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Cork Floors & Resale Value

Posted by ZacsDaddy (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 18, 11 at 23:40

So we have been trying to finalize our finishes for our gut and rebuild kitchen remodel. The final choices are
1) Porcelain tile
2) cork
3) oak to match the rest of the house.

We have found a beautiful tile that will work great in the kitchen, but given my back problems have wondered if this is the best idea.

I love the concept, color and patterning of cork, but really worry about the resale value. There are not many cork floors in the higher end remodels we've looked at. That being said, it would be unique -- and comfortable.

I'm really worried about adding more oak in the house -- the whole house has oak floors and they need to be refinished. Its just not a project I want to do in the near future. Trying to match new floors to older, weathered floors is just going to make the old floors look worse!

Anyway, anyone have cork floors that they want to share and/or stories on how they've impacted the value of your home?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

We are going similar in that we are using Marmoleum (which has a cork underlayment). It is easier on the back (or feet, in my case), but it is also warmer and less prone to shattering dropped things. I am a real estate agent and have yet to see someone use it around here, so resale value may be a question, but then again, that also makes it special.
Unless you are moving soon, do it for your own enjoyment. How upset would you be if your new hard tiles hurt your back and were not even your first choice? If someone hates them, they could just put tile down. You don't know though, they could be the selling feature to someone with an open mind or similar point of view. I find that buyers like to have something special to brag about to friends. Doing something unexpected can be a wise move, as long as it is something nice, of course.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

While cork has been used for flooring for 50+ years, it is now becoming a more in vogue choice due to its sustainability (Green) factor as well as its warmth and durability. A wise prospective home buyer will look at the layout and location of a house more so than something like flooring that can be easily changed. I agree with dianalo, go with what will make you happy unless you are planning on moving soon. I have both cork (bathroom) and marmoleum (mudroom) as well as lots of red oak flooring in my house & enjoy the variety of these different floors.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

Cork will look great, feel great, but my experience is that it's a lot harder to maintain than your other choices.

Were you planning (eventually) to refinish the floor yourself? I just wanted to say that we are total DIY-ers, and DH used to work at a flooring company, so he's totally qualified to refinish floors. Nonetheless, in our last house when we had quotes for refinishing the whole house floor, a couple came in so shockingly low that it was a no-brainer to hire it out. yeah, it was a pain to move all the furniture (we moved all the upstairs stuff into the one room w/o oak, the bathroom, and all the downstairs stuff to the basement and mudroom); and we had to go stay elsewhere for a few days, but -MAN!- it was such a major improvement on the house for such a small amount of cash!

Also, depending on when your floors were done last, you might be able to get away with "scuff and recoat" which is significantly easier and cheaper.

Here's a link with pros and cons for cork flooring in a kitchen:

Here is a link that might be useful: cork floor pros and cons


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I have cork plank floors. I absolutely love them. Everybody who comes into the house admires them. They are so comfortable to walk on and stand on. We just sweep/roomba them and use a microfiber cloth with a cleaner I spray on them.

The only issue I have is someone took a small gouge out of the cork, (maybe a suitcase when the kids came home from college?) and since my floor is dark cork (meaning the top layer is the darker color), you can see a lighter color in that spot. BUT, since the floor is not a one tone perfect color, it doesn't look bad at all. If you were to drop something sharp on the floor, like a knife, the wound would heal itself. In that spot where there is the dark color missing, we probably will just color it in with some sort of stain pen that matches.

I have no idea about resale, but I know for a fact that it surely looks better than the vinyl and carpet it replaced!

Good Luck.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

We love our cork floors. I don't know about resale, because we haven't had the house appraised since installing the floors. We don't imagine they'd negatively impact resale, since they're 1000 times nicer than the yellowing vinyl that they replaced. Everyone oohs over our floor.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I really do not like my tile floors. They are hard, cold and the grout is difficult to keep clean and has cracked in places. My legs and back are aching after cooking. I would love to have cork. I think it is gorgeous and love that it is soft and quiet. Whatever you decide, just don't get tile.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I love cork. My first experience with it was years ago when i rented an apartment with cork in the kitchen. Id never heard of it before then. This was a luxury historic building built in the 20s and the cork was original!

We are doing a high end renovation in CT. I am using cork in the craft room and exercise room. I would use it in the kitchen but my kitchen flows into our family room and I am using wide plank floors for continuity. But all of the high end showrooms here show cork and my GC, KD and architect all suggested it too.

If you think you may be in a market that does not appreciate cork, maybe you should make sure to use very high end cork with some sort of border or something .... some detail that makes it clear it was a design choice and not a compromise.


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Questions for cork floor owners.

For those of you with cork, a few questions:
1. Do you have the cork glue-down tiles or click style flooring? (manufacturer?)
2. What maintenance is required to keep the finish up? Did you do any sealing after installation or was your floor pre-sealed?
3. Did you have any color change occur after installation? If so, did it get darker or lighter?
4. How long have you had your floors installed?
5. Any special floor challenges--big dogs, old dogs, kids, main entry, etc.?

