What are the Benefits of Cork Flooring?
Cork flooring is an increasingly popular choice for both residential and commercial installations. Due to technological advancements in recent years, cork has become one of the most beautiful and reliable flooring materials around. Scroll down to discover what makes cork a smart flooring choice for your home:
Cork is a beautiful natural flooring product, with many design and stain options available. With naturally varied patterns, each cork floor is unique.
Resilient and able to handle heavy foot traffic, cork floors are seen in public spaces like court houses, churches, banks, and libraries. Also, cork floors have a very long life span and can be repaired if damaged.
Whether you’re standing on your feet all day or working in your kitchen, the air contained in the millions of cork cells give a cushioned feel underfoot. It doesn’t feel spongy but provides sufficient comfort to people standing on their feet for long periods of time. If falls are a concern, cork is a prime choice as a means of reducing impact.
Cork is a natural thermal insulator because of its encapsulated cells. Air pockets in the cork make it one of the most efficient non-conductors of heat and cold. That’s why cork floors prevent heat loss in rooms and even body heat loss through the feet. They help maintain a comfortable temperature, preventing a very hot or very cold environment. Walking barefoot on a cork floor can immediately prove its warmth. Therefore, a cork floor will always feel warmer to the touch than many other choices in flooring.
Acoustical insulation and noise dampening
Among other advantages of cork floors is their ability to reduce the transmission of sound and vibration. Cork has millions of air cells per cubic inch; of which 60% is air. These miniature cellular compartments act as cushions, absorbing vibrations and direct impacts. That’s why cork floors are a great material for recording studios, libraries, entertainment rooms, and any other place where sound needs to be minimized. You can also consider cork for your floor, walls or ceiling if the location has high ceilings and wide expanses of hard surfaces. Cork floors will help to muffle the sound or noise in such situations.
Cork cell membranes are very flexible, similar to honey comb membranes, allowing cork to be both compressible and elastic. This presents a number of advantages. Because of their cellular structure, cork floors are able to endure compression. When cork floors are subjected to pressure or weight, the air in the cells is compressed. The dent springs back when the pressure is removed, thus maintaining the shape of the floor. Cork floors are known to withstand years of foot traffic, dropped items in entrance ways, kitchens, children’s rooms, and the weight of furniture in living rooms. However, it is advised to cover your cork floors with pads before moving furniture across the room. Sharp edges can cause abrasions in the flooring.
Anti-allergenic and insect resistance
A naturally occurring substance in cork called suberin prevents the cultivation of mold and keeps away bugs and mites.
Cork is not completely impervious to moisture penetration, but its cellular composition gives it a high resistance against moisture. The presence of suberin, a waxy substance natural to the cork oak, prevents cork floors from long-term water damage and deterioration.
Suberin lends cork a certain resistance to extreme heat, making it a natural fire inhibitor. Cork floors also do not release any toxic gases on combustion.