Cork Flooring Underlayment

Jim Williams
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Whether you are a DIYer looking for the right floor underlayment, or a builder looking for a new and renewable option - listen up - cork underlayment might be your best bet. Cork underlayment offers waterproofing and cushioning, and even soundproofing, according to eHow - Home. If you are looking for an economical, eco-friendly, and efficient option for your floor's "underbelly", here's what you need to know:

  1. Cork underlay is typically used under a variety of flooring materials for sound control. Cork underlayment is composed of air pockets that compress under pressure. This creates a cushiony feel when walked on, and these same principles make it excellent for sound insulation. You can use cork underlay for flooring materials such as ceramic tile and wood.
  2. Many laminate floors require underlayment too, and for this reason, cork is a popular choice because it gives a synthetic floor a more natural, hardwood feeling. When used with certain types of wood and tile cork underlay can also minimize the feel of minor imperfections in the floorboards. It is also helpful when installing flooring on a second floor, because cork will absorb many walking sounds and other noises commonly heard with other types of underlay.
  3. While you can purchase underlayment in many types of material, cork is popular because it is natural and eco-friendly. Cork is a renewable material sourced from the bark of trees, making its environmental "dent" way less pervasive than other flooring types. Cork underlayment is also very porous and breathable, so it can handle areas of humidity and moisture quite well.
  4. Cork sheets or rolls come in large quantities, making it easy to measure and lay the underlayment in a few swoops across the room. 
  5. Cork's natural qualities, including a naturally occuring substance called suberin, make it stand the test of time. Forget mildew or deterioration on your subfloors, cork underlayment can last years upon years.
  6. Cork underlay, which comes in cork sheets or cork rolls, is available in many different thicknesses for both commercial and residential applications. The thickness variation can be helpful when needing to raise the height of a subfloor in your house to be consistent from room to room. For example, if your bathroom is of a different height than your master bedroom, you can adjust the height by using a 6mm cork underlay.

If you are considering cork underlay, know that your alternatives are synthetic forms of underlayment. But, because of its quality and versatility, cork underlay is a valued investment for beneath your floors of your entire house. There is a reason that cork has been installed at the Mayo Clinic, Lincoln Center, The Library of Congress, and The National Archives Building. Take the test of its true quality and install cork flooring or cork underlayment.