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 color.

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.

 

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