Cork Flooring Vs Laminate Flooring

Today Tom asks:

Hope you can help. Initially I thought I might purchase your basic laminate flooring. But a friend of mine has been talking up a storm about how great cork flooring is. Should I buy cork flooring instead of laminate flooring?

First of all, cork flooring is a great choice!  If you’re looking for a green flooring option, then you can’t go wrong with cork flooring vs laminate flooring.  When it comes down to the choice of laminate vs cork flooring however, it just depends on what your needs are.

First off, cork flooring is more expensive than your basic laminate flooring.  So it just depends on how much money you were planning on spending. I’ve seen laminate for as low as $.65 a square foot plus the price of pad.  Cork is usually runs between $3-$5 a square foot. The best deal I’ve ever seen on cork was $1.50 a square foot plus the price of pad.

Cork Flooring Vs Laminate Flooring

Other than price, cork is considered to be an eco friendly product.  So if you’re looking for a green flooring option, cork would beat out most laminates in a direct comparison.  The cork used in cork flooring comes off a tree but does not require the tree to be cut down.  It’s only the bark of the tree that is used, thus letting the tree to continue growing and produce more cork.  This is what is called a sustainable building material. Hence, it’s ability to be considered eco friendly

Another difference between the two, cork is softer than most flooring.  This means it can dent easier than laminates, but most dents will pop back out on their own over time.  That said cork is another one of those products that you have to like “character” to genuinely appreciate it over time as some spots won’t pop back out in every instance.  However with laminate, once it’s scratched that’s it.  Your only choice is to go with a wood putty that will try to camouflage that spot.

So which one is better is really up to you.  It depends on the room you’re putting it into and what your needs are.  If it’s going into the kitchen and you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then it would make a lot of sense because cork is softer and will help reduce some of the strain on your legs and back, thus making cooking more pleasant.  Other than that, it just depends budget, traffic and style!

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe(diva(at) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog.