Expert Advice: Pros and Cons of Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is becoming increasingly popular as more and more homeowners are using green materials in their homes to reduce their carbon footprint. Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees that grow mostly in southern Europe, and strict guidelines ensure that the trees are unharmed during the harvesting process.

Cork flooring is becoming increasingly popular as more and more homeowners are using green materials in their homes to reduce their carbon footprint.  Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees that grow mostly in southern Europe, and strict guidelines ensure that the trees are unharmed during the harvesting process.

Benefits of Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a good option for high traffic areas of your home because it is resilient and provides more cushioning than other flooring options.  Another benefit is that cork is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mildew and mold growth, as well as invasive organisms, making it a good choice for people who have environmental allergies.  It’s available in many colors, some occurring naturally in the bark and others man-made.

It requires minimal maintenance and can help with sound proofing.  Cork stores heat, making it warmer than most flooring options.  Also, it naturally absorbs shock which makes it a superior flooring option for individuals who have issues with their joints.

Drawbacks of Cork Flooring

Cork is more expensive than some other flooring types and should be installed by a professional.   It can be damaged by heavy furniture, so you should use pads to lessen the impact.  Cork is not a good flooring choice for people with pets, because animals’ toenails can damage the floor. It is sensitive to light, so shouldn’t be installed in rooms where the floor is regularly exposed to direct sunlight.  It is water-resistant, but will soak up spills if they aren’t cleaned up quickly.

The Bottom Line

Cork is an excellent choice for environmentally-conscious families, and can serve you well for years to come.  But it’s prudent to consider your lifestyle and the type of use to which it will be exposed.   Under the right conditions, cork is a comfortable flooring choice that excels in insulation and warmth.  Exposed to pets or frequent spillage, it may not be your best choice.

For assistance in installing cork flooring—and for other remodeling and repair needs—contact Handyman Matters at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.