Is Cork Flooring Right For Your Kitchen?

cork floors

Homeowners searching for flooring suitable to the unique demands of the kitchen environment have an ecological option to hardwoods, waterproofed stone or rubber tiles. Natural cork is harvested from the Quercus Suber tree widely grown in Mediterranean countries.

While prime cork bark is utilized for wine and champagne bottle stoppers, the remainder is blended with glue and compressed into soft, serviceable floor tiles. Cork tiles are colored with natural pigments and dyes baked-in during the manufacturing process, offering a range of hues in alternating light and dark patterns. The longer cork is baked, the darker and more vivid its shades.

Cork may also be stained to any custom shade you desire, then sealed with polyurethane finish. Your kitchen is a room where you’re nearly always standing up. Cork’s cellular structure produces a soft surface that’s warm and resilient underfoot for comfort. Its shock absorbing properties are also a better choice than stone or ceramic in a room where fragile objects like cookware, plates and glass may be dropped.

The inherent insulating properties of cork effectively absorb sound and reduce kitchen clatter. Unlike carpeting or porous stone, cork does not harbor allergens, bacteria or dust and can be kept clean with simple damp mopping. Environmental concerns increasingly influence consumer decisions and cork flooring offers unique green properties.

Unlike hardwood from trees that are cut down and require up to 30 years to regenerate, cork bark is stripped from groves of living trees which are left intact and standing for regular bark harvests every nine years. Unfinished or pre-finished cork tiles can be installed over sub-floors of wood or concrete or in many cases over your existing floor, depending upon the material and condition.

Cork may be refinished as required and most signs of accumulated wear and tear removed if the process is carried out according to manufacturer’s instructions.