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Is Cork Right For Me?


Even if you've already decided to install cork flooring, check out our Flooring Tips and Fast Facts chart below. This chart will show you how cork stands up to other floor coverings, based on a list of factors floor buyers commonly consider when planning a new flooring purchase.

Cork Flooring Products

Is Cork Right for Me?

Cork flooring appeals to different floor buyers for different reasons. Those looking for eco–friendly flooring discover cork is an environmental over–achiever: safely harvested, turned into cork flooring with minimal waste (all of which is used in the production of more flooring), and recyclable. Floor buyers concerned with cushion and comfort find cork flooring is easier on the feet and knees (as well as fragile, dropped objects) than hardwood and other floors. Cork floors muffle sound, a plus for second–level flooring projects or rooms where an extra measure of quiet may be desired, such as a music room. Cork flooring offers these and other benefits while adding a warm, inviting feel to a home.

Although cork flooring can be a positive addition to a living space, bear in mind that all cork is not created equal. Cork is a natural product and cork oak trees produce cork of varying densities; the denser the cork, the stronger and more durable the cork floor. Many manufacturers advise against installing cork flooring below grade in basements and bathrooms, due to the risk of heavy moisture or standing water damage. Others maintain certain types of cork flooring (such as mosaic cork tiles) are ideal in these rooms if installed properly. This may include sealing the concrete or using a moisture barrier with a floating cork installation. Opinions differ as to whether cork flooring is a good choice for high traffic areas. While some manufacturers say it is not, others point to cork floors installed more than a century ago which are still in use today; evidence that cork flooring is tough enough to use in these settings. strongly advises you to review the manufacturer's recommendations in advance. This way you'll be sure their flooring meets your needs, and your flooring project won't conflict with their warranty.

There's a lot of homework involved in choosing the right floor, and wants to help you get it done. Review our Cork Flooring Buying Guide before you purchase your cork floor. You'll find useful information on every step of the process, from selecting a color to selecting an installer and keeping your floor looking like new. If you want to install your own cork floor, we've got you covered. Consult our Do–It–Yourself (DIY) Cork Flooring Installation Guide and let our flooring professionals help give your flooring project a beautiful result. developed this flooring comparison chart to give you food for thought when making your flooring choice. We hope you'll find it helpful.

Flooring Comparison | Flooring Tips and Fast Facts
Flooring Concern Bamboo Carpet Concrete Cork Hardwood Laminate Linoleum Rubber Stone Tile Vinyl
Durability D*     D     D       D
Works for bathrooms D*     D*             D
Works for basements       D* D*   D*        
Safe for small children                      
Withstands heavy foot traffic   D             D D  
Moisture resistant     S           S S  
Eco–friendly varieties available               D   D  
DIY friendly D     D D   D D D D D

D = depends on the type of flooring you choose
S = if sealed properly
* = the best case scenario, with proper care and maintenance

Will your cork floor be handled in–house or put into the hands of a professional flooring installer? Our Pro or DIY? section will help you understand both options.