Cork Flooring in the Kitchen

Did you know that cork is not just for corkboards anymore? Cork flooring is great environmentally friendly flooring that feels great under your feet and looks great too. Cork flooring in a kitchen will instantly update your kitchen and best of all make it feel warm and inviting. It has quickly become one of the most preferred flooring options due to this unique feel and classy look. Cork flooring has many other benefits also.

Related:  Check out our article on the best types of kitchen flooring!

Why would you put cork flooring in the kitchen? If you are concerned about the environment, cork flooring is an excellent choice for you. Cork is a renewable resource, which means that the trees are not cut down to make the cork, as it comes from the bark of the tree and the bark regrows within nine years. This is a great benefit over hardwood flooring since the trees are cut down to be used for flooring, and it typically takes 30 years–sometimes much longer–for a tree to be large enough to be used for flooring again. Hence, this has quickly become one of the favorite flooring options for people who care about the environment.


Cork flooring is also wonderful for homes with family members with allergies. It is hypoallergenic and does not absorb dust or mites, letting you mop the floor clean to remove the allergens. This makes it an ideal flooring for people with allergies, as the dust will not cause them problems.


Is cork flooring in a kitchen a good idea? Yes! Cork flooring is resilient, which means that it has some cushion when you walk and stand on it. This is great for the kitchen where you stand for long periods of time preparing and cooking food. Cork flooring is also very durable, which is a big benefit in the kitchen as it is probably the most traveled room in the entire house. Being water resistant and easy to clean are also great benefits in the kitchen where spills and messes are very common. It also has the added benefits of being an insulator, which is great for noise and temperature control. The above properties make it a premium choice for kitchen flooring.


The beauty of cork flooring is unparalleled. Cork comes in many different colors from different shades of tan to red to black so you can mix and match colors to create a custom floor all your own. And because of its patterning with light and dark swirls, it hides dirt and blemishes well. Of course that can be a bit of a problem if you drop something you want to retrieve or clean; but you’ll get over that in no time. It is neutral enough to go with any design style, yet makes a statement of beauty and warmth that other floorings cannot even come close to matching. Due to its wide variety, people never run out of options because there is always something for everyone. No matter what your choices are, you always stand a very good chance of finding something that fits the bill perfectly.


Cork flooring comes in two basic styles; tiles and floating planks. Cork tiles are glued directly to the subfloor while floating cork flooring is clicked together and sit on top of the subfloor. Some cork comes prefinished with a UV-cured finish; be careful with this because it may not be as durable as a polyurethane (water-based being environmentally the best choice).


One of cork’s unsung benefits is that it is “self healing”. It’s more resilient to compression from furniture than carpeting or vinyl and linoleum. When you drop a knife or other sharp object on it, the wound heals up so you don’t see it. Sounds fascinating, right? What other flooring can promise you all this? It’s an incredible flooring material!

Care for your kitchen cork flooring is simple and easy. Cork flooring just needs regular sweeping and damp mopping to get rid of dirt and debris. Once a year or when your floors start looking dull, you can refinish the cork flooring, according to your manufacturer’s directions.


If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to cover your floors, you want to consider cork flooring for your kitchen. Kitchen floors are very important as the kitchen is a very important room in your home. Cork flooring will help your room feel warm and inviting for you, you’re family and your friends so that you will all want to gather and enjoy your kitchen even more.

27 thoughts on “Cork Flooring in the Kitchen”

  1. Flooring Lady:
    Floating cork tiles are in fact a very poor choice for a kitchen, particularily beneath sinks, areas around sinks, and around the fridge. The seams on click style cork flooring are not tight enough to exclude water: the cork layer on top is water resistant, but the submaterial, usually compressed board, is not. I have witnessed numerous occasions where cork flooring in a kitchen has buckled, swelled, sometimes dissolved into mush, and required costly replacement. Glue down cork, perhaps: click tiles? Poor advice. I am speaking from 40 years in the flooring/contracting trades, and have no incentive to misinform, not having a material interest in selling flooring. Do you?

  2. I agree that click tiles (cork, bamboo, or wood) are a bad idea in “water rooms”, like kitchen, bath, or laundry (I’m not sure they are great at the front door either) — unless they are sealed after installation.
    I put a beautiful Pergo floor in my kitchen, bath and entry 14 years ago, and they are all doing very well even today (at least according to the people who live there now). I was advised against that too. Precautions are important — like not stepping out of the shower dripping wet — but may not cover all eventualities.
    A good caulk line around the perimeter of the room is a good precaution to take. And putting a good polyurethane top coat on after installing a floating cork floor will not only help the floor repel water, rather than absorb it, but will also protect the thin decorative cork surface from scratches.
    I’m not misinforming. You may disagree with my opinion and suggestion, but that doesn’t make the opinion an across-the-board bad one. :~) Not all flooring suggestions are good for all uses. Each use and owner requires different types of flooring.
    And hey! That’s what we are here for — to suggestion different options.
    Thanks for writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts on other articles too.
    — The Flooring Lady

  3. How about cork if you have dogs — and doggie accidents? Does it clean up, or will it absorb the smell? I need something practical but cheap for living with my chihuahuas.

