Choosing the right flooring for your kitchen is a tough decision and, let’s face it, there’s no shortage of options out there! From a simple laminate floor to a wide range of tiles to choose between, it’s hard to know what will fare the best in such a high-traffic room. But an option you may not have considered is cork flooring. Attractive and versatile, it’s definitely a top contender.
Where Does Cork Flooring Come From?
Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees. The material is first ground and then processed into sheets. Next, they are baked in a kiln to produce the tiles that will line your kitchen floor. This material most usually originates in Southern Europe, particularly in Portugal. This is because these areas have an abundance of the cork oak species and because it's practical to hand-harvest the material there. These regions are where the flooring material is likely to be harvested, manufactured, and sourced.
If you haven’t heard of cork flooring, you’re probably wondering if it’s a new development. It has actually been around for quite some time, gaining popularity by the end of the 19th century. In the early years of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright was commonly incorporating this type of flooring into the public buildings he designed, which added to the rise of awareness about this material.
The Advantages of Cork Kitchen Flooring
Now that we’ve run through a simple history of cork flooring, let’s delve into the advantages of the material. There are an abundance of benefits to this flooring choice.
Cork flooring is a highly economical choice as it’s quite inexpensive. This material could be as cheap as $1.10 per square foot, which is definitely a steal! Of course, the price varies depending on the characteristics and color of the material chosen, but it's by and large an economical selection, which is a huge benefit.
The nature of cork flooring means that its soft and yielding beneath your feet. Everyone loves adding an element of comfort to their home, so why not ensure your kitchen floor encompasses just that? Especially because you’re bound to spend much time in your kitchen on your feet, it's even more important for the flooring to be comfortable and supportive. Because cork flooring is a great deal softer than wood or tile, it also makes this a safer choice for children and elderly adults. In the case of a fall, cork flooring provides more cushioning than an alternate material would.
Cork flooring is environmentally friendly. The bark taken from the trees will grow back and its use doesn’t have a negative effect on the trees. Additionally, the process of creating the cork is straightforward and produces very little waste. That goes to show that this is a floor you can truly feel good about installing and having in your home!
Because the inside of cork flooring material is made up of millions of tiny air-filled chambers, the material has great insulation properties. This will help guard against the transmission of noise in your home, which is great for a space that can produce such an abundance of noise. This insulation could also help you spend less to cool and heat your home. The flooring material will keep hot air out of your home in the summer and can assist in keeping warm air in your house in the winter, conserving energy.
Another advantage of cork flooring is that it’s moisture-resistant. This is particularly helpful in the kitchen, which is prone to enduring spills. The material is resistant to moisture due to a waxy substance found in cork called suberin. This substance also boasts the advantages of being quite fire-resistant as well as insect-resistant.
Resilient and Durable
Cork flooring is a durable choice, and it’s resilient enough to endure even a high-traffic kitchen. This is a floor that’s sure to last! The durability of this material is why it’s chosen to line many public buildings, such as courthouses, libraries, churches, and banks. This type of flooring can also be easily repaired.
As mentioned above, it’s not uncommon to experience spills in your kitchen, which means you’ll want flooring that is simple to clean and easy to maintain. Cork flooring doesn’t require special chemical cleaning products—just a mop and soapy water.
As you can see, cork kitchen flooring is a great option for a wide variety of reasons. Not only is this an attractive flooring option, but it boasts a range of other benefits that you and your family will love to enjoy in one of the most important rooms in your home.