It’s reaching the end of the year! So, we here at BuildDirect figured it might be valuable to talk about some of the trends we’re expecting to see in 2014. This post will touch on cork flooring specifically.
Cork flooring is a unique mix of the traditional and the cutting edge. The best cork flooring in the world is harvested by hand. Talk about your traditions! But, once the bark of the cork oak tree is harvested (without harming the cork oak tree, mind you …), the effects you’re able to get in a cork plank are definitely modern – if you need them to be.
This is why cork flooring is being used in so many more spaces as the 21st century progresses. So, in response to what we at BuildDirect are seeing when it comes to cork flooring trends, this is something of an overview of textures, treatments, and design applications you can expect to see more of in 2014.
Take a look!
Cork flooring and cutting-edge printing technology
What do these aspects have to do with each other? Well, it’s pretty simple. Digital imaging and floor manufacturing have a pretty robust recent history. For instance, the paper layer in laminate flooring is created using high-definition print technology. That’s how a manufactured product can resemble a natural one with such visual accuracy. But, now printing directly on a cork surface is expanding what cork flooring actually means to consumers.
Using UV-curable ink, it’s possible to create a convincing surface that mimics other materials, while still leveraging the benefits of cork flooring; impact resistance, resilient surfaces, natural moderate temperature control, and beyond. But, that’s just the marketing talking! What is means when it comes to design and the transformation is more options in 2014 for cork floors in all kinds of spaces beyond the traditional look of a cork surface.
Cork flooring in wood grain patterning
It’s because of this advanced printing technology that the look of wood flooring will be matched with the comfort of traditional cork flooring. And as stated above, cork flooring that suggests wood surfaces like hickory and acacia wood floors is going to become more and more mainstream in 2014.
In addition to that is what’s known as “long plank” style of cork flooring, which we’re already seeing today. This mirrors the traditional long planks you can find in traditional wood floors. So even if you’re still looking for the distinctive whorls and speckles patterning in standard cork, your space can get that traditional “flow” of wood floor boards.
Matching the design of long boards with new high-definition print technology directly on a cork surface will make for some stunning results in 2014.
Natural stone patterns in cork flooring
Maybe you saw this coming. But, it stands to reason that if print technology can reproduce the intricate patterns and subtle variations of wood surfaces, then stone surfaces in cork flooring in 2014 won’t be too far behind. As you know, the look of travertine, marble, granite, slate, limestone, sandstone, and other kinds of natural stone are distinctive. That high-tech printing technology is set to demonstrate how those distinctive appearances can be incorporated into warm, and naturally sound-dampening cork.
Cork flooring in 2014
Even if the best cork in the world is harvested in a traditional way, that tradition is meeting with modern manufacturing when it comes to creating cork flooring planks and tiles. This coming new year, and into 2014, high definition printing will expand your possibilities for cork flooring in a wider variety of natural surface effects.
This is great news for those who want the unique benefits of cork floors, and the look that comes out of wood, stone, and ceramic surfaces.
In the meantime, here’s a video that talks about the benefits of cork, which are beyond the trends:
Your cork floors?
Have you ever considered cork flooring? Why and why not?
Where are some prime areas of your property where the benefits of cork might be most applicable?
Does the trend of wood grain and natural stone patterning in cork floors make you curious about what you can do with cork on a design level?
Let me know all about it in the comments section of this post.