Choosing the Best Cork Flooring

Posted on September 12, 2022

Choosing the best cork flooring

The WE Cork portfolio of glue-down and floating floors consists of dozens of colors across various collections. Although style is a major decision factor, practical considerations are also key to choosing the best flooring option. This article provides the information needed to make an informed flooring decision.


WE Cork Collections and Design Styles

Choosing the best cork flooring for each installation involves using both sides of the brain. Considerations are both practical and aesthetic. Before getting lightly technical, let’s begin on the right side of the brain with a quick overview of our collections from a design perspective:

Glue-down Cork Flooring Collections

  • Classic
    Light and medium shades with granulated cork texture.
  • Corkoleum
    Natural cork patterns that can be stained to any color after installation.

Floating Cork Flooring Collections:

  • Avant Garde
    Natural and creative cork patterns, ranging in color from white to dark brown.
  • Eco-Nomical
    Granulated cork patterns mixed with actual slices of corks, ranging in color from ivory to ash.
  • Serenity
    Essence of wood or tile (marble) reproduced on a cork substrate, through a 3-pass, digital print technology. Features a wide range of colors.
  • Timeless
    Traditional cork patterns, ranging from medium to dark shades.

There are so many beautiful colors and patterns to choose from – too many to show here. Since beauty is “in the eye of the beholder,” take a few minutes to click through the various collections above to decide which are the most appealing. 

Rating of Glue-Down vs Floating Cork Floors

Similar to design preference, type and rating are also key considerations when selecting a WE Cork floor collection. This takes us to the left side of the brain, where the practical choice begins with either glue-down cork flooring or floating cork flooring. Both types are great for residential use, but as the chart below indicates, glue-down products are rated for full commercial use. Although floating floors are only rated for light commercial use, their industry-preferred Uniclic locking system allows them to be installed virtually anywhere with ease.

Avant Garde Canyon - Room

Avant Garde – Canyon

All Things Considered

In addition to type and rating, form and finish can also be key considerations for which is the best cork flooring for an install. The chart below combines all of these important factors, and provides recommendations for each collection:

WE CORK FLOORING COLLECTIONS & RECOMMENDED APPLICATIONS

CollectionTypeFormsFinishRatingRecommended Applications
ClassicGlue-downTileUnfinished or GreenshieldFull commercial or residentialBathrooms, not basements*. Commercial applications such as churches, libraries, educational buildings and hotels. At or above grade.
CorkoleumGlue-downRollUnfinishedFull commercial or residentialHome gyms. Bathrooms and all other rooms; not basements*. Boats, RVs, custom jets, airplanes, and buses. Commercial applications such as churches, libraries, educational buildings and hotels. At or above grade.
Avant GardeFloatingPlankGreenshieldLight commercial or residentialAll rooms including basements; typically not full bathrooms**.
Eco-NomicalFloatingPlankGreenshieldLight commercial or residentialAll rooms including basements; typically not full bathrooms**.
SerenityFloatingPlank or TilePatented hot coating with AC5 wear ratingFull commercial or residentialAll rooms including basements; typically not full bathrooms. Smaller commercial applications such as churches, libraries, educational buildings and hotels*.
TimelessFloatingPlank or TileLight commercial or residentialAll rooms including basements; typically not full bathrooms**.

* In unsealed basements, moisture could seep up and potentially affect (loosen) the adhesive. We do not recommend using glue-down for basements, but owners choosing to do so should waterproof basements and use a Mapei Tape that includes a moisture barrier.

** Floating floors are not typically recommended for full bathrooms, as water could seep into the flooring and potentially damage the eucalyptus HDF clicking core layer.

*** Floating floors require expansion joints every 30 ft, which may not be the desired design for larger commercial applications.

Corkoleum – Waterproof Cork Flooring in a Roll

Worthy of special mention is our unique and versatile Corkoleum solution listed above. In addition to typical residential and commercial scenarios for glue-down floors, this waterproof cork flooring in a roll works best for applications such as physiotherapy rooms, gyms, plus custom vehicles, boats and aircraft.

Corkoleum Rolls

Corkoleum – Pear

Corkoleum is waterproof thanks to its special layering. Underneath the top decorative cork layer lies a thin PU layer, backed by a 2mm bottom layer of cork with recycled rubber. Corkoleum has been called the, “Tesla of engineered cork flooring…with an amazing innovation under the hood,” and was ranked #3 for Top 20 New Home Products by This Old House!

WE Cork Flooring Over Radiant Heat

One final consideration is radiant heat. Although all WE Cork floors are compatible with radiant heat, there are some important things to keep in mind. Be sure to read our radiant heat FAQ for more information.

What About Cork Underlayment?

This article is the first in our 2 part series. Here we’ve covered choosing the best cork flooring, but what about choosing the best cork underlayment? Check out part 2 of this series by reading the next article now!

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