Cork tile flooring rose to fame in the 19th century, installed in Spanish and Portuguese cathedrals that can still be seen today. More recently, it became a popular choice for bedrooms and kitchens, but fell out of favour for a little while.
Cork tile flooring is making a resurgence, but before we jump the gun, let’s take a quick look at what made us fall in love with cork tile flooring in the first place.
Cork tile and wood flooring
Cork is just another form of timber product, so why make the jump from conventional hardwood to cork? There are a few reasons, but the biggest are comfort and cost. Cork tiles rebound underfoot, which means they’ll add a spring to your step on even the coldest winter mornings. Hardwood, as its name suggests, is the opposite—it has very little give and it can feel cold on the feet, especially in the nip of winter.
Then there’s cost to consider. There’s no denying that hardwood adds to the beauty of most houses, new and old. But that comes at a hefty cost—an expensive price to match its luxurious aesthetic. Cork tiles, on the other hand, are extremely affordable by comparison.
Cork flooring vs cork tile flooring
Cork tile flooring is exactly what it sounds like: tiles made from cork. So it’s easy to think that there would be some sort of jointless cork sheet alternative to tiles. But that’s not necessarily the case. Cork tiles are a far more durable, affordable, and convenient option to solid cork flooring. One of the reasons is absorption: cork does not absorb water. However, it can still expand and contract if there are significant changes in temperature. Luckily, the joins in between each cork tile allow it to do so unobstructed, which means no cracks or splits!
Modern cork flooring
Cork tile flooring has a few years under its belt now, so what’s changed? Plenty! But by far our favourite addition that comes with modern cork tiles is colour and texture. Unlike the cork tiles of years gone by, modern cork tile flooring offers a host of different colours and shades, from dark to light. That means it’s more versatile than ever, with the ability to slide seamlessly into homes of any design or décor.
Cork flooring durability
Finally, let’s take a look at durability. Cork tile flooring is among the most durable types of flooring available, owing to a whole range of remarkable properties, including water and fire resistance. But what makes it so uniquely durable is its origin. Cork comes from the outside of the quercus suber tree (or cork oak)—an evergreen tree that lives to an average age of 200 years. It’s those same properties that allow the cork oak to stand outdoors for centuries, and provide its awesome durability.