Sustainability is a subject that has been spoken about more and more as the effects of climate change become more of a tangible reality. Due to this realization many people have taken to looking for more ecofriendly replacements for things in their everyday life including interior design. Enter cork flooring.
Cork flooring and wall coverings have become the next big thing in eco-friendly interior design for a plethora of reasons. Cork is a green renewable resource made from the bark of the cork oak that is periodically harvested from living trees which means it is easily replenish-able. The bark is then ground up, compressed and bonded with resin which can then we cut into tiles and treated with a protective coating to defend against moisture, damage or shrinking. Not only that but cork is also biodegradable so at the end of its useful life it breaks down easily with little environmental impact. If that wasn’t enough, because cork is a good insulator, it is warm to the touch and conserves heat thus saves on your heating bills.
28 Cork Floors: The Next Trend In Eco-Friendly Décor
Even without taking its sustainable qualities into account cork floors have a great many advantages when it comes to comfort and physical beauty. The surface is soft and cushioned and, because its an insulator, it is slightly warm to the touch unlike laminate or ceramic tiles which are cold to walk on bare foot. Due to the fact that this magical material is made of bark it is also incredibly light and easy to install.
So if you’re feeling motivated to introduce some beautiful, sustainable flooring into your home here are:
1. Classic Pin Board Style Cork Coatings
Although this living room has gone for the classic cork style this is more than just a pin board on the floor. The rich colour and texture goes is the perfect vehicle for the bright white furniture to stand out against. This interior is very sleek is modern white can sometimes feel cold and uninviting but the warm, soft flooring adds a little hint of home comforts
2. Cork Floors in a Children’s Bedroom
A quirky, scrambled cork pattern is great for a fun and easy to clean for a children’s bedroom design. The spongy, warm texture allows young children to crawling around and try out walking without worrying about sustaining too many bumps and bruises. They can play on the floor in relative comfort and any inevitable can be cleaned up in a flash.
3. Unique Alternative to Bathrooms Tiles
Don’t you hate stepping out of a nice warm bath or shower onto freezing cold ceramic tiles? Cork is a warm alternative to cold bathroom tiles while looking just as stylish. These cork tiles have been stained in a wood pattern in colours that coordinate so effectively with the claw foot marble effect bathtub and white walls. The floor in this room is an integral part of the black and white theme of this modern bathroom.
4. Graphic Patterned Hallway
Hallways are areas that are often overlooked as a design oppourtunity. This style of monochromatic warm beige interior speaks of austerity and the floor only serves to enhance that. Integrating a dramatic graphic leads you down runs from one end of the hallway to the other and leads you through the house. An expected artistic element makes a usually overlooked part of the house something special.
5. Warm Cork Kitchen Floors
Cork floors are ideal for kitchens. Not only are they easy to clean, which is an absolute godsend in a room that is notorious for getting into a mess, but they provide a warm homey feeling in a room that is the heart of so many family homes. Their soft warmth is comforting and cozy and they will absorb heat from the kitchen when cooking wihich will only serve to enhance this ambiance. The colours here have been very carefully chosen to be in the same shade family and pull together the overall kitchen décor.
6. Rustic Bedroom Flooring
At first glance this eclectic bedroom seems to be using expensive hardwood floors, but no, its just cork in disguise! The rectangular panels stained like oak almost resemble hardwood floor but in a more soft cushion way. This material is the quintessential choice for a bedroom, which is obviously a room that you want to feel warm and cozy. The wood-like appearance of the cork is also reflected throughout the room in the wooden bed frame, chest, cabinet and mirror which makes the whole room come together.
7. Modern Organic Patterned Cork Flooring
As in the first example a very strongly patterned cork floor has been combined with an ultra modern minimalist living room to great effect. A combination of the patchwork floor and the highly textured feature wall makes white furniture and black shelving really pop. The juxtaposing of the busy cork floor and detailed wall wit the solid horizontal elements of the couch and shelves produces an iconic looking modern living space.
