Aside from looking great on the floor, cork has an impressive list of features and benefits that most people shopping for flooring aren’t aware of. Here are some of facts that make cork flooring a great choice when considering a new floor for your home or business.
Beautiful Appearance – No one can deny that cork looks fantastic on the floor. There are a wide array of patterns and colors available to suit any taste or style.
Cork is so durable! – Cork has been around for thousands of years. Just to name a few commercial installations, there is a church in Chicago that had cork flooring in 1890 and is still in use today! The Library of Congress has cork flooring installed. Because of its cellular composition, cork is extremely durable and resilient. It is much less affected by impact or friction than hard surface floors such as wood, laminate or tile.
It’s all sealed up – Cork flooring contains Suberin. This is an intrinsic waxy substance that makes the cork impervious to liquids and gasses. Because of this, it will not rot and is one of the best seals available. This is obvious when you consider that cork has been used to seal wine bottles for hundreds of years. Also, cork floats!
Insect Resistant and Antimicrobial – Most common insects including termites won’t go near a cork floor. Because of its composition, cork acts as a natural barrier against insects. Microbe colonies cannot survive in or on a cork floor so you can also say the floor is germ resistant.
Acoustic, Resilient & Insulating – Again, due to the cellular composition of cork, its acoustical properties are remarkable. As a perfect example, cork is installed under many other types of flooring (ceramic tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) as a sound barrier when those floors are installed on a second floor or higher. This would be typical in a condo installation where the unit is on the second floor or higher.
The resilience or ability to “bounce back” is also second to none. In simple terms, when the cork floor is subject to pressure, for example a high heel shoe, the cells are compressed. When the pressure is released, the cork snaps back to its original shape very quickly. This is a property manufacturers of other floors and underlayments work very hard to imitate.
While those properties are without a doubt remarkable, cork flooring also acts as excellent insulation. If your home is on the ground level, and you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, cork flooring or cork underlayment will block that cold from reaching your feet.
Hypoallergenic – Cork flooring does not produce any particulate irritants nor does it contain any harmful chemicals, it’s all natural. Also, cork does not absorb dust so it does not cause or contribute to allergies.
Value – Cork floors are an excellent value versus other floors such as hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, marble etc. Depending on the style, pattern, color etc., cork flooring can run as little as half the price of some other floors. With the added benefits and the ecological aspect, cork is an excellent all around flooring choice.