Often overlooked as a flooring option, cork is fast making a comeback. When compared with the traditional rivals such as solid timber flooring, floating floorboards and vinyl, the virtues of cork are numerous and worth paying attention to.
Cork flooring is durable and unbelievably, can have a lifespan of beyond 40 years. As a hard wearing option, it resists cracking and is impermeable to gas and liquid. Best of all, it bounces back which means that indentations left by furniture aren’t permanent.
Cork has a very high melting and inflammation temperature which means that it’s highly fire-resistant. In the rare instance that it did combust, it generates far less toxic material than other flooring materials.
Cork is is a fantastically healthy choice as it’s amazingly anti-microbial and resistant to mold and termites. It also doesn’t off-gas or shed microfibres which results in a much better indoor air quality.
When cork is compressed it ‘gives’ providing a comfortable cushion underfoot which keeps your feet happy. As a natural thermal and acoustic insulator, cork flooring can transform any space into a warm and quiet room.
The inherent pattern and colours of cork flooring penetrate the depth of the material. This means that over time, these decorative characteristics are retained, lengthening the lifespan of the flooring and keeping it lovely to look at.
Cork flooring is itself a byproduct of the manufacturing of cork stoppers for wine. As a consequence, there’s almost no waste generated from its manufacturing process. It’s made from the outer layer of the cork oak bark which must be at least 25 years old before the bark can be harvested for the first time. Following that, cork can be harvested every 8 to 14 years. Cork trees are known to live for up to 800 years, however the average lifespan is 150 to 200 years.