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All About Cork Flooring

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

You’ve probably studied up on hardwood flooring, and maybe even bamboo and tile, but have you given any consideration to cork? This lesser-known flooring option fills a special niche, and perhaps it’s the solution you’ve been searching for. Here’s why homeowners love to incorporate cork flooring into their new builds, whether they use it in key locations or as their primary choice for the whole house.

Lumber Liquidators Lisbon Cork Almada Click Cork

With easy click-together installation and plank looks, Lisbon Cork Almada Click Cork offers some of what you love about wood flooring, but it’s much warmer and more forgiving on your feet and back.

It’s Comfortable

The primary reason anybody looks into cork flooring is due to its unique physical properties. Cork is harvested from the bark of trees, and it has a honeycomb cell structure that you won’t find in other natural or manufactured materials. This gives it a spongey quality that offers relief when standing for a long time. The cell structure is also insulative; the honeycomb has pockets that slow heat and sound transfer. Cork is far from your typical hard floor, it warms and cools with the temperature of the room, and it can help sound-proof your home. Pretty nifty, right?

The comfort of cork can be appreciated around the whole house, but many homeowners choose to install it in specific areas where they need it the most. For example, those who cook for hours in the kitchen find that cork helps reduce strain from standing for so long. Anybody who’s ever felt the shock of a cold floor on bare feet will love cork in their bedroom. If you have a home gym or a playroom, it’ll provide cushion for floor exercises and weightlifting, and awkward toddlers prone to falling. And it’s great anywhere you might corral kids during a party—like a game or media room—because it’ll help contain their noise. Cork flooring can change how you use and experience each part of the house.

Lumber Liquidators Lisbon Cork Basilica Click Cork

Lisbon Cork Basilica Click Cork is perfect if you’re going for a very light and bright aesthetic and want a natural product. Easy maintenance means cleaning is a breeze, too!

It’s Durable

Cork’s relative softness means that it can be damaged by things that other types of flooring could withstand, but with proper care, it will hold up just fine. In fact, cork flooring often comes with a warranty similar to that of hardwood. If manufacturers put that much faith in their product and recommend very simple maintenance to keep it in good condition for decades, you can trust that it’s not as delicate as you think.

Cork is resilient and the cell structure has memory, so it can bounce back from being compressed. That said, if you have very heavy furniture—especially with narrow legs—you should look into using floor protectors. You’d probably do this with other floorings to prevent scratches and movement, anyway. When it comes to cleaning cork, it asks for regular sweeping or vacuuming to lift debris, because that friction could scratch the floor. Just spot clean or mop with minimal water when necessary. To extend its life, have it resealed every few years like you’d do with any other natural material. Properly cared for, cork will last a good long while!

Lumber Liquidators Lisbon Cork Medina Cork

With natural tones that show off a unique pattern, Lisbon Cork Medina Cork underscores that it’s made from bark. It’s sustainable and comes with a Greenguard Gold certification, so you’ll feel great selecting it for your home.

It’s Eco-Friendly

One of the best things about cork is that it can be harvested without damaging trees. The bark is peeled off and then the tree is left alone to regrow it. It can be harvested again in about nine years, so it’s a lot more sustainable than wood, which requires felling, replanting, and allowing trees to mature again, which takes a minimum of 30 years and can be upwards of hundreds depending on the species and climate. If you want to be environmentally conscious as you build or renovate your home, choosing cork flooring is a great decision!

If cork has piqued your interest, check out the tile and plank styles available from Lumber Liquidators. You’ll find light, medium, and dark tones to suit your aesthetic, and all of them carry a GreenGuard Gold certification for indoor air quality. That means they’ve been third party tested and passed strict safety criteria. Between this and all the other benefits, cork flooring proves to be a smart and healthy choice for everybody!