I am considering installing a cork floor in living room/dining room & kitchen. Does anyone have any experience with cork floors they can offer? Do the cork tiles peel up? Do they last a long time? Are they "modern"? Do they fade in the sun? How do you know the installer knows what he is doing?
Read the cork flooring posting in "Frank Talk on Eichlers." I don't know much about Eichlers, but my wife is an admirer of "Eichler Thinking" and she would also avoid cork because it is porous. She also tells me the story of a Stanford professor who created the painted kitchen cabinets (or something like it in the 70's) for Eichler. The professor said he wouldn't do it again but had to come up with something cheap because of cost contraints. The moral is that not everything Eichler original should be repeated - - steel radiant pipes is an example, and I think perhaps electrical conduit location. Armed with better information, the choices may be different than Eichler's.
Yes, as per previous discussions on the topic, cork fades badly and quickly. Other than that, it is a soft, modern, beautiful flooring material-- it is also expensive. If you are considering it, be sure to have all your windows coated with UV blocking material first, if they are not already.
In know of one homeowner that spent in excess of $20K to do cork throughout their home, only to see profound fading after just 6 months.
All wood products fade or change color in the sun. Some cork floors are coated with pigmented coatings and do not fade appreciably. Some hardwoods (dark walnut) I've seen fade noticably and quickly too. I'm not defending cork, for those who have a thing against it, fine with me. But realize that wood based and wood building materials, especially darker stained materials, change with UV exposure. As Cathye says, you have to consider window films, but not just for cork floors. Friends of mine were upset when their light maple hardwood floors changed color where a small area rug was placed. UV window films will also vastly increase the life of your upholstery and other fabrics, and not cause you to lose your view.
This house, built in 1954 on slab foundation, Was built with cork floors, they are still here and are in very nice shape, so in 50 years of use, they have held up very well. there has been light sun fading in the living room since the windows are of southern exposure. But other than that I think if properly cared for should give great wear for years.
in fact, we plan to keep our original floors, rather than replace them in our restoration..they do feel nice under foot.
I have seen some decades old cork flooring that looks pretty darn good, but it looks different from the cork being sold in flooring stores today. Is it different?
I don't know much about Eichlers, but my wife is an admirer of "Eichler Thinking" and she would also avoid cork because it is porous.
Modern cork flooring is not porous because it usually has 3 coats of polyurethane clear coating on top of it. We have cork floors in our Eichler--they are not porous and are very easy to clean with water.
Cathye's comments about cork fading (especially in sunny rooms) and being expensive to install are definitly true. One of my goals in life is to invent a clear coating that prevents sun fading on cork floors.