If you’re renovating or updating the flooring in high-traffic areas of your home, experts agree cork should be top of your list. Cork? As in the thing you pull out of a wine bottle? Although it might not be the first option that comes to mind in terms of replacing old carpet, cork is one of the most sustainable, economical and stylish flooring choices available on the market. Here’s why you should consider cork flooring.
Like bamboo, cork is a natural floor that’s quickly produced, is easy on the environment, and is sustainable in the long-term. Cork flooring is created from the bark of cork oak trees, not the wood, which means the trees don’t have to be cut down to harvest the bark; instead, the bark is removed by hand from the trees every 9-14 years once they reach 25 years of age. The bark re-grows at the same quality after a few years because the process of harvesting leaves the tree unaffected. The trees enjoy a long life, forests are not deforested and cost savings are passed along to you.
Cork is fully biodegradable and will readily break down once it has reached the end of its life cycle. The flooring can even be moved from room to room and re-installed with no ill effects making it one of the most renewable and regenerative flooring materials on the market.
Cork flooring tends to repel dust, hair, dirt, and other small particles from its surface and resists insect infestations because it contains a natural waxy substance, known as suberin, which repels vermin and insects while resisting the growth of microbes. This makes cork a much cleaner and more allergy-friendly alternative to carpet which holds on to contaminants like mites, mold and mildew.
Additionally, being a natural substance, cork does not give off harmful gasses like some manufactured materials do which makes it an excellent choice for children, pets or those with sensitivities.
Cork’s natural variations in texture and tone give it a richness and depth even the best manufacturer would have difficulty duplicating. Cork flooring is available in a multitude of shades, shapes and sizes, from small yellow tiles to thick brown planks, offering a natural, earthy feel that fit with a variety of decors and styles. It can even be used to mimic the feel of a hardwood floor! Check out these TORYLS Smart Cork options we carry in store.
Cork flooring has a reputation for being extremely comfortable to walk and stand on. Due to its inherent spring, it acts as a natural cushion that helps to relieve strain on feet and legs when standing for long periods. For this reason, it is often installed in kitchens, project rooms and workshops. This natural cushioning lends itself very well to toddlers who frequently take a tumble or those with joint issues who prefer softer walking surfaces. It also feels warmer than wood, tile or vinyl flooring on the feet, which adds to the comfort of your home.
One of the best advantages to cork flooring is its natural insulating ability. Cork will help keep floors warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. It also makes for an excellent sound barrier and will help prevent noise from passing through floors making it a great choice for basements, jam studios, movie rooms, and rental suites.
Durability & Longevity
Cork flooring is a great choice for homes with children and pets since it resists scratching and scraping and it is flexible enough to bounce back if something heavy drops on it. It’s also resistant to water and other liquids if sealed properly giving it an advantage over its fabricated laminate counterparts. Heavy furniture will not leave permanent marks on the floor whether it’s moved across it or sits in one spot for an extended period of time. In fact, it can last for as long as 40 years, if not longer, if it is properly maintained. Not many flooring materials can boast that kind of longevity.
Ease of Installation & Care
Because of its flexible nature, cork flooring can be applied over top of uneven surfaces such as wood, vinyl and tile flooring or radiant heat systems. It can also be used as an under-flooring for those materials making them softer to walk on. When the surface of cork flooring is no longer pristine it can be readily touched up with a sander and then re-finished every few years.
Visit us in Victoria or Nanaimo to learn more about the best cork flooring options for your home. With over 60 years’ experience in the home finishing industry, our team has extensive, unparalleled expertise to help you bring your dream space to life.