What Are the Pros and Cons of Cork Flooring?


Quick Answer

The pros of cork flooring are that it's easy to install and gentle and warm on bare feet. It absorbs sound and is environmentally friendly. The cons are that cork floors tend to swell when they get wet and they are subject to damage by high-heeled shoes.

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Full Answer

Heavy furniture can dent a cork floor, and coasters should be placed beneath the feet of heavy furniture items before they're placed on a cork floor. Like other types of wood floors, cork floors can benefit from a polyurethane sealant that's applied every few years or so. Cork floors tend to fade if they are exposed to strong light and perhaps shouldn't be installed in a room that gets direct sunlight.

Cork flooring is considered to be environmentally friendly because trees don't have to be killed to provide the cork. Cork comes from a type of oak that grows in the Mediterranean. The cork is stripped off the tree and processed without damaging the tree. In a few years, the cork grows back.

Cork floors can either be glued to a subfloor made of plywood or cement board, or they can be installed as a "floating floor," using planks that easily snap together.

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