The Benefits of Cork Underlayment

Cork underlayment is a great environmentally friendly alternative to foam underlayment. Cork is made from a renewable resource whereas foam is a petro-chemical product that is not only non-biodegradable but also difficult to recycle.

The purpose of underlayment is to correct any minor flaws in the subfloor, to protect the flooring and to quiten the flooring. Cork underlayment does all of these tasks very well. The millions of tiny cells in cork make cork underlayment elastic in the sense that it can compress or expand. This elasticity allows for the subsurface to compensate for any minor flaws in the subfloor surface.

Furthermore, the honeycomb structure of cork is excellent at absorbing sound. This insulating property makes any flooring placed over the top of the cork underlayment much quieter. For those people living below this is a godsend. Also cork is water and mildew resistant. This provides protection for the flooring.

It should be remembered, however, that cork is water resistant not water-proof. A 6mm moisture barrier should be used if cork underlayment is put on a concrete subfloor, especially a concrete subfloor in a basement. To check if there is a moisture issue with a subfloor you can buy a moisture testing kit.

Another benefit of cork underlayment is that cork has thermal insulating properties. It absorbs heat from the flooring keeping it in the room, thus helping to reduce heating bills in the winter.

Finally, cork contains a substance called suberin that makes it antimicrobial. Cork flooring or strand woven bamboo flooring combined with cork underlayment is the best way to make flooring allergen free. This combination is recommended for people who suffer from allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Cork underlayment can be used as a subsurface for carpet, tiles, hardwood, coconut, cork, hardwood and laminate flooring. Although laminate flooring is not sustainable flooring, cork underlayment is especially good with laminate flooring because it makes the laminate flooring feel more like hardwood flooring.

Although cork underlayement costs more than foam underlayment, the extra protection that it provides for the flooring and against allergens makes it worth the investment. It is a long lasting underlayment material that is earth friendly.