Thanks.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

1. Do you have the cork glue-down tiles or click style flooring? (manufacturer?)

- Glue-down tiles, Lisbon Cork, (very cheap, Lumber Liquidators).

2. What maintenance is required to keep the finish up? Did you do any sealing after installation or was your floor pre-sealed?

- The tiles are pre-sealed, but you do coat with poly after install to seal the joints. We vacuum it (not with a power head, as it could scratch), damp mop it. Very easy care.

3. Did you have any color change occur after installation? If so, did it get darker or lighter?

- Yes. Ours got much, much lighter. But we also installed it in rooms with floor-to ceiling windows across the entire wall. We knew this would happen. If you install in an interior room, you shouldn't have this problem.

4. How long have you had your floors installed?

- We put in one room about two years ago to see if we liked it. We got the rest of the house done in June of 2009.

5. Any special floor challenges--big dogs, old dogs, kids, main entry, etc.?

- Our cork is in the areas previously carpeted - LR, DR, bedrooms and bedroom halls. The entry and kitchen are the original brick pavers, so those take the bulk of the wear. We do have dogs, and there are some visible scratches, as well as scratches just from chairs, etc. But they might be confined to the poly, and not into the cork itself.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

1. Do you have the cork glue-down tiles or click style flooring? (manufacturer?)

Mine is a floating floor, from US Floors. Natural Cork New Dimensions. Wide Plank, Corte. Click and lock. But it doesn't feel like some click and lock laminates, you may be thinking of.
2. What maintenance is required to keep the finish up? Did you do any sealing after installation or was your floor pre-sealed?

Absolutely no sealing. Each board is totally sealed (including the tongues & grooves)by the manufacturer. If I were to have sealed it afterwards, it 1. would void the warranty and 2. it probably would have cracked since it is a floating floor and son of a gun--it really does expand and contract.
3. Did you have any color change occur after installation?
nope
4. How long have you had your floors installed?
13 months
5. Any special floor challenges--big dogs, old dogs, kids, main entry, etc.?
My 18 year old cockapoo had a battle with a uti a couple of months ago. So you just never knew when the moment would hit her.....no problems with cleanup.

I use Rigo Floor cleaner, as recommended by the manufacturer. It is bought in a concentrated form, and you mix it up in a spray bottle. After sweeping the floor, you just spray it on, and use a microfiber cloth mop to wip it up. Floors look great.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I just went through a MAJOR issue with my new cork floor. I ordered mine from DuroDesign in Canada. Based on research, I ordered the glue-down tiles as water damage is less likely & easier to repair than the planks. My GC admitted he had no experience (with cork), and sub-contracted it to a flooring contractor. I explaned that the subfloor had to be perfect, or the cork will "telegraph" any imperfections. When the tiles were first laid, it looked good, but as I ran my hands over the surface, I thought I was feeling a few "bumps". After the first coat of poly, I cried! It looked like the worst wallpapering job ever! Not just bumps, but air bubbles & gapping seams! After a very time-consuming, anger-managing, lawyer-threatening long 5 more months to my reno, I have a brand-new, floating cork floor (also from DuroDesign) that is stunning. I am so happy (finally)! Now I just need to get the baseboards back in & repainted & I can move back in...9 months & 50 lbs more dust later.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

beekeeperswife - we just ordered the same cork floors as you have, only in the Fila Cinza finish. I'm glad to hear such a positive review of them! Do you have any pictures you wouldn't mind sharing? Thanks!


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

congrats newkitchen2011, I hope you love them as much as we do.

Here's some photos
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

WOW! Thank you for posting - the floors are beautiful, as is the rest of your home. The color is so rich and really warms up the space!


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

beekeeperswife, your kitchen is absolutelty gorgeous! I never would've guessed the floor is cork. OT questions... what is your granite and color of your cabinets. Love them!!


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

1. Do you have the cork glue-down tiles or click style flooring? (manufacturer?)
We have glue-down tiles from Durodesign. Style: Barriga Colors:Cocoa and Praline
2. What maintenance is required to keep the finish up? Did you do any sealing after installation or was your floor pre-sealed?
I swiffer my floors and run the steam mop on them, basically the same as my wood floors. We sealed the floors with the poly that Durodesign provided.
3. Did you have any color change occur after installation? If so, did it get darker or lighter?
Nope. I keep a mat by the french doors and there's been no color change at all(you can't see a line when I move the mat.) I think there might be a uv inhibitor in the poly.
4. How long have you had your floors installed?
2 1/2 yrs
5. Any special floor challenges--big dogs, old dogs, kids, main entry, etc.?
2 very active boys who think nothing of running through the house in cleats or on a scooter or skates. 1 cat who lives here and several dogs who visit.

I've posted this pic before, but here's my floors.
cork floor


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

yellowdog, thank you so much. My counters are Bianco Antico. The cabinets are the ones that the builder put in, they were dark oak. We painted them with BM Cloud White, satin impervo. Since we used oil based paint, they have mellowed a little, which is fine since I planned for that.

