Cork Flooring

Cork is a progressive design option that offers high-end durability. Cork is a highly resilient flooring because it has elasticity and gives on impact. This makes cork a great option for comfort and sturdiness. Cork is also known for its abundant design options. The versatile material allows for stains in many shades and it can also be painted. You can have the benefits of cork and still match any décor you choose. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option, cork is the perfect choice. This is because cork can be harvested from a tree without damaging the tree or stunting its growth. This makes cork the most naturally renewable resource for flooring.

Types of Cork Flooring

There are a lot of different choices you have to make before making that final purchase. This guide will help you understand the many different options you have and equip you with the knowledge you need to make the best decision. There is a huge variety of color options because of cork’s versatility, but there are only 3 different coloring methods.

  • Stain: You can apply a coat of stain on your cork flooring to give it your desired color. You can get most color options pre-stained.
  • Paint: This method gives your flooring limitless color options. Find a unique look by buying painted cork flooring.
  • Natural: You can always leave the cork as is for a nice light shade. The natural color of cork is a great choice for those looking to brighten up a room, while still creating warmth.

Cork Flooring Shapes

There are only two options when it comes to the actual shape of the floor. You will either get plank or tile. The shape you buy impacts how they can be installed.

  • Plank: The lengths of the planks can vary, but they are installed the same. The edges click and lock together and create a floating floor. They sit above your subfloor or existing floor.
  • Tile: The other option is tile, which can be glued to some wood substrates and concrete. They can be carved to create unique designs.

Cork Textures

The texture of the cork is a large part of the overall appearance. Depending on the manufacturer, you may see different names for the textures than you see here. To define the different textures we will use the most commonly used terminology.

  • Peeled: Strips of cork are laid together, revealing the cork’s organic beauty.
  • Small Granules: Cork is finely ground to create the traditional cork look you are most likely familiar with.
  • Medium Granules: Cork is ground and mixed with medium-sized pieces of unground cork. This gives your floor a varied texture.
  • Large Granules: Cork is ground and mixed with large cork pieces. This gives your floors a highly textured appearance.
  • Burled Cork: Cork is ground up and mixed with cork chunks of varying sizes. This will give your floors a distinct wavy look.

Cork Compositions

There are three different composition types, and each is better installed on different surfaces.

  • Mosaic Cork Tiles: This is usually constructed with a recycled wine corks. The cork tiles are glued to a paper backing. They are installed using mortar and grout that waterproofs the flooring, making it a good fit for wet spaces like bathrooms.
  • Solid Cork Flooring: Cork planks are constructed using ground cork mix. These are best when glued to either concrete or plywood subfloors.
  • Engineered Cork Flooring: Compressed cork is bonded to fiberboard, which gets bonded to uncompressed cork. This creates a floating floor. The fiberboard can come in medium to high density. This is best installed over damaged floors you don’t want to bother removing.