We have the APC cork flooring in our kitchen. It looks attractive but unfortunately I'm noticing where some of the seams are slight chipping off the top layer displaying the brown cork underneath. It's very subtle now, but we've only had the flooring for a couple months and it doesn't seem it's going to hold up well over time. We have a busy household. Perhaps it would be a better choice for a small household where there's not a lot of action. It's a bummer because I otherwise really like the flooring.
New Castle, PA
Don't Do It!!!!
Terrible. We installed cork in our entire house less than a year ago. All of the floor is bubbling. I had an inspection done and was told our house it too humid (even though the report shows it was within the recommended range) AND we live in Alaska. Humid are you serious? This floor is crap and super expensive.
The idea of the cork flooring is fantastic, the execution of the pre-finished panels is terrible. It looks very pretty until you walk on it.
If there was a negative rating for this I would put it. You can't drop anything, have any pets, children or water on this floor or there is damage.
Ease of Installation
Simple click and lock, we had it installed however just to be sure it was done properly. We have several gaps from where the floor moves with the expansion of heat to cold.
Looks much nicer and easier to maintain than you think
When my husband and I bought our 1920's house, the kitchen hadn't been updated in awhile. We pulled up the linoleum hoping to find a hardwood floor, and it was this pine that was very soft and couldn't be sanded. Not wanting to spend a fortune on the floor and wanting something natural, we started looking around. I had heard of cork flooring but wasn't crazy about the look. We found a nice neutral tan color that came in tiles. I don't recall it being expensive and certainly cost less that a new hardwood floor would have. We loved it, never regretted putting it in until we sold our home about 10 years later. My husband does most of the cooking (yay!) and he commented often that it was much easier on the feet because cork has a slight 'give' - Hard to describe until you stand on it for a long period and realize it just isn't as hard on your joints. So it looks nice, and oh yes, installed easily (we did ourselves with help from brother-in-law who had the tools). The tiles snapped together.
The tiles are made the mimic the look of hardwood, and the surface is as durable. It didn't show dirt!! Not at all.
My cork flooring lasted for a decade until we sold our home and got lots of use! And it's environmentally friendly. Highly recommend it for someone looking for a eco choice.
Ease of Installation
Very easy, did it ourselves.
Comfortable, quiet, easy on legs, compliments timbber walls.
Installed cork floor in kitchen and living room 19 years ago. Used a rough random look cork style. Put it on concrete floor. Just love the livability, sound quietening qualities of cork. Easy to clean, by vacuming it then wash with water and a dash of metholated spirits. No echo like hard tiles, reduced breakages, cat no problems. Doesnt like water on it for a long period. Quality of laying and sealing very very important. We got lucky with our layer, as we have had almost no problems in that long period. Looking to use it again in next house.
Limited range of styles avaiable in this country. Need more styles and colors to get a modern look. I like our chunky cork style rather than the fine grained cork of tradtional style. Alas not sure the chunky look is till available.
19 years and still good. some loss of semi gloss under breakfast bar chairs.
Ease of Installation
Needs to be glued, sanded and finished well. NO short cuts. Do three coats of sealing and it will last 20 year pluss. Use roller of some weight after glueing. Do it slowly and carefully.
Beautiful, and very pleasant under foot. Quiets the whole house
Bought US Flooring Cork plank. I installed it my self. It is a bit difficult to tap in to a perfect fit but once done is TIGHT. Face nail around the edges
Tight fit. Easy to cut. Beautiful finish.
Perfect so far.
Ease of Installation
A bit difficult to get a perfect interlock fit. Patience and big tapping blocks required. Once in it fits perfectly and stays flat on rough sub-fooring.
Lost Faith in US Floors- poor customer service.
The Almanda New Taditional Cork flooring, manufactured by US Floors, was professionally installed in our newly remodeled basement this month. We have not moved into the space yet, because we are greatly disappointed in the appearance of the hazy, dirty look of the installed flooring. The color chosen was Marcus Cafe, a medium brown. The cork would be beautiful and look like a polished wood floor, if the overall sheen was a clean, clear satin like the large sample piece we brought home. The cork looked fine out of the box, but not so once installed and cleaned with Bona. Installer issue? Cleaning issue? We needed additional product information to trouble-shoot better, so felt that the manufacturer was the best one to know their cork product and would prove to be the most helpful. Instead, I received double-talk from the person answering the phone at US Floors.
During my first call to describe the flooring issue, in detail, I was transferred over to Customer Service who did not answer and I was left to repeat the problem to a machine - no return call from Customer Service. A couple of days later, during my second call to US Floors, before noon CST, I was told that Customer Service was "three hours away" and had "probably already gone home," and to wait another day - still no call back. Days later, my third call was transferred to the Technical Department where I got another machine - no call back.
My fourth call was an eye-opener and raised my concern about the product itself. I told my story yet again to the same person as all the times before, the same person who transferred me to machines all the times before. I asked her this time what it really took to talk with someone in Customer Service who was knowledgable about their product, so that a solution could be found for the floor finish. She then told me that I WAS talking with Customer Service - SHE was customer service. I asked her why the subterfuge during my previous calls - no answer to that question. She directed me once again to use Bona. I said once again that it did not fix the problem, to which she offered to transfer my call to the Technical Department. To which I said....Enough.
Just out of the box, the product looked fine. After installment/cleaning, I expected the finish to look the same as from the box, or like the sample I brought home or as seen in the Almanda brochure photos, but it does not.
