This isn't a "hardwood floor" question, but there wasn't a listing for "cork".

We're wanting to install a cork floor in our kitchen, approx. 16'x10'. We've looked into using Lumber Liquidators, if anyone is familiar with that company. Right now we have laminate -that should definitely come up first, right? Any suggestions before we dive in? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  21 answers
  • JL Spring & Associates JL Spring & Associates on Oct 06, 2011
    If you mean the fake wood laminate, definitely remove it and clean the area beneath well. Cork flooring seems to have many more pros than cons. The biggest no-no would be to set heavy furniture directly on a spot and not use some type of protective "coaster" to evenly distribute the weight. You must be looking forward to the new look. Best to you, post some B&A pix Julie...ENJOY! JL

  • Julie, cork flooring has been discussed several times here on hometalk and has not got very good reviews from members who have cork flooring at home and also experts who have installed them. Cork doesn't hold up very good in places where there is moisture present. I suggest tile for Kitchen. Here is a link to one of the conversations - Also if you did a search "cork flooring" you can browse through many more discussions on the pros and cons of cork flooring.

  • Jan Britt Interiors Jan Britt Interiors on Oct 07, 2011
    Great answer Yamini!

  • I am not going to comment one way or the other on cork, but I would not suggest it for an area where their is a possibility of liquid spillage and the need to wash frequently as it will not stand up to that as it would if it was in a living room or somewhere else in the home. Cork is porous and once the finish seal is worn down it will absorb moisture into it. As far as the supplier, Lumber Liquidators is OK, I do not use them as I think their prices are not as good as one would think, but they do have a great selection to choose from. I personally find what I am looking for at the stores, Get the name of the product and all info that I can get and then go on line to do my shopping. I recently purchased some hardwood flooring pre-finished solid Oak T&G for $3.00 per square foot less then any store around me. Plus no tax and because I needed so many square feet shipping was free. So before you purchase do some on line shopping you may be surprised at what you find.

  • LL moves a lot of material because they discount prices and have lots of stuff and advertise heavily, but I hear more horror stories about them than any other supplier. I have had my own bad experiences with them myself and will nit buy from them again. I have also seen product that others bought there and I consider it of lower quality than what I can buy elsewhere. I do not have any familiarity with cork tho.

  • Shane Tallant Shane Tallant on Oct 07, 2011
    Julie- the main issue with cork (especially in kitchens) is that it stains easily. It's great on your back because it has some bounce/give, but be cautious of spilling on it. GOOD LUCK!

  • Doerr Landscape Design Doerr Landscape Design on Oct 07, 2011
    Julie, I agree with others that point out that it is very easy to stain it , I have one client who had it installed prior to meeting me it was a true mess. We removed it and replaced with tile .

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 07, 2011
    I would avoid cork like the plague....I have a number of clients who had it installed before I came along to offer some real time advice. Do your self a favor and install has and will ALWAYS BE the best flooring option for a kitchen...Period. A far as LL is concerned I have used them for years and have found some great deals...I would only recommend a few products that they carry however...the Bellawood prefinished is a great product and I have installed 1000's of sq feet of it...and their lines of "unfinished" solid wood flooring is good too...Depending on grade you may have a bit more waste with some mills versions... I avoid laminates and engineered product when I can as me they are just more versions of "disposable flooring"....Solid hardwood...or tile will last a long long time.

  • Julie Julie on Oct 07, 2011
    OK then! Thanks to all. Well, it sounded like a good idea in the beginning --we were caught up in the "soft/bounce/warmth for our feet" thing, thinking of long hours in the kitchen- but there are floor mats for that, right? :) ha I love the look of tile and I know it will add value to the house. The kitchen is going to have an "Italian-villa" sort of look with warm/textured orange-y wall paint, stone "look" tile counter tops, etc.... so a stone or tiled floor would work for sure. Thanks again for the head's up, I didn't realize it stained or wore out so easily/quickly. We have pets and my dog spills/drips water every day on that kitchen floor. Pets are messy :) So I appreciate the input!!

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Oct 07, 2011
    We have used cork successfully on several projects and they have worn well over the years. Don't buy cheap flooring and you should be okay. We have Natural Cork in our office and it still looks good despite the beating that it gets on a daily basis.

  • Curious about the cork in the office - do you use those floor protector pads under the rolling office chairs? That is where the worst wear seems to happen. I have Tile in my office, but the soft and quite of cork seeems appealing there

  • Alot of my clients have used LL with good just have to be careful what you buy. The bellawood is an excellent product. I like that cork is a renewable resource....and it's comfortable on your feet & legs....maybe there's a way to make some sort of "cork" area around the sink or in front of the stove....or get some cork tiles and make a separate work mat for the purpose....stain it up and toss it.

  • Ji.flooring2009 Ji.flooring2009 on Oct 08, 2011
    Julie, I have installed alot of cork floors and I have fixed a lot of them as well. There are and always will be pro's and con's with anyhting you buy. Cork Flooring is a green product so there is one BIG Pro right there.. You dont really need to be steered away from buying and having installed cork floors in a kitchen with the worry of moisture. Reason I say this is because its all about which cork floor you purchasethats what makes the difference. Get a cork floor that is rated for the Kitchen and or moist areas. As far as your base question on whether or not to go through or use Lumber Liquidators, I do but I dont buy their cheaper line of products for instance they carry Bella Wood hardwood very good surface just make sure you buy enough not only for the job but extras because just like any flooring store you can go in there one day buy just what you need and a week later they may have sold out or the die lot has changed. Lumber Liquidators installs ? well that varies from store to store I have fixed or repaired LL jobs and others I have walked into have held up great and look very professional. Just like with any contractor as well. Best of luck to you

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Oct 08, 2011
    We have not put any protection on the floor. I like to let them break in and them add a coat of sealer after a couple of year to provide a continuous sheen.

  • Again, another question re cork I am interested in the mentioned 'green' aspect Several years ago, as I recall, wine bottlers and merchants moved to using a faker composite bottle plug instead of cork because of the limited resource supply. It seems that a cork tree takes a looooong time to grow, negating the 'green' claims. Am I wrong?

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 09, 2011 are right...cork comes from the "cork" oak tree and these grow in a Mediterranean climate. "premium" corks have gone way up in price. Lower grade corks are made form ground up is the flooring. thing that is NOt green is the use of adhesives and man-made MDF a simple solid domestic hardwood is way more green.

  • Madison Avenue finds a way to call any thing 'green', disregarding the facts, it seems

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 10, 2011
    Hence the term "Green Washed"...unfortunately most consumers do not do their homework and buy in to this "marketing lie" and scam

  • Bob H Bob H on Oct 10, 2011
    ALWAYS use protective mats under a rolling office chair, whether it is cork, wood or laminate. Failure to do so will result in a circular pattern in your finish under your chair. Cork floors will act very much like any wood or laminate product when it comes to moisture, so tile is always the smarter choice, in my opinion.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 10, 2011
    Bob H ...has a great point on the chair thing...I have seen this many times...the trick to good floor care is to fix it before it gets too this case the damage is deep into the wood.

  • Julie Julie on Oct 14, 2011
    Great points.... thanks everybody.