Cork Flooring for Kitchens & Bathrooms - February 10th 2010
Q) We are replacing the vinyl flooring in our kitchen and we are considering cork flooring. I have heard you mention that you do not advise installing laminate flooring in bathrooms or kitchen. Can you tell me why you don't advise it? We like the look of and feel of cork and have found lots of styles to choose from that have a dark finish that we want, but we are wondering about how well it holds up in a kitchens. We are also wondering what to look for in regards to quality.
A) Kitchen and bathrooms are susceptible to water leaking from toilets, sinks, showers, icemakers, instant hotwater, & dishwashers etc. If any water gets under a laminated floor the only way to dry it is to remove the floor. If you want the look of hardwood, the alternative to laminate would be a Karndean Luxury Vinyl that replicates the look and feel of hardwood; otherwise, Cork is a good resilient option for a kitchen space as well. Due to it's growing popularity, cork comes in a wide range of colors and styles. Since cork is harvested from the bark of cork trees no trees are cut down to harvest so it is considered a natural eco friendly product that is durable, warm and comfortable underfoot. Other benefits to consider is cork is non porous and mildew resistant so it does not rot making it ideal for kitchens and high traffic areas in splash or spill areas which are exposed to moisture. Cork's insulating qualities also offer sound abatement between floors and is often used for this purpose.
You can find glue-down cork flooring, interlocking (glue-less) or floating. For kitchens I recommend a glue down application. Quality will be reflected in price and thickness that comes in both planks or tiles. It's best to purchase though a retailer that specializes in cork flooring. Exclusive Floors has a wide range of cork flooring samples on display in their Surrey showroom; if you want to have a look their website is www.flooringbc.com.