I just realized that the only time I’ve posted about cork flooring is when I told you that Martha Stewart put it in her kitchen
! Am I totally loosing it or what?
Well, now that I think of it, you’re probably thinking that I’ve completely lost it by even thinking cork can be made into a good floor covering option. I mean, come on, isn’t that what they make cork boards out of?
Yup, we’re talking about the same ingredient here! And, no, I’m not going crazy. Cork is a great option for a floor! Did you know there is a cork floor in the Library of Congress
And, thankfully, there are many different design options than this…
Like isn’t this room stunning?
Or this one?
But what about the durability? What if I told you there was a beautiful cork floor available that was backed by a Lifetime (for as long as you have it in your home) Residential Warranty and a 5 Year Light/Medium Commercial Warranty?
I’m not kidding. Almada Cork by USFloors
is that high of a quality (and still less costly than many hardwoods)! I bet I have your attention now, right?
Now, why would you possibly want cork in your home over…
Here are just some of the unique benefits of cork.
- Softer underfoot – because of the resiliency of cork you have a much softer floor underfoot. This increases the comfort (and safety if you’re thinking about a children’s rec room or a kitchen).
- Highly sustainable – when harvested, the tree is not harmed at all and will be able to produce again very quickly PLUS all cork floors are actually made from the left over cork from the wine bottling industry.
- Very healthy – remember that Almada cork I told you about from USFloors? That holds a v.3 LEED rating and the highest Greenguard certification.
- Bug repelling – insects such as mites and termites (not to mention mold) really don’t like this floor.
- Fire resistant – due to its natural waxy characteristic (Suberin), it is very difficult to burn cork and when it does combust it doesn’t release any harmful gasses.
- Insulation – because of the pockets of air trapped by the unique cell structure of the cork, it is the best hard surface floor for insulation. If you like the look of hardwood/bamboo and other benefits of hard surfaces but are concerned about warmth and insulation, take a look at cork. The average R value (measure of insulation) of carpet is 1.4 and the average R value of cork is 1.2 while the average R value of hardwood/bamboo is 0.7 and ceramic is 0.25. This same property helps the floor feel warmer underfoot (or cooler in the warm months) and helps insulate against sound (hence why it is often used for music and entertainment rooms).
But where can cork be used? Anywhere in a home (restaurants also like it!) Due to its durability it can be placed in high traffic areas of the home such as the kitchen. And due to its high moisture resistance (remember, they use it to seal wine bottles!) it can also be used in half baths (we’re cautious about showers and bathtubs though a sheet of cork would be a good option), mudrooms, utility rooms, and entryways.
So, what are your thoughts? Is cork an option for you?
Oh, and so you know about it’s popularity in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States (especially Central Maryland/the greater Baltimore region); I have now worked with 5 people who were considering a cork floor since November 2011! Two of those clients have already had it installed (and it looks beautiful, they are completely thrilled), one just started her project but is dead set on cork, and the other two are between cork and hardwood.
If there are any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, call me at the office (410-480-0087), or send me an email at Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know!