If choosing an eco-friendly flooring material is important to you, consider installing cork in your home. It has great thermal and acoustic qualities, a lovely aesthetic, is lightweight, hypoallergenic, fire resistant, and renewable every eight to 10 years.
Benefits of Cork
Cork is considered a green material mainly because of its sustainability of production. It is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees via a method that is not harmful to the tree, allowing it to regenerate. A single tree can be harvested multiple times throughout its lifetime.
One fantastic quality of cork is its ability to hold in heat, making it a great alternative to cold tile in your kitchen or bathroom. This makes those late night trips to the bathroom more bearable for bare feet. Cork flooring is kinder to the body than hard tile because it is softer and has more bounce. It’s easier to stand on cork for longer periods of time, which is beneficial when cooking. It is also very water-resistant, an important quality in kitchen and bathroom floors.
Many libraries and churches have traditionally used cork floors for their soundproof quality. If you like to keep a quiet house, cork is a great option. It absorbs the sound from footsteps and decreases noise from travelling between rooms. If you are going for a natural look for your home, cork flooring is ideal. It can be done in a variety of finishes, some even imitating traditional hardwood.
With all its great qualities, there are of course some drawbacks to cork floors.
Downsides to Cork
Although cork is water-resistant, it is not waterproof. Spills should be cleaned up right away so they don’t soak in and stain the floors. Protective coatings can be applied, but need to be reapplied every few years to remain effective.
Despite a protective finish, cork is still a soft material. This means it is more easily damaged than other types of flooring. Small scuffs and scratches tend to blend into the non-uniform pattern of cork, but if you’re not careful, sharp objects can gouge chunks out of the floor. Heavy furniture can also leave permanent indentations, which can be prevented by using floor protector pads or pieces of cardboard.
If you’d like to learn more about cork flooring, call Floor Coverings International Maple Grove and find out if it’s the right choice for you. You can even schedule a free consultation and see different flooring samples in your home!
Photo credit: Iriana Shiyan