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How Much Does Cork Flooring Cost?

Typical Range: $500 - $1,400

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*All costs based on 100 square feet

Cost of Cork Flooring

The average cost of installing 100 square feet of cork flooring is $950. The price of more expensive projects is about $1,400 while it can run as little as $500. The total ranges between $5 and $14 per square foot. The amount for flooring material varies based on quality and color, but it usually ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot. Labor and the supplies and equipment for the job runs about $2per square foot.
This impermeable material is found in one of the layers that make up the bark of the cork oak. This tree is unique to northwest Africa and southwest Europe. While it is often associated with bulletin boards and bottle stoppers, it is becoming a popular sustainable flooring choice.
Cork has several benefits. It is environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and sound-dampening. It is also temperature insulating, which helps save money on heating and cooling bills.
Hire a professional who has the necessary tools and experience cutting and laying cork. A pro knows how to prepare the floor and can sand and seal the final product.

Cork Flooring Prices Per Square Foot

The price of cork flooring material ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot or an average of $7.50 per square foot. It’s available in planks or tiles.
Cork looks like compressed particles and is typically ⅓ inch to ½ inch thick. Paint, stain, bleach or refinish to make it look like any other natural material. You can also design an inlay or etch into its surface to create a custom look or texture.

Colors & Patterns

The cheapest cork flooring material costs about $3 per square foot and has the color and appearance of a flattened wine stopper. Other neutral, natural-looking colors are costlier while bright colors are generally the most expensive.
Price of Cork Floors with Traditional Texture
TypePer Square FootPer 100 Square Feet
Natural$3-$6$300-$600
Color$7-$8.50$700-$850
Premium color$9-$9.50$900-$950
Technology gives manufacturers the ability to produce cork material with a striata texture which has the appearance of rough lines.
Price of Cork Floors with Striata Texture
TypePer Square FootPer 100 Square Feet
Natural$8-$8.50$800-$850
Color$10-$10.50$1,000-$1,050
Premium color$11-$11.50$1,100-$1,150

Luxury Vinyl Cork

Luxury vinyl cork flooring amounts to about $4 per square foot. The bottom layer of the plank is an integrated natural cork underlayment. The vinyl top is durable and comes in different styles that look like beech, pine or oak.

Subfloor

Houses are built on subfloors which serve as the groundwork for your floor. Cork is too soft to use in this role. Subfloors are usually made of at least two sheets of plywood or concrete slab.
Repairing or replace subflooring costs most homeowners about $600. Flooring that doesn’t have a sound, structurally-solid base is prone to damage, cracking and buckling.

Cork Underlay

The underlay, for which cork is a popular choice, lies between the subfloor and the floor. The price varies with thickness from $0.55 to $1.30 per square foot. It is typically sold by the roll or sheet and may be cheaper when buying in bulk.
Cork underlay may be used under flooring of the same material so long as the subfloor is sound and smooth, and a vapor barrier is used. It can also be used under hardwoods.
Cork Underlay Costs
Thickness in InchesPrice Per Square Foot
$0.55
¼$0.65
½$1.30
Some types have a built-in vapor barrier to decrease moisture. If yours does not, 12 mil vapor barrier runs about $3 to $4 per square foot.
The cork homeowners use for underlay is different than that used as primary flooring. Top flooring is more attractive and therefore more expensive.
It offers several benefits when used under other materials such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl or tile. It is insulating, easy on the feet and sound-dampening.
Get a Quote for a Cork Floor
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Cork Plank Flooring Prices vs. Tiles

The cost of planks and tiles typically ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot. Quality is the biggest factor in the price per square foot. Glue-down tiles sometimes fall on the cheaper end, but the total price is about as much as click-together planks, after adding the cost to prepare the subfloor.

Average Cost to Install Cork Plank Flooring

Planks average between $4 and $8 per square foot, though they can be found for as little as $3 or as much as $12. They are available in different thicknesses which impact the material cost. The most common densities available are 10, 11 or 12 millimeters. Having a professional install the planks adds about $2 per square foot to your overall budget for a total project typically runs from $6 to $10 per square foot.
Price to Install Cork Planks Per Square Foot
Thickness (mm)MaterialsInstallationTotal
10$4-$5$2$6-$7
11$5-$6.50$2$7-$8.50
12$4-$8$2$6-$10
A homeowner wanting to do the job themselves would have an easier time with planks than tiles. The planks have a middle layer that creates a locking system, so laying this flooring is like clicking puzzle pieces into place.

Price of Cork Floor Tiles Installation

Glue-down tiles average from $3 to $7 per square foot, though more expensive products do exist at up to $12 per square foot. They’re available in different thicknesses. The densities used most often are 4, 6 or 8 millimeters. The total installation project typically runs from $5 to $9 per square foot. Installing tiles may be more expensive than planks because the subfloor needs to be prepped before gluing them down.
Cork Tile Installation Costs Per Square Foot
Thickness (mm)MaterialInstallationTotal
4$3-$3.50$2$5-$5.50
6$4-$5.70$2$6-$7.70
8$5-$7$2$7-$9

Cork Flooring Installation Costs

Cork flooring costs anywhere from $5 to $14 per square foot to install. The price range includes labor, supplies and equipment, which amounts to about $2 per square foot. Several factors can affect the total dollar amount of the project.
  • Project Size: After choosing the right kind of floor for you, the total square footage of a project is always the biggest factor in the cost to install flooring.
  • Site/Subfloor Preparation: Homeowners planning to use tiles need a smooth and sound surface to avoid flaws. Getting the site ready may be costlier than laying planks that require less preparation.
  • Underlay: Cork underlay ranges in price from $0.55-$1.30 per square foot. Material on the more expensive end is denser. If your underlay doesn’t have a vapor barrier built in, 12 mil vapor barrier is priced at $3 to $4 per square foot. It is not needed when laying planks.
  • Sealing:
    • Planks - Sealed in the manufacturing process. Reseal every few years.
    • Tiles – Seal with a clear polyurethane finish and reseal every few years.

