Hardwood is the undisputed king of all flooring options and has been around for centuries, as early as the French Baroque era. Even now, you can see it in all its splendour in historical buildings and palaces. After its centuries-long dominion, other flooring options have emerged as viable alternatives, such as cork flooring. Cork flooring is not only environmentally friendly but also durable and versatile.
Timber flooring is well-known for its exceptional durability. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut can withstand heavy foot traffic for decades with proper care. On the other hand, cork flooring is surprisingly durable as well.
Due to its natural elasticity, cork can bounce back from minor impacts and foot traffic, making it ideal for households with children or pets. However, it may not be as resilient as hardwood in high-traffic areas.
Both timber and cork flooring offer unique aesthetics that can enhance the overall look of your home. Timber flooring is stunning, with its classic and timeless beauty that exudes elegance. The rich grains and warm tones of the wood are breathtaking.
On the contrary, cork flooring has a more modern appeal, with a textured surface and a range of colours. It can lend a contemporary and eco-friendly vibe to your living space.
Cork flooring is renowned for its comfort. It’s natural cushioning and warmth make it pleasant to walk on, providing a cozy and comfortable feel throughout the home.
Timber flooring, while durable, can be harder underfoot, especially if not paired with proper underlayment or rugs. If comfort is your priority, cork flooring might be the better choice.
Timber requires regular sanding and refinishing to keep it looking its best, whereas cork can be cleaned with a damp mop and occasional waxing. Its natural wax-like substance, suberin, makes it resistant to mould, mildew, and pests. Simple sweeping and occasional damp mopping is usually sufficient to keep cork floors in good condition.
Cork is also more resistant to scratches and dents than timber, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas. However, timber has to be sanded down and refinished multiple times throughout its life.
Cork flooring offers excellent sound insulation properties. Its cellular structure traps air, reducing noise transmission and making it an ideal choice for apartments or multi-story homes.
On the other hand, timber flooring tends to echo more and create a hollow noise when walking. It is also cold to the feet in the winter.
Cork flooring is an eco-friendly option as it is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which regenerates after harvesting. This process does not harm the tree, making cork a renewable resource.
The sustainability of timber flooring, on the other hand, depends on the source of the wood. If sourced responsibly from well-managed forests, timber flooring can also be sustainable. Consider certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure you choose environmentally responsible timber.
In general, cork flooring tends to be more affordable than hardwood. However, the overall cost will also depend on factors such as the type of timber or cork, installation fees, and additional materials needed.
Hardwood floors can be more expensive upfront, especially if high-quality and exotic wood species are chosen. However, considering their durability, the investment pays itself in the long run.
Both timber and cork flooring have their unique strengths and characteristics. Timber flooring offers timeless beauty and unmatched durability, while cork flooring stands out with its eco-friendliness and comfort.
Your decision depends on your specific needs and preferences. Cork flooring might be the way to go if you prioritise sustainability, comfort, and a budget-friendly option. On the other hand, if a classic, elegant look and long-lasting durability are what you want, hardwood flooring could be the perfect fit for your home.
Ultimately, both materials can be excellent choices, and you can go right with either timber or cork for your flooring needs.
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