The dark ones are from Kraftmaid (we added them) and they are cherry stained "peppercorn".

-Bee


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

  • Posted by efs (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 19, 11 at 21:05

When I look at the cork samples in the flooring store, I could easily create a dent in the smaple with my nails thus it made me wonder whether these floors are hard enough (cork by itself is very soft, softer than pine)? Do you have dents from , for example, chairs' legs? or when someone is walking on them in high heels?


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I just want to thank you all for the info! This community rocks.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

Is it possible to have heated cork floors?


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

Is it possible to have heated cork floors?

I've heard that it is, but we didn't do it because the cork is already pretty warm. And for some reason in my head I was afraid that the cork is such a good insulator that perhaps not enough heat would make it through to actually produce the desired effect.

I have no regrets not getting it under mine.

@efs, I don't have any marks from chair legs. I know friends with hardwood and there are marks on their floor. We simply put those little felt things on the bottom of each leg. The chairs slide effortlessly. If something dents the floor it is supposed to heal itself.

If you are considering cork, I would suggest calling the manufaturer (or 2) and asking for a sample--that you can test until destruction. That's what we did.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

Ditto beekeeperswife's answers.

I've heard you can use in-floor heat, but the cork is already pretty warm so it was never a consideration.

We don't have any dents or marks from heels or stools. Cork heals itself. If you were to leave a very heavy something on a cork floor for a very long time(think years) and not move it during that duration, there may be some compression.

While I don't regularly cook in 4 inch heels, I like to wear heels for parties and party prep tends to be all day. Plus I'm not the best at taking off shoes when I'm running back into the house for the forgotten cell phone, etc. These are the shoes I'm wearing on a daily basis and No Dents.

shoes


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

  • Posted by efs (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 20, 11 at 11:20

thanks so much- this is of great help.... We are going back and forth for cork and when I saw Bee's floors I was again into cork...


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

efs - did you make your final decision? We've had our cork flooring sitting in boxes in our yet-unfinished living room since the week before Christmas - and we're going to install it next week! I'm quite excited. It will go in the kitchen, and on into the great room. We're a little nervous now about our pattern choice - lisbon cork, floating planks version, by US Floors. It's pretty "busy"...but we have three dogs, and in the long run, I think we'll be grateful for the busy pattern that will help hide some of their hair/pawprints/scratches/slobber marks... Once it's done, I'll try to post some pictures, in case you wish to see any further examples of cork flooring.


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Oops...

Oops - meant that question/post to be addressed to both efs and ZacsDaddy! I'd love to see outcomes if both of you go with cork as well -


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I know around 95% of the corkies here think it's great, but I'm having a little trouble deciding if its going to be regretted as a flooring in a kitchen. We have only a cat, so the worst issues would be water leaks from dishwashers, etc, or lots of detrius (small rocks or wet leaves) before we can get our shoes off from the outside.
We also see very little date on Consumer Reports, but did note the Lisbon is rated as poor in most areas. Home Depot doesn't recommend cork, and they have only a few samples in their back area..definitely needing a floating floor, with all the potential problems with the subfloor being uneven-our whole house is.
Instead of everyone bragging about how great it is, how bout a scale rating for different mills/brands/lines...there aren't that many out there, specifically for consumers rather than buyers wanting to sound 'smart'. It would be interesting to see links. My guess is all this blather will fall apart when using it in a kitchen, but we still like the look of Earth Concepts Natural-very swirly, like burled elm.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

I have baltico from durodesign. I got the glue down in planks.
the require sealing after installation.
I have had them for just over 2 years now and they are still as good as the day they were installed.
I absolutely love them and they are so so easy to keep clean.
I do have 2 cats who can be messy eaters and although I don't have kids I have friends with young kids who love to come over and help me 'cook' whereby the floor gets it's fair share of what we are cooking - from vegies to sauces to flour etc. clean up is a breeze. Soapy water is all I need.
Definitely get samples to play with


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

We have wicander corkcomfort planks. No sealing after install. We've had them for six months and love them. Sixty pound lab, no problem. Have had a few major spills, no problem. Ours have a 15 or 25 yr warranty , can't remember which. The key is an experienced installer and a good subfloor. We find it warm , and had considered heated floors when we thought we'd have tile. I couldn't stomach the cost, but don't miss it at all w cork.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

We have wicander corkcomfort planks. No sealing after install. We've had them for six months and love them. Sixty pound lab, no problem. Have had a few major spills, no problem. Ours have a 15 or 25 yr warranty , can't remember which. The key is an experienced installer and a good subfloor. We find it warm , and had considered heated floors when we thought we'd have tile. I couldn't stomach the cost, but don't miss it at all w cork.


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RE: Cork Floors & Resale Value

This info has been great for me. We are using oak throughout the common areas of the house, but I am considering cork for the laundry. It is a totally separate room from our mudroom and will be used exclusively for laundry. Do you think the cheaper cork will fare well in this environment?


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