tag : cork floor colors, cork floor in kitchens, cork floor patterns, Cork flooring, home renovation toronto, kitchen designer toronto, kitchen floor, Renovation Bootcamp, Sieguzi Kitchen & Home, Tales from the Trenches, Toronto Interior Design, Toronto Interior Designers
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A flooring material close to my heart is cork. When I first decided to use cork in my own house 20 years ago, no one was using it and the contractor thought I was crazy! But I had a vision of a glossy, red cork floor. Had I seen it anywhere? Nope. But that’s what being a designer is all about. Dreaming up something that’s never been seen in that particular incarnation and finding a way to do it. Then, the only cork available was in a ¼” thick, unfinished, boring, bulletin-board-brown, 12” x 12” tile.
I decided to hire a special finisher to create a custom red-tinted eurethane to get my red floor.
IT WAS DIVINE! Soft and warm under foot, it gave the room a lovely warm sound as well, unlike stone or tile which makes a room sound cold and sharp.
SOUND COLD?! SOUND SHARP?! Say what? Am I losing my marbles?
No! various materials either reflect or absorb sound, and cork does the latter. I’m very sensitive to sharp noises, and loathe the sound of chairs scraping across a hard floor — like nails scraping on the blackboard, migraine-inducing kind of loathing — not to mention the shattering sound when something drops on it. When something drops on cork, it often bounces. A god-send to parents of toddlers as I was when we first installed it.
Nowadays, cork comes in a myriad of pre-finished colors, which stands up to wear much better than my early experiment.
Six years after my first try, we moved again, and although my designer brain knows I should use my home as a laboratory and try things I’ve never used before, I loved the cork so much, I used it again. This time, the color I wanted was available in a factory finish: Cranberry red. Paired with Dijon colored walls, and a Dijon marble with cranberry veins and a cranberry slab of lavastone for an eating bar, 12 years later, my heart still sings when I walk into my kitchen in the morning!
This cranberry red cork has survived 12 years, 1 rambunctious boy and 4 dogs! No re-staining, no re-sealing, nuthin’.
Cork has many interesting natural patterns, and now not only comes in the ¼” thick tile, but it also comes in planks as a floating, click floor. This isn’t my favorite form to use it, because you’re not supposed to put heavy things on the floating floor like fridges and stoves. So what good is that?!
Taken from the bark of the cork oak tree which grows in warm, semi-tropical climates like Spain and Portugal, the cork oak regenerates on average every nine years. And because it’s a natural material, can be re-cycled (depending on the finish that’s been applied).
It’s low maintenance and can be installed in creative ways making checkerboard patterns, borders and contrasting inserts.
If we ever move again (before they move me out in a pine box), I think I may just have to have another cork floor. Maybe this time I’ll use my very favorite color: orange! The contractor will no doubt think I’ve gone mad!
What do you think of the idea of using cork on the floor? Given what you’ve seen here, would you be inclined to try it? Have you ever used a color other than the natural browns?
Next in the series: Glass on the floor? You bet!