Benefits of Cork Flooring
Cork flooring is one of the most practical forms of
flooring available on the market today, but it has yet to
be discovered by many homeowners. Not only is it an
attractive flooring option, it also has a long list of
benefits most homeowners would appreciate. Cork flooring
is environmentally friendly, durable, resistant to insects
and microbes, naturally insulating and acoustically sound.
Cork flooring is no more expensive than comparable
hardwood or laminate, and in some cases it can cost as
little as half as much. There are many different colors,
patterns and styles available, so there is a cork floor to
suit any interior design scheme.
Unlike hardwood floors, cork flooring is manufactured only
from the bark of trees. Rather than cutting down the whole
tree, only the bark is harvested periodically. The tree is
then left to regrow its bark to be harvested again at a
later date making it a renewable resource. Some cork trees
are 800 years old. The harvested bark is then ground into
tiny pieces to make the cork flooring. Different colors
are achieved by baking the bark in ovens. Paint and stains
can also be used on unfinished cork to achieve the desired
One of the best benefits of cork flooring is its
quietness. The cellular make up of cork makes it naturally
sound absorbing. This quality makes cork a prefect choice
for a higher level condo or the second floor of a home.
Walking on hardwood flooring can be very loud in the rooms
below it, but not with cork. Cork has a sound-deadening
quality that is similar to carpeting. It can also be used
as an underlayment (a layer underneath the surface
flooring) for hardwood, laminate, tile and other types of
flooring to create and effective sound barrier.
Cork flooring is also a great choice for lower levels as
well because it is a great insulator. Even when it is
installed directly on concrete, cork floors stay warm
under your feet. If you live in a region that gets cold in
the winter, the insulating properties of cork flooring
contribute to energy efficiency. Even a cork underlayment
will provide significant insulation in the cold months.