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5 Benefits of Installing Natural Cork Floors

Jan 23, 2008
When thinking about products made from cork you would normally think of wine stoppers and pin boards. However you should never underestimate how wonderful cork is as a flooring material. There are numerous reasons why you would want to buy cork flooring for your home. It provides excellent insulation, it's eco-friendly and is ideal for allergy sufferers.

1# Insulation

With energy bills continuing to climb, cork flooring is one way that you can help in this department. Cork's insulation properties mean that your home will be kept warm in winter and cool in the summer.

Not only does it help with heat insulation but it's great for noise insulation too. Natural cork is a soft material and can help prevent noises being carried around the property. This is especially useful if you live in an apartment and don't want your neighbours to hear you walking about at 3am!

2# Environmentally Friendly

The cork oak is an amazing tree in that the bark can be removed without affecting the health of the tree. They grow in the Mediterranean and the bark is mainly used to produce wine stoppers. Unfortunately many wine growers are turning to plastic wine stoppers or screw-tops because it is cheaper. The problem with this is that the cork oak forests are a wonderful habitat for several special of bird and animal such as vulture, lynx and deer. If people stopped buying cork products what would happen to the cork oak forests? It is estimated that three quarters of forest could be lost within the next 10 years which is why wildlife charities are currently campaigning for a reversal of this trend. If cork growers aren't making money from their trees then they may be uprooted or burnt.

3# Durable

Natural cork is a soft material, so surely it can't be durable? Wrong! It's perfect for standing up to everyday life. Just have a look to see what protective coating it's been given. If it has been treated with several acrylic, urethane or wax then it should be guaranteed to last for 15 years. Some experts say that urethane is the best option.

4# Health Benefits

More and more people are suffering from allergies nowadays so it's best to choose a floor covering which is hypoallergenic. Cork is ideal as it doesn't absorb dust, shed microfibres or contain polyvinyl chlorides.

5# Choice

Natural cork doesn't have to be boring. There are a number of different colors to choose from you'll have a hard time deciding your favourite. The patterns are also amazing looking; it's almost like looking at marble.

You also need to ask the supplier what the density is because this affects how much abuse it can withstand. Look for cork floors with a density of at least 30 pounds per cubic foot. The thickness should also be at least 3/16 inch.

When shopping for a cork floor you will see it in the form of tiles or laminate "floating floors". Tiles are good if you have a smooth flat surface to lay them on however if your floor it rough and uneven then the "floating floor" is the best choice.


If you are an experienced DIY-er then you shouldn't have too much difficulty installing cork floors. You can buy them in the form of tiles or floating floor click system. Before you have your cork floor installed make sure you un-wrap the plastic and leave it to get used to the temperature of the room for 3 days. This might sound strange but cork can expand and contract with the heat and cold.
About the Author
April often writes articles on home and garden site Finer Living which also has articles relating to painting wood floors and natural cork floors.
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