When thinking of a sustainable finish to your house, does flooring ever cross your mind? is an eco-friendly floor even possible? Yes! Turns out that cork isn’t just great for wine bottles. It can be used as an environmentally friendly option for your floor.
Why use cork flooring?
People have used sustainable cork flooring in their homes for over 100 years. Its usage spiked in the 60s and 70s. But after that it declined again. Today, cork flooring is gaining popularity once again due to its many wonderful eco-benefits.
Cork comes from the outer layer of the cork oak tree. This gorgeous tree grows primarily in the sunny climates of southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. Cork oak is unique. That’s because its bark is able to regenerate itself after being harvested, meaning you never need to cut down the tree.
And that makes it a naturally sustainable material. The cork oak also has the capacity to retain carbon, and a harvested tree contains up to five times more carbon than an unharvested tree.
Benefits of using cork flooring
If being a naturally sustainable product isn’t enough to convince you, here are more reasons you should use cork flooring:
Cork is soft and flexible, and is perfect for rooms where you will be standing for long periods of time, such as the kitchen (this also means glasses will have less chance of shattering if they’re dropped). It is also a popular choice for children’s rooms, as it provides protection for falls.
Great insulator for sound and heat
Cork is made up of millions of air pockets, which block out noise. Having cork on the floor will insulate a room and prevent noise escaping through the floor down through the ceiling below. You’ll also save money on heating and cooling, as its insulating features allow it to retain heat during the colder months, and keep the heat out during summer.
It is very hygienic
Carpets tend to get filled with dust, hair and specks of dirt. This can cause problems for people with allergies. With cork flooring, there’s no need to worry as the material repels all of these. It also repels insects, mold and mildew due to a waxy substance called suberin. And it’s also much easier to clean than carpets.
Cork flooring is easy to keep clean, and only needs sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt. It is impermeable to liquids and only needs a quick wipe for spills.
With all these great features, you would think that cork flooring has a high price tag attached to it. The good news is, it doesn’t – cork flooring is comparable in price to other flooring options such as laminate, carpet, hardwood and vinyl. Depending on the style and design, you can expect to pay anything between £13 and £50 per m².
Puretree is one of the top retailers of cork products in the UK. A family run business based in Devon, they offer a wide range of cork products for all types of interiors. They work closely with designers to create stylish cork flooring, walls and fabrics.