You might not have every really thought about it, but cork is good for numerous other items aside from wine bottle stoppers. Cork flooring is a unique and often overlooked type of floor covering.
Cork has been manufactured and used since ancient times, but cork flooring has only been around for a little over a century. Its heyday was in the 1950’s.
Cork is made from the outer bark of evergreen oaks. Evergreen oaks AKA cork trees grow in the Mediterranean region, and they are able to be harvested about every 10 years — meaning that cork is much more environmentally friendly than wood . Unlike regular trees, cork trees do not need to be cut down. The bark can be harvested without damaging the tree. The tree will just grow a new layer of bark – doing so 12 to 13 times during the tree’s lifespan. Cork trees are both renewable and sustainable. The material is also biodegradable.
Cork flooring comes in an infinite number of patterns and colors. Cork is naturally a light to dark tan, but it can be dyed almost any color. The color can fade over time due to exposure to sunlight.
Pros of Cork:
Cork resilient and more comfortable to stand on than wood or tile. It is low maintenance, antimicrobial, and resistant to water and insects. The material will not mold or mildew.
Cons of Cork:
Because cork is soft, it is susceptible to damage. It is also porous, so it requires periodic sealing. Cork can also fade over time due to sun exposure.
Other Types of Flooring:
If you’re not sure if cork is right for you, you can learn about other types of flooring here.