It is inevitable, almost everyone no matter how long they have lived in their house, wants to replace their flooring at some point. Do you have carpet that is covered in pet stains, juice, coffee or wine stains? Carpet gets matted down and shows wear patterns quickly. Alternatively, maybe you have hardwood floors that are full of scratches and dents. Linoleum that is peeling up at the edges and seams and has rips and tears in it.
No matter what type of flooring you currently have. If you are not happy with what you are walking on, it can reduce the value and appearance of your home dramatically. If you are considering a new floor, you owe it to yourself to look into cork flooring as an option.
What Is Cork Flooring?
Cork has been used in a variety of capacities for thousands of years including flooring. Because of all of the wonderful properties found naturally in cork, it is a perfect choice for flooring, sound proofing, and of course in wine bottles.
Cork is taken from the bark of the cork oak tree. The cork can be harvested after the tree is 25 years of age. And after that, the tree can be harvested every nine years for the rest of the lifetime. In addition, since each cork oak tree can live to be over two hundred years old, cork is a renewable resource, making it an excellent option for environmentally conscious consumers.
How Durable Is Cork?
When you think of cork, you may think immediately of wine corks or small cork plugs that are used to plug bottles of all shapes and sizes. You may have had the experience of a cork used in a wine bottle breaking off into your wine. If this has happened to you, you might be wondering if cork really is strong enough for a flooring option.
The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, cork is probably one of the strongest flooring options available on the market today! Cork is much less affected by impact and friction than hardwood, laminate or tile flooring. Therefore, cork can stand up to much more use and abuse than any other flooring type.
In fact, cork has an amazing resistant and is extremely resilient to pressure. If you stand on a cork floor with high heels, the floor will make an impression or a dent. However, when you remove the pressure, the floor will spring back to its original shape almost immediately, and leave no lasting mark or impression! This is handy if you plan to place any heavy furniture on your floor. With other types of flooring such as carpet, heavy furniture will leave a permanent mark when it is moved. However with cork, when you remove the furniture, the floor with look as good as new.
When you drop heavy items on tile floors, they are prone to cracking and breaking. However, with a cork floor, the item will not leave a mark. This is an excellent property if you have small children or are just clumsy!
What About Water?
Cork contains a natural substance called suberin. Suberin is a waxy type of substance that makes the cork impervious to liquids and the cork will not rot if it is exposed to water or liquid like a hardwood or laminate. This makes cork flooring a perfect choice for kitchens or bathroom areas. Cork is the best seal around which is evidenced by the use of cork to stop up wine bottles for centuries.
If you spill anything on a cork floor, you do not have to worry about staining or any other damage, you simply wipe it up, and the mess is gone. Unlike carpet or hardwood where you would have to worry about a permanent stain or discoloration of the floor.
What Other Properties Does Cork Have?
Cork is the perfect choice if you suffer from allergies or if you have an illness that requires your living environment to be very clean. Because cork is a natural barrier to insects, common problem insects such as termites and ants cannot get into the flooring and infest the house.
In addition, cork is naturally germ resistant which means that no allergens can hid in the floor such as with carpet. The floor will not absorb dust or allow any molds or fungi to grow. It is easy to clean and is not produced with any harsh chemicals, which makes it the perfect choice for people suffering with allergies or any major illness.
Can I Install It Myself?
If you are a do it yourselfer and you like home projects, than cork is definitely something that you can install over a weekend. Many manufactures are now producing cork-flooring tiles with a glue-less technology. You simply snap the tiles in place like a floating floor. This makes the installation easy and it does not require any special tools.
The Final Decision
Cork is the perfect choice for flooring if you need something that will stand up to use and abuse, be long lasting, is resistant to water and stains and be safe for the environment. An excellent value for your money, cork will last forever and is only half the price of many other popular flooring options.