When it comes to flooring options, there are so many that homeowners often get confused as to which one to zero on for their homes. The prerequisites for choosing a particular type of flooring material are appearance, maintenance, durability and more importantly, total cost of installation. One alternative that satisfies all these factors is cork tile flooring. This wood flooring type offers natural warmth to the house, and is perfect for rooms where you frequently walk barefooted.
Cork Tile Floors: Pros and Cons
Taking into consideration that cork flooring in a natural product, many homeowners are opting for this floor type. And the best part is, cork is renewable. This flooring material is produced from wild tropical plants (precisely grass varieties), which regrow after few years. Nevertheless, there are some con sides of this natural floor product. So, if you have been thinking of installing it in your next home improvement project, research about cork flooring pros and cons before making a decision.
- Being a soft flooring material with resilient properties, it is resistant to common scratches and breakage. It tends to absorb shock accompanied with fallen objects, and retains its original texture within a short time.
- The natural insulation of cork flooring is because of its close cellular structure that contains 50 percent air. So, you feel warm as soon as you step on it. Also, cork floor acts as a good sound absorber for homes.
- In its natural state, cork contains a useful, wax like, dicarboxylic acid called suberin. This acid is found to be of great help in reducing fire spread, and also in reducing smoke released during combustion.
- In addition to fire resistance, suberic acid is responsible for offering water resistance to cork tile flooring. Nevertheless, it cannot withstand standing water for a long period. Hence, make sure to soak up water as soon as it spills on the floor.
- It is resistant to unwanted attacks of mold, mildew, bacteria, bugs, termites and insects. In simple words, cork floor rarely causes allergies. Hence, natural cork flooring makes an excellent choice for hypersensitive people.
- The maintenance level of cork flooring is low. But it depends on whether you have opted for wax finish or polyurethane finish. The former calls for waxing once in a year, while the latter requires regular cleaning.
- Another plus point with cork tile flooring is you can install it on your own with do-it-yourself tips. For the purpose, you will need simple floor installation tools. The point is you can cut down the cost of cork flooring installation.
- Similar to other natural flooring option, cork is prone to fine scratches, particularly caused by dust or sand particles that retain in the floor for a prolonged time. This drawback can be overcome with regular sweeping and dry mopping.
- A cork tile surface is not suited for living rooms and areas, where the floor is exposed to sunlight for several hours a day. It is quite likely that your floor color will fade after exposure to harsh sunrays.
- The major disadvantage with cork flooring is weakness or resilience of the material. If you happen to place a heavy object or furniture for a long time in the same area, it may cause permanent damage to the floor.
- Another point regarding cons of cork tile flooring is the color and designs are limited. So, may be you will get the exact color shade that complements your interior décor.
- Coming to pricing of cork flooring, it is expensive like wood floor types. While customized cork tiles cost very high, the regular type is priced about USD 4 per tile. For actual pricing, you can contact your local dealer.
- It requires resealing after very 4-5 years, depending upon the kind of finishing. Say for instance, cork flooring having polyurethane coating lasts for 5 or more years. After this, you need to coat your flooring again to make it resistant to water. In any case, it doesn't stand extreme fluctuations in temperature.
In a nutshell, the advantages of cork flooring outweigh its disadvantages, which is evident from the impressive cork flooring reviews rated by homeowners. Some people even prefer cork tile flooring for bathroom and kitchen. It not only looks great, but also gives a sense of goodness under bare feet. But, you have to be extra cautious with the floor maintenance part for ensuring longer durability.