Cork Flooring: Discover the Versatility of Cork Floors

Are you in search of a versatile, comfortable, and eco-friendly flooring option? Look no further! Cork flooring offers a unique blend of benefits that can transform your living space. Here at IB Flooring, we specialise in all types of flooring and cork is no exception. Let’s delve into the origin, benefits, aesthetics, installation, maintenance, and comparisons of cork flooring, as well as introduce you to top cork flooring brands. If you’re looking for cork flooring in your home or office in Sussex and and the South East, we’re the experts you’re looking for.

Cork floors

Key Takeaways

  • Cork flooring is an eco-friendly and sustainable material with excellent insulation, comfort, and durability.
  • It offers a variety of customisable options in terms of style, pattern, colour & finish as well as installation methods.
  • Proper care & maintenance are essential to extend the lifespan of cork floors. 

Understanding Cork Floors

Cork flooring originates from the bark of cork oak trees, which are primarily found in the Mediterranean region of Europe. This unique flooring option has gained popularity due to its warm, natural aesthetic, and soft material that provides a comfortable walking surface.

Available in a range of forms, including slices of cork or granulated cork blended with resin binders, cork flooring offers a wide array of possibilities for your home or commercial space.

Traditional Cork Flooring

Origin of Cork

Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees predominantly located in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, cork is a renewable resource. The cork oak tree’s incredible ability to regenerate its bark makes it an eco-friendly and sustainable flooring material choice.

The next time you step on a warm and comfortable cork floor, you’ll appreciate not just its beauty, but also the environmentally conscious process used to create it.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of cork flooring involves grinding the bark of the cork oak tree and fusing it together under immense pressure to form a heavy sheet of cork. This procedure allows cork’s inherent characteristics, such as longevity and insulation, to be maintained in the flooring.

Most cork used for flooring comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, harvested every nine years, ensuring a sustainable life cycle for this remarkable material.

Advantages of Cork Flooring

Cork flooring offers numerous advantages that set it apart from other flooring materials. Its comfort, insulation, and sustainability make it a highly desirable option for both residential and commercial spaces.

As a natural, renewable resource obtained from the bark of cork oak trees, cork flooring is an environmentally friendly choice that also boasts impressive durability.

Comfort and Softness

One of the most notable benefits of cork flooring is its soft and cushioned surface, which is perfect for extended periods of standing and providing a pleasant atmosphere in your space. Cork’s natural composition consists of millions of tiny air-filled cells, resulting in a cushiony experience underfoot that distinguishes it from traditional wood flooring.

The next time you stand on a cork floor, you’ll appreciate its softness and the relief it brings from fatigue and discomfort.

White Cork Floor

Thermal and Acoustic Insulation

Cork flooring’s thermal and acoustic insulation properties are nothing short of astounding. The air-filled chambers within the cork enable it to effectively insulate both sound and temperature, making it an ideal option for maintaining a comfortable environment in your space.

With its low thermal conductivity and resistance to heat transfer, cork flooring is a natural insulator that contributes to energy efficiency and soundproofing in your home or office.


Cork’s status as a renewable and biodegradable material makes it a top choice for eco-friendly flooring options. Here are some reasons why:

  • Harvested without cutting down the cork oak trees
  • Cork flooring is sustainable and environmentally responsible
  • It contributes to a lower carbon and chemical footprint compared to other flooring alternatives

Choosing cork flooring is not just a decision about aesthetics and comfort – it’s also a commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Aesthetics and Design Possibilities

Cork flooring offers a natural look that adds warmth and character to any space. Its attractive grain patterns, natural hues, and contemporary designs make it a versatile choice for various interior styles. With a wide range of flooring products available, cork flooring stands out as a unique and eco-friendly option.

Cork Floors

Natural Look

The natural appearance of cork flooring ranges from light to dark tones, offering a warm and sophisticated look that complements various interior design themes. Its delicate beauty can enhance any living space, creating an inviting and comfortable atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression.

Cork Flooring

Customisable Options

Modern manufacturing techniques have expanded the design possibilities for cork flooring, allowing it to mimic the appearance of hardwood, marble, or even concrete. With a multitude of styles, patterns, colours, and finishes available, cork flooring can be tailored to suit any taste or decor.

The flexibility in installation methods, such as glue-down (Dry Back), floating, and click-lock systems, further adds to the customisable appeal of cork flooring.

Cork Fabric

Comparing Cork Flooring with Other Materials

Cork flooring provides numerous benefits, but it’s also important to compare it with other popular flooring materials like hardwood, bamboo, and vinyl. This section will cover the unique characteristics of cork flooring in comparison to these alternatives, assisting you in making an informed decision about the best flooring option for your needs.

Cork flooring is a natural material made from the bark of the cork oak tree.

Cork vs. Hardwood

Cork flooring is softer and more insulating than hardwood, providing a comfortable surface underfoot and excellent sound absorption. However, hardwood flooring may be more durable and resistant to scratches and dents, making it a better option for high-traffic areas.

While cork is a renewable resource harvested from cork oak trees, hardwood requires the felling of trees, making cork a more eco-friendly choice.

Cork vs. Bamboo

Both cork and bamboo flooring are eco-friendly options, as they are derived from renewable resources. However, cork offers better insulation and resilience compared to bamboo, making it a more comfortable choice for your living space.

Bamboo flooring, on the other hand, is a harder material, providing greater resistance to scratches and dents.

Cork vs. Vinyl

Cork flooring is more comfortable and environmentally friendly than vinyl, offering a softer surface underfoot and sourced from renewable materials. However, vinyl flooring may require less maintenance and be more resistant to moisture, making it a suitable option for areas prone to water exposure.

Ultimately, the choice between cork and vinyl flooring will depend on your specific needs and priorities, such as comfort, durability, and environmental impact.


In conclusion, cork flooring is a versatile, comfortable, and eco-friendly flooring option that offers numerous benefits, such as insulation, sustainability, and a natural, warm aesthetic. With various installation methods, design possibilities, and top brands to choose from, cork flooring is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial spaces. We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into the world of cork flooring, inspiring you to consider this remarkable material for your next flooring project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the downside to cork flooring?

Cork is a soft material and is prone to scratches, requiring regular maintenance and surface refreshing. This makes it unsuitable for those looking for long-lasting, perfect-looking floors.

Is cork flooring good for flooring?

Cork flooring is an excellent choice for flooring due to its soundproofing qualities, durability, easy installation, hypoallergenic nature, resistance to damage, moisture-repellent and thermal insulation properties.

Is cork flooring better than hardwood?

Cork flooring offers several advantages over hardwood such as sound insulation, thermal insulation, and comfort. Its memory foam-like constitution can absorb and deflect impact shock.

As such, cork flooring is often a better choice than hardwood.

Is cork cheaper than hardwood?

Cork is a cost-effective, eco-friendly and sustainable resource, making it cheaper than hardwood.

Is cork waterproof?

Cork is a naturally waterproof material and is commonly used to make bottle stoppers.

However, other cork-based products like flooring require regular sealing in order to protect them from spills and maintain their water resistance.

Wicanders and Amorim Cork are popular brands, 

Different types of floor preparation – flooring grade plyboard FG1 or SP101 for wooden sub floors and suitable smoothing compounds for concrete. 

Acclimatisation period is around 48 hours, 

Cork is also a natural fire retardant it burns without a flame and doesn’t emit toxic gases during combustion.

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