Cork flooring is typically not the first thing that pops into most homeowners heads when they think cork. It’s time to push aside those images of wine bottle stoppers and bulletin boards. Cork tile and plank floors are some of the flooring industry’s best kept secrets.
Cork is a Renewable Resource
For those with an ecological bent, cork may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Cork is the harvested bark of the cork oak. The bark is stripped off the tree, doing it no harm, and then re-grows over a period of about nine years before the bark is ready to be harvested again, making cork a renewable resource and a clean-conscience product for those who might have hang-ups about the ecological ramifications of hardwood or petroleum based laminates and vinyls.
Soft Flooring with a Hard Surface Aesthetic Appeal
One of cork’s most endearing qualities is its texture. While carpet is the only true soft flooring available in the flooring industry, the case can be made that cork is at the very least a close cousin. Imagine the soft give of a cork floor beneath your feet as you hop out of bed and fire up the coffee pot first thing in the morning. It’s tough to beat. Add to that the fact that cork is one of the best insulators around, resulting in warm floors in the winter and cool floors in the summer, and it’s easy to understand why this often overlooked flooring material is the flooring choice of many.
On top of its comfortable feel, cork flooring also looks great once it’s installed and sealed. It comes in a variety of finishes and textures, in both tiles and planks, and the variations in color and texture rival the beauty you get with any hardwood or laminate surface. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also paint cork the color of your choosing. The sky’s the limit!
Low Maintenance and Noise Free
Once sealed (cork tiles and planks can either be bought unfinished or pre-finished, depending on your preference) cork flooring is as easy to maintain as any flooring material on the market. Sweep it regularly and give it a damp mop now and again and your floor will look great for years to come. If the finish ever does dull, you can refinish it and bring back that new floor look almost overnight.
The other big draw of cork floors is that its insulating properties don’t end with temperature. Cork is also a great insulator of noise. If you’ve got children or pets making regular rounds through your home, cork floors should be at the top of your potential flooring list. Compared to hardwoods or laminate, there’s no comparison. You’ll hardly be able to hear the roar of a Big Wheel tearing through the living room, let alone the pitter patter of little feet. Cork is such a great insulator, both in respect to temperature and noise, that many homeowners choose to use cork as a subfloor, even if they decide to install a different flooring material on top.
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why cork flooring is catching on as a prime choice for those looking to get a little something more out of their new floor.
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