8. Light Chevron Patterned Cork Floor
Cork flooring can come in a variety of colours and can be cut into almost any shape. Juxtaposing three neutral colours together in this chevron pattern creates a stunning graphic effect that does well paired with solid coloured walls. A small scale pattern such as this could be visually overwhelming but keeping the colours pale and the rest of the room fairly monochrome helps to make it less intrusive and easy to furnish.
9. Large Multi Coloured Chevron Flooring
Like our previous example this cork floor has adopted a multi toned chevron pattern but on a much larger scale. The size makes the pattern less obtrusive but just as pleasing to the eye. Living rooms are such a great space for the warmth and comfort of cork floors and pair so well with big comfy couches like this one. Adding an element of visual interest in your floors in a very large living spaces helps to make it feel less empty and far more inviting.
10. Creative Cork Flooring
In a similar vein to the hallways in example 4 cork panels have been used to create a dramatic large-scale pattern that leads you from one end of the room to the other. Putting your art on your floor is an original way to get creative with large spaces that can seem vast and intimidating. The insulator nature of cork also removes the echo associated with such big rooms.
11. From The Walls To The Floor
This style of interior let’s your inner earth child run wild! Cork panels are not only limited to flooring, since its so light and easy to install it can be used as wall coverings too with great effect. The natural colour palette and texture is echoed in the other ecofriendly materials such as the bamboo furniture. This natural but bold design statement let’s everyone coming into your home know you care about the environment in a big way and are willing to adapt your home to suit your ideal.
12. Cork Wall Coverings
As we saw in the previous example cork isn’t only reserved for flooring. These brick-like cork tiles have an uneven and textures surface, which adds richness and colour in an unexpected way. The rustic appearance this achieves gives the room an almost log cabin style vibe but with far less weight and expense. The solid wooden coffee table and unusual floor further enhances the sense of nature creeping into this room.
13. Chess Board Cork Floor
Cork is an easy material to use to execute a slightly more fun and whimsical elements to your space, especially if you have a young family. These cork panels have been used to make a chessboard right there on your floor. You can play with comically large chess pieces you can buy online or play as a piece yourself, Harry Potter style. Even when this isn’t being played with this can serve as a fun conversation starter for anyone who ventures into your family room.
14. Cute Nursery Cork Decor
In our second example we saw how well cork flooring can work in children’s room, here we can see it being used just as effectively as wall décor. This cute city skyline design is light and easy to install and is easy to change as they get older. This simple quirky graphic makes your child’s room feel special and it can even be interactive by allowing them to change up the characters in the windows. The skyline design has even been brought across into the shape of the bookcase for an added sprinkle of cuteness for your little ones.
15. Artistic Matching Wall and Floor Coverings
As we saw with example 11 cork lends itself very well to both floor and ceiling applications. A fun palette of multi-coloured squares flowing from the walls onto the floors ties the whole design of the room together. It also creates a fun backdrop to the modern lamp and shower elements as well as the unusual wooden bathroom furniture. This bathroom will also be cozy and much more pleasant to use on those cold winter mornings with extra insulation on both sides.
16. Modular Artistic Cork Floor
Cork is not only reserved for your home as seen in this statement office design. This ostentatious layout speaks of power and glamour. A large modular graphic is very elaborate and fits in well with the rest of the austere interior décor. If you want an office space that is intimidating and looks like it means business cork flooring can do it.
17. Cork Floor on Covered Balcony
Cork can even be used on balconies but only on a covered ones such as this because it can deteriorate quickly in the bad weather. Black flooring does well in bright rooms as they absorb heat, combining that with the insulator properties of chalk your floors will be warm and comfy all day long. White accents add that little bit of extra something to jazz up a plain black floor.
18. Cork Imitating Parquet Flooring
This iteration of the chevron design resembles classic parquet floors but with the subtle shift from chunky block into thin elegant strips. This makes the design far more busy which goes well with the checkered shelving unit. These two features stand out well against the furniture and walls that remain solid neutral colours with pops of bright colour for a distinctly contemporary design.
