Cork floor tiles could be for you. Find out how they stack up and see cool options. Cork floor tiles are slightly more expensive than bamboo, but are a far more sustainable and ecologically sound product. Cork floor tiles offer a host of benefits and are available in a vast array of patterns and colors. Cork floor tiles are easy to maintain and are as durable as wood.
Why cork floor tiles?
Cork floor tiles are an excellent choice if you are looking for soft warmth underfoot. Some other characteristics of cork floor tiles are:
- They can handle high traffic, children, and pets in terms of durability. Cork floor tiles, if well maintained, can last up to 80 years.
- They are anti-static and anti-allergenic.
- They exhibit excellent acoustic ability (i.e. they muffle sound).
- They are water resistant.
- They can be stained any color. Best to use a water-based stain if you go that route.
- Can be laid without adhesive interlocking tiles are available.
- Can be placed in any room, including basements and bathrooms with a few extra precautions.
Cork floor tiles come in all shades of brown, red, black, pink, green and blue. They can be patterned in a design or mosaic and can have the appearance of wood, stone or metal.
Why are cork flooring tiles good for the planet?
Cork flooring tiles are the most environmentally friendly and renewable material you can use for flooring. Oak cork trees are only harvested once a decade, and only a portion of the bark is removed from the tree; plus, the trees actually benefit from the peeling. Most trees grown for harvest can live up to 100 years. No tree is ever cut. Pesticides and fertilizers are rarely used. No-VOC (volatile organic compound) adhesives can be used to lay the tiles or no-adhesive interlocking tiles can be used. Some companies recycle post-production waste from wine cork and other manufacturers to produce new tiles.
How do I maintain my cork flooring tiles?
Cork flooring does not stain easily, so no scrubbing or harsh chemicals should ever be used. Dry mopping to keep dirt and grit to a minimum and wet mopping with a gentle cleanser is all that is needed in most cases. If an adhesive is used to lay the tiles, you need to wait at least 72 hours before regular use.
Cork flooring tiles "rebound" more easily than some flooring materials. They are capable of recovering nearly 100 percent from compression. However, like with wood, furniture rests are recommended.
Also like wood, even though cork is water resistant, you don't want to leave excess water on the floor. Cork, like bamboo or wood, will also bleach to some degree in bright sunlight.
How much do cork floor tiles cost?
You can expect to pay from $2.50 to roughly $7 per square foot for cork floor tiles. Additional costs include adhesive and labor, if you are having someone install your flooring.
Cork floor tiles have been widely used in the US since the early 1900s and the process of production, including the use of waxes or polyurethane, has only improved the material. There is virtually no down-side when choosing cork floor tiling.