What is Cork Flooring?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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One of the first and most enduring innovations in the world of modern floor coverings, cork flooring is composed from bark that is gathered from cork oak trees. This flooring is available as easy to install cork tiles, as well as longer sections that can be used to create beautiful cork floors. The material is usually pretreated with a variety of stains and colors, making the tiles and sheets a workable option for just about every room in the home.

An advantages of using cork flooring is that cork is a renewable resource. The bark that is harvested from the cork oak trees replenishes over time. This helps to make the flooring an attractive option for people who lean toward using natural materials in the home, but are also conscious of the environment. Since it is possible to purchase cork in natural, unfinished sheets, the homeowner can even make use of stains and other methods of coloring the material that are in keeping with his or her lifestyle.


Along with the natural unfinished sheets, cork flooring is also available with a few special treatments. Waxed cork is ideal for maintaining a natural look, but is resistant to dirt. It is a good option for high traffic areas. Resin reinforced flooring has an extra layer of protection to the shine of the floor, allowing it to be an ideal choice for a more formal room. Vinyl impregnated cork flooring comes in a wide range of colors, and can be used in kitchens, dens, or bathrooms.

Like any type of flooring medium, cork is often only as reliable as the quality of the installation process. This means that it is important for installers to begin with a level surface for the flooring and to use the correct adhesive to secure it to the flat surface. It is also crucial to read the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation before starting the job. While most cork flooring products can be installed under similar conditions, the manufacturer may have specific instructions that apply when the material is installed in certain climates or applied to certain types of sub-floors.


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