  4. Is cork a good option on top of slabs. Do I need to do a moisture test and if I test a med to high moisture (which I think we will test), is there a barrier I can put down?

  5. Hi C.,
    Yes, there are moisture barriers you can put down on the concrete slab. You may want to read Sealing Basement Floors to give you a better idea of what can be used. And the entire section on Moisture Proofing should be read to give you other ideas too. You should also read up on different aspects of cork flooring — use the search engine at the top right-hand corner of this page and type in “cork flooring” — quotes included. There are pros and cons that you should be made aware of.
    Are you planning on installing this yourself or are you hiring somebody to put it down?

  6. I love the look of my cork floor, how comfortabel it is to stand on for hours, how easy it is to clean and keep clean. BUT we were told it was ideal for kitchens Not True! Almost from the day it was installed it has buckled and bulged in numerous locations and the degee of buldging depends on humidity in the house. If you don’t mind the prominent seams from the constant swelling you too will love this floor.
    We had 2 different styles installed and only experienceing severe problems with one style.
    Wicander Metallic Sky. By the way manufacture does not stand behid its warranty so shopper beware if you purchase from Amorim

  7. We were considering installing Wicander Metallic Sky in our new home but after reading the previous comment, I am reconsidering. How does cork stand up to the humidity of a newly built home?

  8. I like the appearance of our cork floor (kitchen) but am disappointed about the scratches. They show up in all traffic areas, even with felt pads on the legs of the chairs. Is there a way to prevent or cover up the scratches on cork?

  9. Is it floating floor or glue down?
    What helps to “hide” the scratches – if you put some water on it, does it make the scratches disappear, or at least diminish their appearance? If so, you might want to consider Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane as a protective layer. You need to get several coats of something down to protect the cork.
    Place good mats at all doors to wipe dirt, gravel and grime from shoes. Gravel, sand, hard dirt particles will all add to the scratching. Keep up with using the felt pads on the chairs – you might want to even consider some of those protective pads or sliders that you tack into the feet of the chairs.

  10. Hi:
    My husband and I installed a Thompsonville black walnut engineered hard wood floor last year in our kitchen with tile accents. We purchased the floor at Home Depot. What a nightmare!!! I saw this floor in a magazine in a kitchen and thought it looked beautiful. The floor itself is durable and the installation came out beautiful. The problem is you can see every smudge mark and it doesn’t stay clean for 30 minutes. I haved lived with this for 1 year because I couldn’t bear to think of replacing it we did it ourselves. However, I love a clean house and can’t take it anymore so I purchase black and white vinyl tiles and we are going to go over the floor and suggestions????

  11. Do you mean Thomasville? What are you using to clean your floors? It has aluminum oxide in the protective coating, which I personally don’t care for. I went to the
    Thomasville website, but there is not information and no information on what they recommend for keeping their floors looking their best.
    Without knowing what you’re cleaning your floors with and what they recommend, I can’t be much help at this point.
    I couple of helpful tips I can suggest: Using a vinegar/water (1:15 to 1:20 ratio) mixture to clean your floors. Using a microfiber mop, having a 2nd bucket of clean water to keep your mop clean while mopping, having a spare mop head. After your floor is dry or almost dry, you can use a dry microfiber mop to run over your floors, kind of buffing them, eliminating smudging & streaking if this is a problem.
    Keep in mind, one of the biggest that homeowners make is using products to clean their floors that are known to cause problems. These products include mop ‘n’ glo, orange glo, among others. Customer complaints are very common and can be found easily by using a search engine.

  12. Dear Flooring Lady,
    I have a question and a comment with a question. First how will cork work with radiant heating? And I am confused. Your original comments said that cork flooring was good for the kitchen, self healing and durable while the questions and experiences above seem to indicate that it is not durable and doesn’t stand up to high traffic or wear well. Can you help clear up my confusion?

  13. Hi Julia,
    Cork is great, especially if you seal it. Sealing is going to help protect any type of flooring. Cork is on the soft side, and using a poly type finish is going to make the surface harder and less prone to damage.

  14. I am planning to put cork in my kitchen. The color I have selected is Western Saddle. My kitchen is fairly large. I’m wondering if it will be too dark? Will it show scratches and dust? It’s just my husband and myself.

  15. Hi Monique,
    As always, I recommend sealing cork with something like Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane. The reason for this is because it will protect your floor by literally making the surface harder.
    Any flooring is going to show dust eventually – it depends on how often you clean. You shouldn’t notice too much in the way of scratches hopefully since it’s just you and your husband.


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