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Eco-Friendly Laminate Cork Floors, Tiles & Underlayment

Top FAQ for Cork Flooring & Underlayment

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Cork Flooring Features

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Cork Flooring?

One of its greatest benefits is it is eco-friendly. Hardwoods and other items that come from harvesting trees are not the greenest options, but corks are completely renewable. Because it comes from the bark, the tree is not killed when the bark is removed. A single one can repeatedly generate material without ever being killed, making cork flooring one of the most environmentally friendly models available.

These trees can live up to 800 years, though there’s typically a 150-to-200-year lifespan. It needs to reach at least year 25 before barks can be harvested, but once it has matured, harvesting of barks happens every 8 to 14 years. This means that trees can supply materials for countless floorings over their lifetimes.

Are There Waterproof Cork Flooring Products?

No, it does not have waterproof capabilities. However, a material from the bark of the cork offers water resistant features that deliver helpful protection from moisture buildup with a vapor barrier.

Are Cork Flooring Planks Good for Basements?

Yes, as they have a resistance to the moistures that sometimes can appear in the cement and block of a basement. It has thermal insulation as well as a shock absorption capability for comfort.

Is Cork Underlayment a Good Option?

Yes, as it provides sound absorption properties that are vital when installing a floor covering in an office building, apartment complex, or in a home. It often provides a high level of affordability and versatility.

How Thick Should a Cork Underlayment for Hardwood Floors Be?

There are multiple thicknesses offered, including some as thin as 3 mm and some as thick as 13 mm. Thicker options of cork for flooring deliver extra comfort and have a greater level of protection from noise, but thinner units will have a lower cost per square foot.

What Should I Use for an Eco Cork Underlayment?

Greatmats is proud to offer an entire line of this for residential and commercial installations. It is harvested in seven countries:
  1. Portugal
  2. Spain
  3. Algeria
  4. Tunisia
  5. Italy
  6. Morocco
  7. France

Portugal supplies approximately 70% of the world's materials for cork flooring and is also home to the world's oldest tree. Planted in 1783 in the Alentejo region, it produced 1 ton of raw materials in 1991. This is enough to create more than 100,000 wine bottle corks. To put things in perspective, a typical tree’s yield is enough for about 4,000 corks.

Even the manufacturing process results in virtually no waste. Typically, the material used for gray cork flooring rolls is a byproduct from manufacturing bottle stoppers. These residuals are collected and ground into a powder. Binders are added to the powder to hold it together, and then pigment is added to create different colors and patterns. A factory finish is applied to protect it.

Commercial cork flooring on sale is already popular in several countries, but lately it has become frequently used here in the United States. It is favored for its longevity, warm appearance, ecologically friendly qualities, and unique characteristics. In fact, it has been used in public buildings, such as churches and libraries, since 1898.

Only recently have people begun to realize the full advantages of cork board flooring, including:
  1. It resists stress cracks and scratches.
  2. It is unaffected by many solvents, including gas.
  3. Very resilient, it can be compressed up to 40% of its original size, yet quickly returns to its shape, so indentations left behind by furniture will disappear once it is removed.
  4. It is extremely fire-resistant and will only melt or ignite at extreme temperatures, during which it generates less smoke and toxic fumes than others.
  5. Very durable, it can last for 40-plus years when it's properly cared for.

More important, though, is that it is a healthy product for living environments:
  1. It doesn't shed micro-fibers or otherwise negatively affect the quality of the indoors air
  2. It is antimicrobial and is less likely to be affected by mold and mildew
  3. It doesn't absorb dust or pollen, so it's easier to get rid of these allergens

It is also comfortable, and it is much like walking on a cushion. It is pliable, so it is ergonomically beneficial and even provides fatigue relief. The air trapped within it yields a slightly spongy feel, which helps to reduce the strain on joints in the lower body. Additionally, it is a natural insulator of both sounds and temperature variations.

Will Laminate Cork Flooring Deliver Durable Results?

If seeking long lasting beauty in floorings, this may be an ideal option. It is available in various eye-catching finishes that add distinction and beauty to any room. Easy to install, it is made with sustainable methods.

There are countless advantages to using it in a residence:
  1. Comfort: It has an elasticity that is forgiving and that creates a comfortable surface. Standing on it relieves the strain on feet, legs, joints, and the back for decreased overall pain.
  2. Durability: It will retain beautiful finishes despite regular wear. It has an extremely resilient finish and is strong enough to be used beneath heavy items.
  3. Sound Dampening: The unique structure restricts noise transmission between rooms. It can make the house a quieter, peaceful environment.
  4. Health Benefits: The surface finish prevents dust, dirt, germs, and mold from becoming trapped. It makes for a hygienic environment, and is a great choice for anyone with allergies.
  5. Insulator: It can help to keep the warmth inside, rather than letting it flow out during the winter. It makes for a warm surface to walk on in winter, so there’s no worry about finding slippers first thing in the morning. Think lower heating bills and a more comfortable home with this.

The best cork flooring is versatile, but it is most often used in:
  • - Living areas
  • - Kitchens
  • - Homes
  • - Retail and office buildings

Though the cork kitchen flooring is highly durable, proper care and maintenance is essential to keeping it in great condition.
  1. Carry furniture across the room, rather than dragging it.
  2. Place felt pads underneath all furniture legs
  3. Invest in blinds or shades to minimize the sunlight exposure, which can cause fading
  4. Use doormats at entrances to catch dirt and moisture before it gets tracked in
  5. Never use latex or rubber backed mats, which can result in damage

How to Install & Clean Cork Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors are easy to clean, but it's important to never use cleaning products with abrasive ingredients. These can cause irreversible damage.
  • - Vacuum or sweep them with a soft bristled brush daily
  • - Once a week, wipe it down with a cloth moistened with water and a mild detergent
  • - Be sure to minimize the amount of moistures exposure if damp mopping

If looking for earth friendly floorings that will hold up to rigorous, intensive use, then consider our cork floor mats. These tiles, which are a blend, have many of the same advantages, but with increased versatility.

Interlocking cork floor tiles require no glue. They are conveniently sized for quick transportation and installation, and offer a designer look. Made here in the USA, our cork floor mat has excellent shock absorbency, non-skid properties, and wear resistance. Corked rubber tiles work for gyms, basements, and professional applications.

How to Install Cork Underlayment Padding

Because it is not only extremely eco-friendly, but also has many beneficial qualities, it is often used underneath. The 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 3/8 cork underlayment is frequently used for both commercial and residential buildings.

Its spring back feel allows it to return to its original shape, even after being compressed. Because it is filled with air, it has excellent thermal properties.

It has the following advantages:
  1. Reduces noises, both in-room and below-room
  2. Stays warm underfoot, yielding an enjoyable space
  3. Strong and won't compress over time, unlike some underlayments
  4. Mildew, mold, and moisture resistant, generating a healthier indoors environment
  5. Hypoallergenic to make homes, apartments, and offices suitable for people with allergies
  6. Environmentally renewable resource

It is frequently used underneath:
  • - Ceramic
  • - Vinyl
  • - Rubber
  • - Laminates
  • - Hardwoods
  • - Carpet

Greatmats carries a variety of these that are found in sheets for easy handling and simplified installation.

Our 3mm Roll Underlayments are suitable for use with ceramic tile flooring, natural stone, or hard wood flooring.

The Sound Control AcoustiCork Grade Floors PR60 is a high performance unit that offers superior noise control. It's ideal for use in multi-family applications.

For a thicker model, consider our 12mm Underlayments. They are available in a 2x3 foot sheet.