Installing Cork over Tiles or Concrete

Use liquid cement at about $13.50 per quart to prepare the existing floor properly before installing cork over concrete. This will fill in any grout lines or cracks in the concrete. Follow with a layer of primer sealer, which costs $10 for a 32-ounce can.
If you’re going to use cork tiles, install underlay first for $0.55-$1.30 per square foot.
If you’re going with planks, expansion joints may be necessary. A joint costs about $2.35 while a 25-foot spool is $125.
Consult with a Pro to Install Cork Flooring
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Cork Flooring Pros & Cons

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Easier on feetSusceptible to damage from sharp objects or heavy appliances/furniture
Insulating (prevents heat loss, dampens sound)Will warp or discolor if not perfectly sealed against water/humidity
Can be refinishedProne to fading if exposed to sunlight
Hypoallergenic/antimicrobialNeeds to be resealed every few years
Safe for children and animalsCompanies don’t offer guarantee for as long as other flooring types
Environmentally-friendlyProne to uneven color/tone variations if not professionally stained
Easy to maintainDoesn’t appeal to all homebuyers
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Floor Comparison

Cork Flooring Cost vs. Hardwood

Cork flooring material costs about $7.50 per square foot but can range from $3 to $12. The cost of hardwood floors depends on the quality and kind of wood used.
Wood flooring is available in solid or engineered. Solid wood and denser cork may be refinished multiple times. Engineered woods lose a small amount of the surface with each refinishing job, which decreases its lifespan.

Cork vs. Laminate

The average per-square-foot price of laminate ranges from $0.70-$2.
Laminate is durable and mimics the appearance of pricier materials. Unlike cork, it’s harder on feet and cannot be refinished.

Cork vs. Carpet

The cost of carpet ranges from $1 to $11 per square foot.
Both types are easy on feet and may require underlay, which is priced from $0.55-$1.30 per square foot. But carpet gets dirtier faster and takes more work to clean.

Cork vs. Tile

The per-square-foot price of indoor tile runs from $0.50-$15, depending on the type. Homeowners typically pay $15-$20 per square foot, which includes material and installation.
Like cork, tile is easy to maintain, durable and non-toxic. Both types also work with radiant heating. Tile doesn’t dampen sound and is hard on feet.

Cork vs. Vinyl or Linoleum

The cost of vinyl or linoleum is, on average, $4 per square foot. However, they can be as little as $2.50 or as much as $7. Both are available in several colors and styles, but vinyl isn’t environmentally-friendly, and linoleum needs to be resealed yearly.
Similar to cork, vinyl and linoleum are softer materials. This makes them easier on feet but more susceptible to damage.

Top Cork Floor Brands

BrandPrice Per Square FootWarranty
Cali Bamboo$4-$625 years
Duro Design$4.65-$6.305-year renewable
Wicanders$3-$6Multiple options
Kraus$4-$8.70Multiple options
We Cork$3.60-$8.30Lifetime (structural), wear (20 years)
TorlysUnavailableMultiple options
APC$4.50-$12Multiple options
Consult with a Pro When Choosing Flooring Materials
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FAQs

What is Cork Flooring?

This flooring is made from cork oak tree bark that has been dried, ground up and compressed with resin.

Is Cork Flooring Expensive?

The per-square-foot price of cork, including material and installation, is comparable to other types of flooring and is generally cheaper than tile.

What is the Cheapest Cork Flooring?

The cheapest cork is plain, has traditional texture and is on the thinner side. It’s available for as little as $3 per square foot.

Is It Good for Kitchens & Bathrooms?

While other types of flooring are better options for these rooms, moisture-sealed cork can be used in kitchens and bathrooms.

Can I Add It Over Radiant Heat?

It can be added over radiant heat, but the surface temperature shouldn’t exceed 82 degrees. Professionals price radiant heating installation at about $3,700.

Does it Work for Commercial or Industrial Surfaces?

Cork works well in commercial and industrial surfaces because it’s fire-resistant and mold-inhibiting. It’s also insulating and comfortable underfoot. It wears down faster in higher-traffic areas, so go with something dense for a longer lifespan.

Can You Stain Cork?

You can stain it before you seal it. A water-based stain is best. One quart is about $11 and covers 135 square feet.

Can I Make a Surface Out of Wine Corks?

Wine corks can make interesting décor. However, we don’t recommend them for flooring due to time and effectiveness concerns.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair or Remove and Replace Cork?

The cost of repairing or removing and replacing the flooring ranges in price, but it varies per job.

  • Repair minor blemishes with wood filler, which is available for about $6.50 for 8 ounces.
  • Removing the flooring is about $3 per square foot including disposal of the debris.
  • Replacing it amounts to $3-$14 per square foot.

Do I Need to Reseal Cork Floors?

Cork should be resealed every few years. Apply water-based polyurethane for about $10 per quart.

DIY vs. Hiring a Flooring Contractor

For the perfect cork floor the first time around, hire a floor professional who has experience working with the material. Homeowners going with planks will have an easier time installing it themselves. Installing tiles requires more prep work and it’s more difficult to correct mistakes.
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