2 May 2024
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All your questions answered

The retro aesthetic and practical comfort of cork flooring has captured the attention of modern renovators, interior designers, and architects from all over the world. 

Among many other benefits, its unique combination of earthy tones, luxe textures, and thermal-regulating qualities have made cork a popular choice for a variety of projects. 

However, the decision to incorporate cork floors into your designs might be clouded by lots of unanswered questions or misconceptions. From installation and maintenance to durability and cost, here you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for and more.

 A residential home with cork flooring in Hawthorn with an opened dining room and kitchen, showing a clean and minimalistic aesthetic space.

 

Applications and practicality

Is cork flooring sustainable?

Cork stands at the peak of sustainability. It’s harvested by hand from the bark of the cork oak tree, which is carefully stripped without damaging it. The bark then regenerates, making it a completely renewable resource. 

These trees support the biodiversity and health of cork oak forests, and as the bark regrows, it actually removes CO2 from the atmosphere. That means the entire process, including production, is carbon-negative. As a flooring material, cork is also recyclable and biodegradable without toxic coatings that break down into the environment. 

Click to read more about the full lifecycle of cork flooring.

 

Are cork floors durable?

Yes, cork floors are remarkably resilient! Their unique cellular structure and inherent elasticity make them ideal for moderate-traffic areas, standing up to everyday wear and tear. This distinctive design also provides a luxurious underfoot feel and excellent shock absorption. 

However, it’s important to remember that cork can be susceptible to damage or scratches from sharp objects. Heavy furniture can also indent the cork, but given time, it will spring back to its original shape. 

 

Where is cork flooring used?

Cork’s natural warmth, acoustic absorption, and hypoallergenic qualities make it perfect for various environments, including living areas, bedrooms, and commercial spaces. 

While not traditionally considered for water-prone areas, professionally sealed cork flooring can also be a beautiful and functional addition to your kitchens and bathrooms, as long as proper care is taken to avoid prolonged moisture exposure.

 

Can cork flooring get wet?

Cork has a cellular structure that makes it especially water resistant. The presence of Suberin, a waxy substance found in cork cells, acts as a barrier that repels spills and moisture. 

But keep in mind that cork is not entirely waterproof. Prompt cleaning of spills and avoiding long periods of standing water are crucial for maintaining the lifespan and beauty of your cork flooring.

 

Does cork help with soundproofing?

Absolutely! The cellular structure of the cork also absorbs sound vibrations, making it an ideal material for areas requiring noise reduction. This translates to quieter rooms and a more peaceful environment.  

Whether you’re designing a serene home library, a music studio, or a comfortable workspace, cork flooring contributes to a more tranquil and productive atmosphere.

 A residential home with cork flooring in Hawthorn showing a cozy living room with sofas

 

Installation and maintenance

What are the types of cork flooring?

There are two main cork flooring installation methods: floating and glue-down. Floating cork tiles utilise a click-lock system for fast and easy installation, while glue-down provides a more permanent bond with the subfloor, offering superior stability and soundproofing.

Click to read more about the two different types and the pros and cons of each.

 

Does cork flooring need underlay?

Our cork flooring products have a unique multi-layered construction with built-in underlayment to simplify the installation process. Both floating and glue-down options have a natural cork veneer at their core, enhancing the natural properties of cork and prioritising ease and effortless elegance. 

 

Does cork flooring need to be sealed?

Sealing your cork floors will further protect them from moisture and stains. At Market Timbers, we offer a prefinished range called Cork Wise and Cork Essence, which are sealed and ready to be installed. We also have an unfinished range called Cork Pure, which requires sanding and sealing onsite.

 

Can cork floors be refinished?

Yes, they can! Cork floors offer the benefit of regular refinishing and easy repairs to keep them in pristine condition. The refinishing process differs depending on which products are chosen but most minor scuffs and scratches can be remedied through special cleaning products. 

 

Is cork flooring easy to clean?

Maintaining the elegant look of your cork floor is refreshingly simple. Regular sweeping and damp mopping with a basic solution recommended by the manufacturer is all it takes to keep your cork floor looking its best. 

Cork’s naturally stain-resistant properties make cleaning effortless, allowing you to spend less time maintaining them and more time enjoying your comfortable new space.

 

Cost and Value

How expensive is a cork floor?

The undeniable beauty and unparalleled comfort of cork flooring might make you think that it comes at a premium price. While it can range in cost depending on factors like thickness, tile size, and specific features, Market Timbers offers cork flooring options to suit a variety of budgets, starting from $84.95 + GST per square meter.

 

Your go-to cork flooring experts

Our team of flooring specialists are dedicated to providing tailored solutions to turn your design visions into reality. Whether you’re seeking guidance on installation, maintenance, or design options, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Get in touch today.

 

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