More and more homeowners are choosing cork flooring over hardwood. Characterized by its composition of natural cork oak materials, it offers several advantages over its counterpart. However, there are also disadvantages to cork flooring. So, if you're thinking about installing new cork flooring in your home, you should familiarize yourself with its pros and cons.
Pro: It's Inexpensive
Cork flooring is the perfect choice for budget-conscious homeowners. While hardwood flooring costs between $6 and $9 per square foot on average, cork flooring costs between $3 and $7 per square foot. That may not seem like much, but it adds up when you cover an entire room -- or your home -- in new flooring.
Con: It's Susceptible to Fading and Discoloration
Granted, this isn't necessarily a con for all homeowners; some homeowners actually prefer the look of faded cork flooring. Nonetheless, it's still worth mentioning that cork floors are susceptible to fading caused by sunlight. If you install them in area that's exposed to sunlight, you can expect your flooring to fade. This doesn't happen overnight, but years of exposure to sunlight will eventually cause your cork flooring to fade to a lighter color.
Pro: It's Soundproof
A quality of cork flooring that you won't find elsewhere is soundproof. Like any cork materials, cork flooring absorbs sounds rather than deflecting it. This makes it an excellent choice of flooring for areas such as second-story bonus rooms and finished basements.
Con: Must be Sealed
Unfortunately, though, cork flooring must be sealed to protect against moisture and subsequent damage. Cork flooring is highly porous, containing thousands upon thousands of individual pores. When moisture enters these pores, it can cause the flooring to rot. Therefore, homeowners must seal their cork flooring to prevent this from happening.
Pro: It's Soft
But cork flooring is particularly soft and spongy -- another feature that you won't find in other flooring options. Some homeowners prefer the soft texture of cork flooring specifically for this reason. It's great for walking around your home with bare feet, as the soft texture provides superior support.
Con: Difficult to Repair
Perhaps the greatest drawback to cork flooring is the difficulty of repairing it. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, your home's cork flooring will eventually become damaged. Dropping heavy objects on it, for instance, may cause it to chip. And when this happens, repairing can be difficult and costly.
As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using cork flooring.