Comfortable, sustainable and easy on the eye, cork has a lot to offer. Use our information to familiarize yourself with this natural flooring.
Although cork floors have gained popularity in the last decade, they have been on the market for more than a century. At the very beginning, cork flooring appeared primarily in business and public spaces, although residential use of this material was popularized by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, as he chose the cork floor as a suitable floor covering for many of the houses he designed.
Cork has excellent thermal and acoustic properties
Its popularity hit a high point in the 1960s and 70s until the 2000s, when its retro appeal and sustainable nature made it a favorite piece of design. You wonder how you should jump on the bandwagon? Read about the pros and cons and keep in mind a few special considerations.
Cork flooring is beautiful, light, hypoallergenic, fire and insect resistant, stable and renewable every 8-10 years
Natural cork comes from the bark of the cork oaks, which are mainly distributed in southern Europe and North Africa. Residual remnants of stamped bottle stoppers are ground, pressed and baked as sheets ready to turn into floorboards and tiles. Portugal is the epicenter of the cork industry and produces more than half of world production.
Cork flooring is 100% post-industrial recycled material
If you have ever noticed how quickly a wine cork regains its shape when it is pulled out of the bottle, you have a good idea of how resilient and flexible cork is. Its shock-absorbing structure is easy to walk on – a real longing for places where you stay for a long time, such as in the kitchen or in the gym. (This also means that dropped glassware or porcelain will have less chance of breaking.) Plus, it keeps heat and muffles.
Cork flooring is made from the perfect eco-friendly, renewable and sustainable material
Cork is green and nature friendly. The trees gradually regenerate their bark after being harvested, and the harvesting process itself is tightly controlled to minimize damage. Because the trees can live between one and two centuries, cork is a long-term renewable resource. And if there’s an allergic person in your home, it’s a dream material: It keeps the dust out and contains suberin, a natural substance that repels mold, rot and pests. The fans of cork love its natural variations in tone and texture that even the best manufacturers fail to replicate.
If you prefer to go boldly, cork can be dyed or colored to match your imagination
What is to be considered
Although cork is tough, be prepared to use grooming. Due to crumbs, dirt and other detritus, scars can appear on its surface over time, so it is best to remove the dust once a week. Cork must also be sealed with polyurethane protective coatings every few years. Alternatively, you can use wax, which significantly reduces the chance of the surface scratching. But he also has to be stripped off and sealed again and again. Some cork floors are prefabricated, although they still need regular care to keep in shape.
Cork floors absorb dust
Cork can bounce off small nicks, but big things, for example, if you push the table and tear off a piece of cork, it’s hard to fix. So you do not want to change the furniture unless you put protective sheets on it to make up for the pressure. Similar to the carpet, the cork floor will fade from sunlight over time.
Cork does not always work well in damp areas. Although its natural waxiness repels moisture, stagnant water can penetrate the joints and cause damage. If you really want cork to survive well and long in a bathroom, basement or laundry room, it’s definitely worth consulting with a professional on how to react to water repellency and infiltration.