3 Decisions To Help You Narrow Down Your Cork Flooring Options
Cork flooring has been around for several decades now, made famous back in the 1960-70’s when Frank Lloyd Wright incorporated them into his iconic architecture.
Although it is well known as a subfloor more than actual flooring you would install, like a hardwood floor or tile floor, but “times, they are a changing”. Cork flooring is making its way into the mainstream style of rustic and modern interiors.
Before you order an entire houseful of cork flooring there a few things you should know to make sure it’s a right fit for your project. If it is, you can follow these three simple guidelines to quickly and easily narrow down the right cork flooring.
As with all things in life, not all products are created equal, and cork is no exception. There are three decisions to make about any cork flooring you are considering:
Solid Cork Flooring or Engineered Cork Flooring?
Engineered cork, as with engineered hardwood flooring, is going to be more dimensionally stable than its solid counterpart. Although solid cork flooring is available, it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to wide plank flooring. When you opt for engineered cork flooring you can minimize potential issues, especially if you live in a particularly wet environment.
The design of an engineered floor is to combine a stable core backing with an aesthetic top (called a lamella). This design will play a major role in the durability and performance of the flooring. Generally speaking, the top layer should always be thinner than the bottom layer. Torlys Smart Floors makes a proprietary style of backing called CorkPlus™ , which is made from multiple ply’s and it offers a warm, quiet, underlayment. Engineered cork flooring can also have some additional features built in to enhance the performance. In the case of Torlys Smart Floors, you’ll find gap and peak free construction build into each plank. Download the complete spec sheet below for more information.
One of the benefits of cork flooring, especially when combined with a CorkPlus backing, is the sound deadening qualities it can have. This is why you often see cork flooring and subfloors incorporated into flooring and subfloor designs for multi-family and mixed used buildings.
Wide Plank Cork Flooring or Cork Tile Flooring?
Deciding between planks or tiles for your new cork flooring really comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer tile flooring for areas like bathrooms and mudrooms, while others prefer the wide plank look. Cork is well known for having a lot of texture and variation, the aesthetics of a cork floor don’t vary much from tile to plank, all that really changes is the installation.
One thing to be mindful of when it comes to cork flooring, it can ding and dent a little easier than other flooring systems. If you are not careful, you could also end with a cork floor with a low-quality finish on it that is hard to repair and easily damaged. This can create a headache down the road for care and maintenance, not to mention replacement costs once the flooring wears out. To minimize this problem, make sure you get a floor with scratch and stain resistant finish.
Floating Flooring or Non-Floating Flooring
The final step to selecting the right cork flooring is considering a floating floor or a traditional non-floating floor. What is the big difference?
Floating flooring can be installed with no nails or glue, it literally just floats on to the top of the subfloor. This makes floating flooring so much easier and quicker to install, reduces the cost of buying and installing the subfloor, and it means you can install a new floor even faster! Before selecting a cork floor, check the characteristics and qualities of the cork backing and look at the tongue and groove design to see how the boards will interlock.
Before selecting a floor, be sure to find out how easy it is to repair and replace flooring. If you are considering Torlys Smart Floors you can rest assured that repair will be a breeze. You can literally replace a single board in no time at all if you have any damage – something you would never be able to do with a non-floating floor. Watch the video below for a demonstration.