Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork trees. Unlike wood flooring, the trees are not cut down. This unusually thick bark is made up of tiny prism-shaped air pockets which create a resilient cushiony surface which offers several distinct advantages. Cork is a natural fire inhibitor and has a waxy substance called suberin which serves as an insect repellent. Most of the cork trees are grown in 7 countries; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The normal life expectancy of a cork tree is 120 – 200 years and the bark is harvested every 9 -11 years. Cork floors were installed in some public buildings over 100 years ago (i.e. The Library of Congress) and are still in use today.
They will scratch like a hardwood floor, but most dents from things like furniture will rebound.
Maintenance on a cork floor is simple--just sweep, dust mop, or damp mop with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar or hard head on cork floors. The vacuum head should be brush or felt; a wand attachment is preferable. You should also try to maintain a 50% relative humidity level and try to keep the floor out of direct sunlight as much as possible to prevent fading.