Cork Flooring: Pros, Cons, and Installation

cork floors in Mechanicsville Virginia

Cork has been used as a flooring material for many years. If you are looking for an all-natural flooring that is sustainable and beautiful, this is a great option for your home. Cork floors are not a new phenomenon, having made their debut more than 50 years ago, but have experienced a rebirth as of late because of their retro styling. Cork is available in a large variety of colors and patterns, and comes in planks and tiles. Cork is derived from tree bark. It may also be retrieved from cork bottle stops, like those common to wine bottles. The reclaimed cork is baked into sheets that can be cut into planks for flooring. The cork used in flooring is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree. Because this process is done without damaging the trees, cork is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly floors available in the market. 

The Pros of Cork

The biggest advantage of cork flooring is that this type of flooring is a naturally sustainable material. In addition, cork, like wood floors can be refinished, thereby requiring less frequent replacement. Take a look at these other amazing benefits:

    • Sound Control- the cell structure of cork helps to absorb vibration, reducing the sound transfer between floors. It is great for recording studios, entertainment rooms and other places where sound needs to be controlled. 
    • Resiliency- Cork’s strong elastic properties also makes it softer underfoot and a lower-impact floor. 
    • Insulation- Cork naturally maintains a comfortable temperature, never feeling too cool or too warm to the touch.
    • Hypoallergenic- Cork does not absorb dust or other allergens.

Things to Consider

Like everything, cork has some aspects it is important you have in mind before making any final decision about your floors:

    • Smell- Like most natural products, it has a detectable ‘earthy’ odor. If you are sensitive to smells, order a sample and place it in the room before making any final decision. 
    • Climate Reaction- Like wood floors, cork reacts to changes in relative humidity and heat. 
    • Fading- Cork can fade in direct sunlight. Window treatments are recommended to minimize this effect.
    • Also, because it is softer than wood, heavy furniture can dent cork. Furniture pads should be used under large pieces.

Installation

Cork tiles are often glued down with standard adhesives, similar to vinyl tiles. However, some tiles are available as pre-glued, which reduces the installation time. Planks may also be glued-down, however, the majority of cork planks are floated allowing them to be used with a variety of subfloors including wood and cement slabs. If you are in interested in finding out more information on cork flooring, visit L&M Carpet One Home & Floor or contact us here and let one of our experts guide you in your purchase. We have the trained flooring specialists that will help you determine if it is the best option for your home.