4 Disadvantages of Installing Cork Flooring

When you consider what flooring material to use in your home, you may list cork flooring as one of the many options. Cork is a common flooring material for many reasons. However, it also has many disadvantages that you should be aware of before you make your decision on whether you would like cork floors or not. While cork has many advantages as well, it may compare badly to other flooring materials depending on your unique needs. What follows should make the various downsides to cork flooring clear to anyone considering installing a cork floor.


Cork flooring requires a great deal of cleaning, but unfortunately cleaning it is quite difficult once you account for practical considerations. Cork flooring is very vulnerable to water damage. If cork flooring gets wet, it will expand, causing it to be uneven, and potentially damaging the floor's structure by causing it to crack or lose its shape. Compared to engineered wood or laminates, this is a serious disadvantage. You cannot mop a cork floor normally as you would another hard surface.


Cork floors require sealing in order to avoid damage. If you do not use a sealant on your cork floor immediately as it is installed, you risk stains, water damage, and many other kinds of problems. Additionally, an improper sealing job can leave your cork floor just as vulnerable as no sealing job whatsoever. If you are installing your own floor, this is a serious risk, as you will not know your floor is improperly sealed until it takes unavoidable damage that proper sealing would have prevented.


As mentioned previously, cork floors will expand if put in contact with water. While this is a serious problem with regards to cleaning a cork floor, it is also a large problem in general, as a small spill can cause a big problem. If you plan on installing cork flooring in a kitchen, bathroom, or other location where water or other liquid spills can be a common problem, you should be aware of this weakness that cork flooring has, because there is a good chance it will be relevant one day.

In addition to vulnerability to water damage, cork flooring is also vulnerable to physical damage. This sort of damage can come from many sources, but it will always be some sort of impact or heavy weight. Dropping a heavy object on a cork floor will cause it to dent, for example. However, damage can also come from more mundane sources. For example, leaving heavy furniture on a cork floor can slowly crush it, leaving it with deep dents.

Also, cork floors can be vulnerable to damage from sunlight. Cork floors can discolor or lighten when exposed to the sun, particularly if the exposure happens repeatedly for a long period of time. This puts a limit on where you can install a cork floor if you are not willing to suffer this sort of damage.


Cork flooring might be considered cheap, but it is still more expensive than many options. It compares well to hardwood, but is noticeably more expensive than carpet and laminates.