The slightly beveled edges make the flooring look like wood planks. It is a great look. However, beveled cork planks are easily chipped revealing the natural cork color. I would not recommend this product in high traffic areas, if you have kids, large pets, or have furniture that you slide often. This product needs a bit of babying to keep it from damage and some special know-how to make it look clean and new.
Ease of Installation
The flooring was installed without any difficulty by professionals.
Disappointed cork floor owner -- US Floors.
Last summer I purchased cork for the majority of my home that I was refurbishing. It looked great for about three days, then I noticed that it started to pucker around the edges. I had followed all the instructions and utilized the installer my retailer had recommended -- their best. The floor continued to worsen. Not only is there puckering and lines, there are bubbles underneath and the finish is awful. If you simply drop a paperback book it leaves a dent. And I have a dark color so there are scratches and chip marks everywhere. This floor isn't even a year old! I'd replace it in a heartbeat, however I can't afford it. We contacted the manufacturer. They came back and did an analysis. Never did hear back from them. I called my retailer and they indicated that they all claim the floor had gotten wet. The entire house -- no way! This was a splurge for me. I sweep and care for this floor like you wouldn't believe. I put laminate in the shower/bath room as I didn't trust cork in a bath. That flooring is wonderful -- easy to care for and looks wonderful. This cork is difficult to keep clean as what you think is dirt (rub, rub to get it out) is a crack/flaw in the flooring. This just make me furious every time I open the door and see my floor. Linoleum would look and perform much better -- cheaper as well. My advice -- don't buy cork, especially from US Floor. Jane
Don't get your cork prefinished! Terrible Mistake.
I worked in a place that used cork in a busy, commercial application. It was gorgeous, resilient, and easy to maintain. So I thought I'd replace our old kitchen floor with cork. But I made a BIG mistake -- I bought prefinished, floating panels instead of glue-down tiles. I should have realized the obvious design flaw -- prefinished cork is mounted on HDF -- NOT a moisture-resistent material. So, the cracks (which you have after installation of a prefinished floating floor) inevitably absorb moisture, which then swells the HDF substrate. What a bad design! All the edges are curled and swelled. I tried to sand some edges down so I could refinish them, and now I have dark stripes with even larger cracks -- basically a disaster. Now the kitchen looks like it has old, nasty linoleum. This in a high-end kitchen with Maple cabinets, granite countertops, stainless appliances, detailed woodworking, etc. It sticks out like a sore thumb.
Cork can be great, but ONLY if solid cork is glued down and finished in place. I've seen it work beautifully in a commercial application that way. Oh, how I wish someone had warned me before I made this mistake! Please don't make the same.
Buy if love cork flooring go for it, but not from APC Cork.
While I like my cork flooring, I have found the APC Cork company to be very uncoorperatve and unfriendly to deal with. If I call or have a question about floor care or anything else, for that matter, first it is like pulling teeth to get to talk to anyone besides the receptionist; then, they become very defensive and aggressive, in case they perceive you might have a complaint. . For a company that claims a 25-year guarantee on their floors, they are very unapproachable. If you want long-term relationship with your supplier, I definitely do not recommend APC cork..much better to go with Wicander, or some other cork supplier.
US Floor Cork Flooring is a great choice!
We've only had the cork flooring in our kitchen and hallway for about six weeks, but I love it! It's cushiony and looks great. We chose the Nieve/Valencia color (off-white/tan/peach/brown), because we have golden oak color kitchen cabinets and my primary choice was just too much wood of similar color in the room. When I first looked at the choices, the Nieve was one I didn't think I would *ever* like; but it is really great! It does drive you crazy thinking there's dirt on the floor where there isn't, but you get used to where the flecks are "supposed" to be! And it never really looks dirty, because there are random marks everywhere! I like this so much more than the linoleum that it replaced; I'm **very** happy with my choice.
I chose the EcoFloor cork, which is planks. It's not nearly as expensive as the Wicanders, and I feel it will hold up very well. We had it installed, so I can't vouch for how easy installation is. But if you do install yourself or have someone install, be sure to mix and match the boxes of planks...one or two from one box, some from another box, etc. There are definite differences in the shades of the planks, and on ours at one location, you can see where one box stopped and another began. But with the kitchen table in place, it's not noticeable.
One caveat I have is that if you have a super-drooling dog, get used to cleaning your floor often (or ban the dog from the room); the drool really shows up when dry, as shiny marks. My previous linoleum flooring did not show (glad I wasn't walking around in bare feet!). When I got the cork, I had only had my present dog (Austrailian cattledog) for five months, and did not realize how much he drooled at mealtime until I had this floor. It really is not a problem as far as affecting the flooring itself; it just shows. I have had no problems at all (with it affecting the floor); I just try to keep it cleaned up with a spray bottle and cloth.
Cleaning is easy; just dry mop often and/or use a vacuum without a beater-bar. At least weekly, I use a hard-floor cleaner in a *spray bottle* to mist and dry with cleaning cloths as I go over the floor (this gets any grit missed by the vacuum). We even had traces of tar on the floor (from the dog's paws) when the highway by the house was being tar-and-chipped, but that came off with no problem at all - just with the hard-floor cleaner, nothing else required. (**Much** easier than from Sammy's paws!)
I really don't have anything bad to say about the flooring, and I am quite confident that I won't in the future. I fully expect to be loving it as much in ten, fifteen, twenty years as I do now. I'll probably be tired of it by then anyway.