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How Insulating is Cork Flooring?

Cork is the only flooring material with natural thermal insulation ability. Its insulating qualities are due to its composition; cork is made up of 14 sided cells – with 60 to 100 million cells per cubic inch. Each of these cells are insulated and have an enclosed gaseous mixture sealed within them. Due to this, cork tissue is considered 90% gaseous on a ratio, and is a very low density material.

Hard working cellsphotomicrograph of cork cell

Since cork cells act like air pockets, they make cork floors incredibly efficient when it comes to thermal and acoustical insulation. They are also why cork floors are the best non-conductors of heat and cold, preventing heat loss in rooms and even body heat loss through the feet. Cork flooring also helps maintain a comfortable median temperature, preventing a very hot or very cold interior environment.

A comfortable choice

Walking barefoot on cork flooring can immediately prove its warmth. In tests it’s been shown that less heat is lost through the feet with a cork floor than with hardwood, vinyl, or ceramic floors. Therefore, cork flooring will feel warmer to the touch than many other flooring choices. This means that another benefit of cork flooring is the reduction of heating costs in your home or office.

Because of its low thermal conductivity, cork flooring is ideal for applications over cement subfloors. Its natural thermal insulation properties allow cork floors to provide an optimal floor temperature all year round, even without underfloor heating.

Is thermal insulation important for your space?

Click here to take a look at our online selection of genuine Portuguese cork flooring. Discover the right look for your space!

(3) Comments

  1. I just moved into my apartment and there is dry cleaner below me which radiates heat through the floor. If I put cork overtop the existing wood floor, will the cork floor help keep the heat out? I dread my upcoming electricity bill this upcoming summer and am looking for ways to insulate the floor. Aside from cork, anything else you could recommend? Thank you, Nate

  2. BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

    Hello Pat.

    Thanks for your questions. It really depends on how the cork was installed, however it is always best to remove an old floor before installing something new. As for the Heated Pad that would also be dependent on the specific materials that you are using.

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