Most industries today are looking for natural and renewable materials to use. The reality is that we’re all trying to go green, or rather, reduce our collective carbon footprint, and utilizing materials like cork is definitely one way to do it. In general, cork has been used for centuries as a green construction material in other countries. However, in the US, cork flooring didn’t burst on the scene until much later. That said, if you’re currently looking for greener or more eco-friendly flooring options, but aren’t sure about cork flooring, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top benefits of cork flooring, along with several reasons why you should invest in this flooring type.
Besides being an eco-friendlier option, cork flooring is durable. Not only is this flooring type less likely to crack or be damaged by liquids and gases, but cork flooring also maintains its original shape. As a result, furniture indentations aren’t permanent, and when maintained correctly, your cork flooring will likely last decades.
Another benefit to cork floors is that they are truly a healthy flooring alternative. Cork is naturally resistant to termites or other insect infestations, mold, and pesky mildew. Moreover, cork is anti-microbial, which means it inhibits the growth of microorganisms without chemical additives. Cork floors don’t negatively impact the air quality either (no off-gas or microfiber shedding), which makes them by far the best choice for people who suffer from indoor allergies.
What’s more, cork flooring is comfortable to walk on and provides adequate cushion even when barefoot (thanks to its ability to give when compressed). Plus, cork floors are surprisingly soft and truly offer a more unique walking experience than regular or standard flooring. Due to its cushy and soft feel, people have reported that they experience back and joint pain relief. Consequently, cork floors are popping up just about everywhere—commercial kitchens, offices, yoga studios, indoor play areas for children, and of course, in the home.
Natural acoustic insulation
Cork flooring is also a natural acoustic insulator, which means it effectively reduces the noise in just about any space. This is why you often see cork walls in musical venues/studios and other areas where noise insulation is key.
Besides being a natural insulator for noise or sound, cork is also a great thermal insulator. When used for flooring, cork provides an easy and cost-effective way to insulate your floors/subfloors. Furthermore, due to its honeycomb cell-like structure, heat transmission is reduced in the summer and increased during the winter. As a result, your home is better insulated, you’ll likely use less energy when it comes to heating and cooling your home, and you should see a reduction in your overall utility bills.
Cork flooring is highly water-resistant as well. This means cork flooring can be used in just about any room. In addition to being practically waterproof, the design of cork flooring makes it even more difficult for water or liquids to penetrate. If you’ve ever wanted a cork floor in your laundry room, bathroom, or mudroom, now, you can have one. Note that cork flooring is, for the most part, self-cleaning, but you can still sweep, vacuum, and wipe it down with a damp mop—just make sure you use the recommended cork floor cleaner.
Likewise, cork floors are fire-resistant, which means they won’t easily melt or ignite. That said, cork flooring is flammable at very high temperatures. Nevertheless, this particular flooring type generates less smoke and doesn’t release a high amount of toxic material (unlike vinyl or other non-fire-resistant floorings). For these reasons, cork floors are highly recommended in multi-family housing, as they are likely to help save lives.
Cork flooring is available in two types—water-based and polyurethane/acrylic-based. For a tougher or more resilient floor, polyurethane cork flooring is best. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an eco-friendlier option, then water-based cork flooring is the obvious choice. This particular flooring type also comes in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors. Plus, you can choose between cork tiles or planks. For example, a professional can use different colors of cork tiles to add a design to your floor if you wish. But then again, if you prefer a more seamless look, you should discuss your cork plank options with a flooring expert in your area. If you don’t have a flooring professional already or you’re looking for one that specializes in cork floors, then reach out to a homespure.com flooring expert for further assistance.
Despite being a fairly new concept in the US, cork floors are rather inexpensive. In fact, having cork flooring installed, on average, will cost you less than $1,800, and the flooring itself ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot. Moreover, due to all the benefits mentioned above, your cork floors will practically pay for themselves in the long run. Consequently, cork flooring is one of the most cost-effective green flooring options available today.
Lastly, cork flooring is a practical choice. Not only is this flooring type affordable and eco-friendly, but it’s also durable and can last up to 40+ years. Furthermore, cork floors are safer, healthier, and even biodegradable. Plus, the overall manufacturing process generates little to no waste. Finally, cork can be used as noise-reducing underlayment or padding for ceramic tiles, hardwood floors, and laminate. As a result, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason not to invest in cork flooring.
These are just a few reasons why cork flooring should be your go-to option when looking for eco-friendly and affordable flooring. Obviously, the benefits here are too good to pass up. If you’re interested in greener floors in your home, workspace, or building, then don’t hesitate to reach out to a homespure.com expert for more information.