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Buying Guide: Shop for Natural Cork Flooring

4 min read
Published on June 01, 2022

What You Should Know about Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a beautiful choice, with superior sound insulation, thermal properties, and more comfort. Check out LL Flooring for cork floors that are waterproof, too.

For a beautiful, natural, and innovative flooring choice, it's hard to do better than cork flooring. Aside from the appeal of its warm coloring, cork's inherent buoyancy gives it cushioning that makes these floors especially comfortable. Not only that, but cork acts as an insulator, so it can reduce the sound of thuds from roughhousing kids or the thumps from heavy work boots heading out the door.

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This designer home features Hydrocork Sylvan Brown Oak waterproof cork flooring

This designer home features Hydrocork Sylvan Brown Oak waterproof cork flooring.

Traditional and Patterned Cork Flooring

Traditional cork flooring brings to your home a warmth and beauty that's unique to this natural product. Its luscious creamy colors and attractive detail give your rooms a singular charm, combining high-performance construction with a trend-forward appeal. In addition to natural cork, at LL Flooring we also carry cork flooring in many styles and colors. We give you the option of choosing cool stone and concrete looks, too. Select from frosty whites, grays, and blues that combine with the swirls and detail of authentic limestone and sandstone. LL Flooring's Hydrocork flooring comes in an array of authentic hardwood looks, too. Find creamy honey, whitewashed blue, and rich mocha shades, with the lovely graining of Oak, Pine, Cherry, and more.

High Performance For Modern Homes

Our cork floors offer an innovative flooring option, with an advanced design that takes advantage of cork's inherent strengths while providing additional support and protection.

Layered for Long-Lasting Durability

Both cork and Hydrocork flooring are built by fusing layers of materials together into strong and beautiful planking. Each includes a protective wear layer to provide resistance to scratches and abrasions. Below that, cork flooring offers a genuine cork veneer that gives your floors their natural beauty. If you chose a stone, concrete, or wood look, this décor is printed directly onto the cork veneer. You can select subtle patterns from ReNature that emulate the look of stone. Or, Hydrocork gives you extreme performance and waterproof technology with a beautiful wood look. Layers of cork and medium-density fiberboard then provide your cork flooring with the cushioning and strength that makes it such a hardwearing choice.

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layers of waterproof cork flooring

Hydrocork for Water Protection

In addition to the wear and décor layers, Hydrocork floors include a unique pressfit and a cork composite layer that gives this flooring its enhanced dimensional stability and waterproof protection. This makes it ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and anywhere else spills and splashes might occur.

Improved Sound Insulation for a More Peaceful Home

Another of cork's wonderful natural properties is its ability to diffuse noise and minimize sound. And because cork can be installed on any grade of your home, it's a great choice for upstairs game rooms, speaker-laden media rooms, appliance-running kitchens, and anywhere reduced sound can give you greater peace of mind.

DIY-Friendly Installation

Even those with little DIY experience may find installing cork flooring an achievable project. Hydrocork, with its press-fit design, offers an especially simple technique for a quick and easy install.

Prep Your Installation

Cork is a natural product that expands and contracts in reaction to changes in moisture and temperature. This can have a major effect on the condition of your floors if you don't account for it. It's important to first acclimate your cork flooring to your home's environment in order to prevent the warping, gapping, and buckling that can otherwise occur.

Subfloor Essentials

A clean, dry, and flat wood or concrete subfloor will provide your cork flooring with the necessary support and protection. Cork is suitable for any level of your home and can be installed atop stable non-wood floors, too. If your subfloor isn't flat, your flooring joints can separate or split, causing your floor to fail. In addition, if you're installing over concrete, you'll need to install a moisture barrier first to limit damage from moisture and alkalinity.

Click or Press in Place

Once your cork has acclimated for at least 48 hours and after your subfloor and underlayment are prepped, you're ready to lay your cork planking. Cork flooring uses a simple quick-click install, in which a tongue is inserted into a groove and then pushed down to engage the planks. Hydrocork uses a press-fit technique, in which the tongue and groove are engaged with a gentle tapping of a mallet.

Installation Considerations and Maintenance

You can make your installation look more professional with a few tips and tricks. Adhesives and Silicone Edge glue can help secure planks under door jambs and wherever the locking mechanism might need to be adjusted or modified to accommodate your home's features. If you are installing Hydrocork in a bathroom or anywhere else susceptible to spills, silicone and backer rod is essential for preventing water from seeping through seams.

Tools and Accessories

Flooring cutters make getting the right fit a cinch, while accessories like knee pads and gloves make getting the job done easier.

Baseboards and Molding

Baseboards and molding cover the gaps where your floors and walls meet and give your home attractive detailing while protecting your floors and walls from bumps and abrasions.

Low-Key Maintenance

Sweep your cork flooring with a gentle broom daily or as needed, and periodically use a wet mop and the gentle cleansing products—such as Bellawood Floor Cleaner—that you can find right here at LL Flooring to provide a deeper clean.

Value You Can Count On

Cork is a cost-effective flooring choice, requiring minimal investment while providing maximum benefits. And because it's easy to install, do-it-yourselfers can also save on installation costs.

Explore Your Cork Flooring Possibilities

Combining natural beauty and with improved performance and enhanced capabilities, cork flooring gives your home a distinctive charm and appeal you can be proud of. Thanks to its cushioning and sound insulation, you could enjoy a more comfortable, peaceful environment from the moment you install it.

Cork Flooring Fact Sheet