Why Is The Cost Of Different Cork Patterns So Different?
Cork flooring has really established itself as a standalone flooring category in the past 10 years. Before that cork was a small niche inside of the hardwood category that few consumer knew about and only very fashion conscious designers and architects really embraced it’s unique look and durability. From the late 1800’s – the late 1900’s cork was mostly a 12” x 12” glue down tile that did not have a finish applied to it.
Architects and designers would specify this type of flooring in the most demanding commercial flooring environments like museums or other high traffic areas and then order a stain and finish to be applied to the surface of the cork flooring just like a hardwood floor.
Most often the cork that was used was the small random sized cork granules and therefore could be refinished over the years as well. This type of classic cork flooring is making a comeback even today in the early 21st Century!
Since the recent turn of the century however, the classic look has taken a back seat to the newer styled cork which offers numerous décor types and stain color and most often using an HDF click core board to make the installation of cork flooring something that a DIY (do-it-yourself) flooring shopper can handle.
The newer patterns have a much more broad range of granule sizes and shapes. The basic cork flooring cost equation is that cork flooring with larger granule sizes, which are much harder to get, cost more than the small easier to find cork board style granules. Cork itself is the bark of the cork oak tree and getting large enough bark to create large granules is very difficult and logically carries a higher cost of production. One fact that a lot of people miss is that cork of this type uses a thin veneer of the pattern on top of the base cork material which has the smaller granules which makes it impossible to refinish, however, that is not a downside if you maintain your flooring properly. In fact you can add coats of finish to a cork floor (often referred to as a recoat) just like a hardwood floor to create a long term floor.
Although people often wonder why the cost of one cork is $1.99 and why another pattern is $8.99 it often related to the granule size, width and overall quality of the floor. In traditional retail stores cork ranges from about $4-$12 per square foot. Online shoppers that are smart can often find cork at 50%-70% below those ranges, but as always make sure you are being from someone you trust because not all cork flooring is made equally.