The issue of selecting a flooring material may come off as difficult for you, especially when there are so many types of flooring materials available on the market.
But when the issue of sustainability comes up, especially with natural materials, cork and bamboo floors would be your best alternatives to hardwood flooring.
In addition, cork and bamboo floors are strong and durable, leaving a natural, earthy feel in your abode.
If you’re not sure what natural flooring materials to use for your home, this article will help by focusing on the differences between cork vs bamboo flooring, which in turn will make it easier for you to choose what fits your apartment best.
Cork vs Bamboo Flooring: Bamboo flooring
Bamboo flooring is a wise choice for homeowners because of its durability, sustainability, and attractiveness.
Its rapid growth and resistance to damage make it both a renewable resource and one of the most durable varieties of flooring materials, outranking both maple and oak hardwoods.
It can be used in the building and construction of household goods, food, and clothing items.
Its hardness makes it suitable for use in areas like kitchens and hallways, which are often used in a house. It also makes it an excellent choice for a home with pet animals because its hardness resists scratches and tears.
Finally, bamboo floors are installed by either gluing or nailing them to a subfloor. It is easier to clean and maintain than most floors.
Cork vs Bamboo Flooring: Cork Flooring
Though we are all more familiar with cork being used for plugging bottles, it is also a highly sustainable flooring material.
It is one of the best eco-friendly materials out there, one in which the tree does not have to be cut down during harvest time.
The bark of the Mediterranean cork tree is simply stripped off, and it grows back within a few years without causing damage to the tree. This prevents deforestation.
Cork is known for its durability, sustainability, and versatility. It is one of the best choices out there for flooring your home because it is resistant to mold and insects and because of its softness and cushioning feel while walking on it.
However, for homeowners with pet animals, it can be difficult to maintain because animals with claws can make punctures on them, thereby reducing their life span.
Cork vs Bamboo Flooring: 7 pros and cons to consider
1. Eco-friendliness and sustainability
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource and one of the most sustainable building materials. It grows rapidly and can be harvested approximately within the space of five years.
It also has a lower cost to the ecosystem because it does not damage the local environment, and its rate of carbon dioxide intake helps to reduce global warming.
Cork, unlike bamboo, takes a long time to mature but can be harvested without cutting down the tree. However, cork oak can live up to 200 years, which increases its sustainability without depleting the water table.
2. Water resistance
Bamboo floors are sensitive to moisture and humidity. Though water-resistant, they are not waterproof. This may make it unsuitable for a bathroom with showers, but it can be used in other rooms.
Cork is used to seal wine bottles, and it floats on water. This is clear evidence that it is naturally water-resistant. Cork flooring can only be damaged badly if it is not followed by a waterproof sealant.
3. Hardness and resistance to dents
Bamboo flooring is really hard and durable, making it resistant to wear, tear, and dents. It has been proven that bamboo floors are harder than most hardwoods, which makes them difficult to damage.
Cork is a naturally soft and elastic material; therefore, it can go back into shape after some time if dented. However, leaving dents on cork floors may cause them to exceed their elastic capacity and eventually get damaged.
With proper maintenance, cork flooring will be able to resist wear and tear.
4. Comfort and feel
Bamboo floors feel good and have a natural woody warmth even in freezing periods because of their high thermal resistance. However, its hardness makes it noisy when walked upon.
A cork floor feels more comfortable than a bamboo floor. This is because of its softness, springiness, and cushiony texture.
It has this porous structure with tiny air outlets, which makes it less humid. It also absorbs sounds, making it an excellent choice for hotels and bedroom flooring.
5. Look and design
Bamboo flooring has a fibrous, grainy nature, which gives it this unique, natural look.
Cork flooring is soft and springy without the grain-like structure of bamboo floors. It has a unique, earthy look and comes in different designs.
7. Installation process
Bamboo floors will be a little difficult to install for those who prefer DIY. However, if one sticks to the guidelines, fixing up the floor may come easy. Otherwise, it is best to seek the services of a skilled carpenter or handyman.
Cork flooring may seem simpler, as it just involves gluing the tiles to a ready-made concrete or plywood floor. Still, it is best to seek out a skilled handyman who will follow the rules and ensure the use of a waterproof sealant afterward.
8. Cost and maintenance
Bamboo flooring is more expensive than many other types of residential flooring materials. However, it is easy to maintain with regular sweeping, vacuuming, and damp mopping.
Also, keep away from debris and sharp objects to avoid scratching the surface.
Cork flooring is expensive as well, but it only requires sweeping, vacuuming, and deep cleaning, not too often. Resealing the floor every few years also helps its durability and aids resistance to stains and dents.
Both cork vs bamboo flooring are excellent choices for flooring materials. You can decide which to choose; whichever you want, it should all be based on your personal preference, budget, or style.