19. Mock Wood Cork Wall Paneling
This spacious luxurious carpeted room utilizes card square cork panels as wall décor that mimics stacks of wooden logs. This coupled with real raw branches that form the standing lamp and coffee table makes the expanse a little more homey and down to earth. The circular pattern is mirrored in the glowing light fitting above to tie the design together.
20. Large Scale Cork Floorboards
This is another instance of cork imitating hardwood floors very convincingly. The length and width of the floorboards emphasizes the size of this large reception area and gives an impression of high status. Playing with shades of grey in an eclectic arrangement makes the large spaces less monotonous as well as being physically striking.
21. Natural Versus Modern
The cork flooring in this wacky modern apartment has been used with great effect to contrast the natural with the and man-made. The almost graphic but purely natural texture and shade of the cork contrasts with ultra modern colour scheme of bright neon colours against stark white. Using polar opposites in decorating is a great way to create a space that is all encompassing and feels like an experience.
22. Multi-Coloured Cork Flooring
Like the example above this interior goes for full experience. The cork floor is made of up thin floorboards of various colours and surface textures. This mix of textures is something that is used throughout the space from the wall treatments to the ceiling and furniture. A room full of unique materials come together by purely by clashing. The hints of orange is the element echoes throughout the design and brings all these disparate elements together.
23. Graphic Mock Ceramic Tiles
If you love the timeless style of a Italian ceramic tile design but want to be more eco conscious cork is the perfect material for you. The classic mosaic pattern can be laid out in exactly the same way in cork with half the time and effort. The fact that this is an easy to clean in the kitchen flooring choice is just an added bonus!
24. Large Scale Cork Tiles
A large city apartment living room like this is ideal for large scale patterned flooring and cork is perfect for that. The sizeable cork tiles with an almost geode style pattern in neutral tones goes hand in hand with the aesthetic of the rest of the room. Their soft texture is comfortable and instills a feeling of luxurious comfort to the living space. Cork is also easy to trim with simple tools to fit into smaller areas like hallways unlike wooden floors or ceramic tiles.
25. White With Pops of Colour
Using white is an age old trick to make small spaces appear larger than they are. This apartment uses that tactic all the way down to the floors woth pure white squares of cork with smaller tiles brightly coloured at their corners. The whole interior is based around large white areas with accents of bright colour throughout and that doesn’t stop at the floor.
26. Curving Cork Walls
This design takes advantage of the fact that cork, especially thin sheets, is a very flexible material. This means that it could be bent around the feature wall for a truly unique design feature. The natural cork pattern has been utilized on one solid wall as well as in panels on the opposite wall. This colour has been purposefully co-ordinated the colour with the door and floor leaving blank white areas to act as accents.
27. Textured Cork Wall Mural
Since cork is a material that so light and easy to apply it can be layered on a wall to create a three dimensional textured work of art like this one that wraps around one corner of the room. Unevenly framed by neutral plastering thin uneven layers of pale blue, grey and brown cork have been layered to resemble a classic slate wall but with none of the weight and more freedom with the choice of colour. The rest of the design has been intentionally chosen to match with either the plain surrounding walls or to pick up on shades within the one of a kind mural.
28. Pin Board Style Feature Wall
A feature wall gives you a lot of creative freedom with the intention to draw your eye to one place when you enter a room. In this case the whole feature wall is a combination of the modern statement staircase portrayed against the backdrop of the pin board style cork wall. A staircase like this is expensive so placing cork wall paneling behind it not only gives in a plain backdrop for it to stand out against but is also a cheap option that is easy to install.
As you can see from this list cork flooring is a versatile and beautiful material that can be used throughout your home. From chic modern offices to cozy, quirky living spaces this material can be adapted to suit any style. It can be found in so many colours and patterns achieved by using eco friendly dyes to produce flooring that is not only less harmful to the environment but is strikingly beautiful at the same time. As an added bonus this material is hypoallergenic which is a game changer for anyone who suffers with allergies on a regular basis.
This material is easy to refinish, on the rare occasions it requires it, so it will last you years! It is easy to clean, comfy and saves you money on heating; so what are you waiting for? The next time you decide to make a change in your home, give cork a try. You won’t regret it and the environment will thank you for it.