pavers to expand and bend.
Cork is therefore unsuitable for moist or humid environments such as the bathroom, laundry room, or cellar.
We can use cork flooring in the restroom, but proper installation and joint waterproofing are required.
4. Sun Damage
The sun is yet another of cork’s flaws. Cork is not the best flooring for vibrant rooms because it fades in direct sunlight.
Moderate natural light is alright, but ensure the sun isn’t shining down on it for extended hours.
Direct sunlight can fade cork color over time, so keep that in mind when determining whether to use it in a brightly lit environment.
Using curtains or blinds to block the sun off the ground can be beneficial, but you will have to ensure the glass covering is properly placed daily, which can be inconvenient.
5. Not Scratch Proof
And, of course, cork is more likely to scratch than tile, cement, or wood flooring. The gentle, warm sensation under your feet indicates that the outer layer is innately padded.
Over time, heavy chairs, pet paws, and everyday foot traffic will leave a blemish. Blunt artifacts, such as heavy equipment, can pierce the surface and cause irreparable damage.
Cork is possibly not the ideal material for your floor if your dog likes to glide around the residence or if your cat likes to flex and scrape. Your pet can easily cause irreversible damage to segments of your floor.
Summary of pros and cons of cork flooring
|Healthy And Hypoallergenic|
|Environmentally Friendly And Sustainable|
|Not Great For Humidity Issues|
|Not Scratch Proof|
That’s all there is to it! All you need to remember about cork flooring! It does offer great value for money, and advanced cork floors are designed to last for years with adequate care.
But before purchasing, carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of cork flooring. You might discover that this lovely flooring complements your residence.
Cork flooring is eco-friendly and pleasant underfoot, making it an excellent choice for incorporating organic elements into your house.
Nevertheless, the upkeep and scratch resistance may be inadequate if you have a busy household with pet claws.
If you are interested in another type of flooring option, find out if laminate flooring is an ideal choice for your anti-scratch cork flooring.
(Last Updated on August 31, 2022)