Cork flooring is giving a new meaning to soft and dent resistant floors. When reviewing cork flooring pros and cons you will probably decide that the pros will more than likely beat the cons. Made from the bark of a cork tree, cork flooring is environment-friendly by its nature. The cork oak tree is the only tree who can regenerate its bark after each harvest and leave the rest unharmed. Harvest is done every nine years in a restricted and responsible environment mandated by law.
If you enter a house and your feet touch soft ground, chances are the floor you are standing on is covered with cork flooring. The softness comes from cork’s unique cellular structure which is made up of tiny air-lock pockets which is resistant to pressure. This same softness makes walking on cork floors easy on the body, from the leg, knees, hips and back. If you stand on your feet too long, the cork floor also cushions your weight so that it doesn’t put extra strain on the sole.
Cork is also impervious to pressure, which doesn’t dent the cell structure but rather traps the air inside so that it springs back when the pressure is lifted. This unique resiliency is what makes cork floors easy on accidents. Say you make a dent on your floor. Don’t panic. Just wait. That same dent will disappear from your cork floor in no time. Unlike hard floors which are hard on dents, cork floors have the ability to cushion pressure then spring back to its smooth finish once the weight is removed. Just avoid moving heavy equipment like a fridge or a piano on your cork floor. If you have to, put protective covering on the floor before you start rolling your furniture around. You also don’t want sharp edges to make deep cuts onto your cork flooring.
Because it is composed of millions of air pockets that trap air inside, cork flooring also make an effective heat/cold conductor. In other words, it warms the temperature in your house unlike ceramic, stone, vinyl or hardwood floors which are colder to the touch. Cork floors or tiles can also be installed in the bathroom or kitchen, and keep them heated, too, for that matter.
Since cork is essentially 60% air, it has the ability to absorb vibrations and loud impacts and acts like an air cushion. Meaning, it provides an all-natural sound proofing to keep loud noises and vibrations muffled or out of hearing from the rest of the house. Cork would work great in recording studios, music rooms, and entertainment rooms. Just build the rooms with cork floors, ceilings and walls and muffle the sounds with cork.
Cork flooring is also composed of Suberin, a waxy substance that can repel bugs, mites, molds and termites. If you’re allergic to carpets, then you might consider using soft and warm cork instead. Suberin also prevents rotting, even if the cork has been under water a long time. Although cork flooring is not completely moisture-resistant, its structure does make it highly resistant to water penetration. Manufactures coat their cork flooring with a water-based finish which make them extremely resistant to water or stain.