15 Minute Assessment

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak, laid over a particle- or fiberboard base and usually protected by a clear seal. It either snaps together and floats over the subfloor, or gets stapled, nailed, or glued down.

Water can cause cork to expand, then warp or crack. Furniture, high heels or cleats, pets, and direct sunlight can damage it too.

Lifespan: 10-20 years

Steps to Assess Your Cork Flooring


Step 1: Check the floor for spongy or bouncy areas. Cork is soft, but the floor itself shouldn’t be. These issues could suggest a problem with the subfloor. If you find bouncy or spongy areas, have a professional take a look.


Step 2: Check for cracks, cuts, or dents. Make sure any damage has not penetrated the cork’s protective seal. If it has, repair the spot immediately to avoid further damage.


Step 3: Splitting, separated, or warped cork floorboards could indicate a problem with the installation, moisture, or subfloor. These problems can also create tripping hazards. Repair them right away.


Step 4: Stained or damp areas could mean you have a water leak. Dampness can lead to rot or mold. Repair any ongoing leak ASAP. If the room smells earthy or musty, or you see stains on the floor or walls, you may have a mold problem.