Comparison of Flooring Materials #3 – Cork Panels

Image source: Home Stratosphere

This is the third part of our series in which we compare flooring materials. We already covered vinyl and laminate flooring. This time, we will talk about cork panels.

Cork is probably the least likely choice when we consider materials for flooring. We imagine that it will easily deform under furniture due to its elasticity and its spongy structure will absorb water.

Quite the contrary actually.

Cork is waterproof and resistant to fungi and mould, which makes it suitable for both the kitchen and bathroom. In addition, it naturally returns to its original shape after deformation, so it does not bear any signs of denting from kitchen furniture.

In addition, cork panels:

  1. are natural,
  2. do not attract dust, so they are allergy-friendly,
  3. have excellent soundproofing properties,
  4. can be covered with a layer of varnish or vinyl (vinyl flooring panels with cork underlay), which protects the cork against abrasion

Other things you need to know about cork flooring panels

  1. In case of panels topped with varnish, its deficiencies should be periodically replenished to prevent a complete removal of the surface (the natural cork layer may crumble). Therefore, it is best to remove the old layer of varnish and apply a new one.
  2. Cork panels insulate the heat well, which makes them warm to the touch and pleasant to walk on, e.g. in the bathroom.
  3. Due to the high thermal insulation, only some of the cork panels are suitable for underfloor water heating.
  4. Damaged vinyl panels are not repaired but replaced.