Cork is usually associated with wine bottles and office message boards. Lately, it’s gaining popularity as a material for flooring. It holds in warmth, acts as a sound insulator, and feels springy underfoot. Cork resists mold, mildew, and microorganisms, which makes it ideal for those with allergies. The material is fire-resistant, and it doesn’t give off fumes when burned. Cork also contains a substance called suberin, a material that repels insects.
In addition to being comfortable, durable, and practical, cork flooring comes in a range of colors and styles to suit any room in your home. Did we mention that cork is environmentally friendly, too? Discover what’s available on the market and learn about the types of cork you can bring to your home.
Cork Flooring Colors
You can easily find cork in its natural state: a pale tan. A natural-colored cork floor adds a feeling of warmth to a room. Stained or painted cork flooring is also available. Choose from brown colors that come in light, medium, and dark hues: cashew, sesame, hazelnut, and chocolate are a few of these available colors. Not dark enough? Black cork flooring isn’t as common, but it’s out there. Want something light? Cork flooring also comes in shades of white and gray.
Another cool option is two-toned flooring. Some companies manufacture cork in colors such as green or cherry mixed with natural tones. You can also use our search filter to find flooring that has either a matte or low-gloss surface.
Cork Flooring Patterns and Textures
Just as color choice is important, so too is your choice of pattern and texture. Going with burled cork instead of small granule cork, for example, drastically changes the look of the room. For more texture, go with larger granules. Small granule cork consists of finely ground material. Mix the fine material with medium or large-sized ground cork, and you get medium granule and large granule cork, respectively.
For flooring with more texture than large granule cork, go with burled cork. It looks stunning with its various sizes of ground cork, especially when it’s stained. Peeled cork consists of cork strips placed side by side, which creates a more streamlined appearance.
If you want the look of hardwood flooring without the hardwood planks, make sure to look for cork planks with digital images printed on the surface. The images strongly resemble wood grains such as pine, oak, and maple, and the planks have a smooth surface. Also keep an eye out for stone patterns. Cork flooring companies occasionally create cork tiles that resemble slate, marble, or granite.
Installation Methods for Cork Flooring
You can choose glue-down flooring or a click-and-lock floating floor. Floating floors are more popular because installation is fast and easy. If you’re trying to cover up an ugly vinyl floor a previous homeowner or you installed, a cork floating floor does the job well. It saves you the trouble of removing glued or nailed-on material. You can use it to cover most hard surfaces, including ceramic, laminate, or hardwood flooring. The click-lock design also makes each piece easy to fit together.
A glue-down cork floor takes more time and effort to install, but it gives you the most solid surface and makes for a great underlayment. You can add more soundproofing and heat retention to your home by installing a layer of cork under your carpet or hardwood floor. Just don’t use it in moisture-prone areas such as basement subfloors.
Cork Flooring Thickness
Our cork flooring ranges from 6 millimeters to 13 millimeters thick. What thickness should you get? The answer depends on where you’re installing it and how you want to use the room. How much traffic passes through the area? Thicker cork has a longer life, so a seldom-used office won’t need as thick of a floor as a hallway or living room.
Does your son or daughter like to bang on the drums or wail on the guitar? Install a layer of thick cork between the floor of the practice area and the other floors. While the flooring itself won’t cut out the sound completely, it will help dull the sound. Are small children or older relatives living in your home? Thicker equals better comfort. Put cork flooring in the kids’ rooms, the play area, or any room where your loved ones are prone to falling.
Like other wood-based flooring, you can also refinish cork. Are you planning to sand it down and stain it a different color in the future? Thicker cork gives you more material to work with. Maybe you’re looking for a cost-conscious way to renovate your home before putting it up for sale. In that case, any of our products should do the trick.
Formats for Cork Flooring
Cork flooring comes in plank and tile format, most of which is radiant-heat compatible. Planks are perfect if you want your floor to resemble hardwood or laminate flooring, especially if you get the type with digitally printed wood grain images. We carry plank-style cork flooring that ranges from 7 to 18 inches wide.
You can also find cork in tile format. For a seamless look, stick with one product and install the tiles according to the package directions. If you want to jazz up your look, you can order tiles in different colors and shapes and create a pattern on your floor. Brick and grid patterns are the easiest to create. More complex and visually interesting floor layouts include the herringbone, corridor, and cobblestone patterns.
Cork flooring brings together comfort, flexible style, durability, environmental sustainability, soundproofing, and heat retention — the latter which can help you save money on your heating bill. Create the look of hardwood or stone with patterned cork. Go with unstained cork to make your family room feel warm and natural. The possibilities are endless.
If you’re not sure what to order, browse our collection of free cork flooring samples and try them at home. You’re sure to find something you love.