Why you should use cork flooring in your next design project
When it comes to designing a space, the choice of flooring plays a significant role in creating the desired ambiance and functionality. With the growing awareness of environmental sustainability, homeowners and interior designers are seeking eco-friendly options that not only enhance aesthetics but also contribute to a greener planet. One such flooring material that has gained popularity in recent years is cork flooring. Renowned for its unique properties and sustainability, cork flooring offers a myriad of benefits that make it an ideal choice for any design project. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of cork flooring while considering its limitations, aiming to encourage homeowners and interior designers to embrace this eco-friendly flooring solution.
What is Cork Flooring?
Crafted from the bark of cork oak trees (Quercus suber). Harvested every nine to twelve years, this sustainable material allows the trees to continue growing and regenerate their bark naturally. The harvested bark is then processed into cork flooring, providing a renewable and environmentally friendly choice.
Cork flooring comes in two forms, a click tile or a stick down tile. The click option tends to be most popular as it’s very quick and easy to install. Similar to a laminate floor each board can be quickly clicked together. The stick down tiles are a bit more time consuming so install and will require more preparation work to the sub-floor. However they give more choice when it comes to laying patterns such as chequerboard.
Benefits of Cork Flooring:
Cork flooring stands out as a sustainable choice due to its renewable nature. The cork oak trees are not cut down during the harvesting process, making it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwood flooring options.
When the cork tree is regenerating it’s bark it is absorbing 5 times more carbon from the atmosphere compared to tree that is not regenerating.
Durability and Resilience
Despite its soft and cushiony feel underfoot, cork is remarkably durable and resilient. It can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as living rooms, kitchens, and hallways. Additionally, its natural elasticity allows it to compress and bounce back, reducing the risk of permanent indentations and damage.
Comfort and Insulation
Cork offers exceptional comfort and insulation properties. Its natural composition comprises millions of air-filled cells that act as shock absorbers, providing a cushioned surface to walk on. This makes cork flooring ideal for spaces where prolonged standing is common, such as kitchens or work areas. Furthermore, cork’s insulating properties help maintain room temperature and reduce energy costs.
Unwanted noise can be a significant concern in many households. Cork flooring possesses excellent sound-absorbing qualities, reducing impact noise and minimising sound transmission between floors. This makes it an optimal choice for apartments and multi-level homes.
Hypoallergenic and Easy Maintenance
Cork is naturally resistant to allergens, mold, and mildew, making it an excellent option for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions. Its smooth surface discourages the accumulation of dust and pet dander, contributing to better indoor air quality. Moreover, cork flooring is low-maintenance and can be easily cleaned with a damp mop and mild cleaner.
Versatility in Design
With a wide array of colours, patterns, and textures available, cork flooring offers versatility in design options. Whether you prefer a modern, sleek look or a rustic and natural aesthetic, cork flooring can complement various interior styles, allowing you to create a space that reflects your unique personality and taste.
Limitations of Cork Flooring
While cork is resistant to moisture, excessive exposure to water or liquid spills can cause damage over time. It is crucial to wipe up spills promptly. When installing cork flooring in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms ensure you select a range that is recommended for humid environments.
Vulnerability to Scratches and Dents
While cork flooring is highly resilient, like most flooring it can still be susceptible to scratches and dents. Placing protective pads under furniture legs and using doormats at entryways can help minimise the risk of damage.
Fading with Sun Exposure
Like many other flooring materials, cork can fade when exposed to prolonged sunlight. Using window coverings or applying UV-protective films can help minimise the impact of direct sunlight and preserve the flooring’s appearance.
Cork flooring is a remarkable eco-friendly flooring option that offers a plethora of benefits for homeowners and interior designers alike. Its sustainable nature, durability, comfort, insulation, noise reduction, and low maintenance make it an ideal choice for any design project. While it is essential to consider the limitations of cork flooring, these can be effectively managed with proper care and maintenance. By opting for cork flooring, you not only create a visually appealing and comfortable space but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
Embrace the beauty and eco-friendliness of cork flooring in your next design project, and let your space shine with style and sustainability!