But then you remember, what about cork? If that’s you, and you want something that’s a little different than the norm, cork is a good option. Unfortunately, Heritage Mill cork flooring is probably not.
There are several things to like about cork flooring in general. It’s a sustainable flooring option; it’s allergy friendly, and it’s quiet.
Heritage Mill cork flooring delivers all of that. There are also other positives about the product, but those good things don’t outweigh the bad.
Let’s take a look at the things to like about Heritage Mill first. Then, we will look at the drawbacks.
- Large Plank Size
- Good for Specialized Installations
- Cork Can be Refinished
- Lifetime Residential Warranty
- Installation Not as Easy as Advertised
- Damaged Planks
- What You See May Not Be What You Get
Large Plank Size
Heritage Mill manufactures long, wide planks. That allows you to cover large areas with fewer boards, reducing the seams you can get with standard laminate flooring.
Some Heritage Mills planks are nearly one foot wide and three feet long. They are also relatively thick, nearly a half inch. That makes the already cushiony cork flooring feel even softer under foot.
Good for Specialized Installations
The nature of cork flooring may make it more suited to specialty uses, and that’s what many reviewers online have actually done. Like installing the Heritage Mill cork flooring into a home yoga studio, or as flooring in a master closet, or, in one instance, as the floor in a converted camper van.
Some of this may be due to cork’s sound dampening qualities, making it great for those rooms that get heavy, active use (Hello, children’s playroom!), if you are trying to keep distractions from that room to a minimum.
An additional bonus: cork is soft, so if play gets a little too out of hand in that children’s playroom, there is some level of protection in that.
Cork Can be Refinished
While not a plus that’s specific to Heritage Mill cork flooring, it’s still worth remembering when making a flooring decision that you can refinish cork. That means that when it’s time to redo your room or redo the whole house, you won’t necessarily have to redo the floors. You only need to refinish them.
One caveat, the Heritage Mill warranty specifies that refinishing must be done by a professional, otherwise, you may void the warranty. And speaking of warranties …
Lifetime Residential Warranty
Heritage Mill does have one of the better residential warranties that I’ve seen: A limited lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturing defects, like improper milling, laminating, grading or assembly. Also, if they send you damaged planks and install them anyway, don’t go trying to make a warranty claim later.
What are the chances they are going to send you damaged planks? Unfortunately, as you’ll see in a minute, maybe pretty good.
So, that’s the good. And they are good things. Whether or not those outweigh the bad at the price you pay for the cork is up to each individual buyer.
Also, before diving into some of the negative things about Heritage Mill cork flooring online, it’s important to note that there are people online who have only good things to say about Heritage Mill. They’ve had the floor for years, and they are happy with it.
The points below come from themes that we noticed reviewers repeating.
Installation is not as Easy as Advertised
Some online commenters have mentioned that the cork installation was not as simple as they were led to believe, and that the instructions that come with the flooring are insufficient.
Several also mentioned needing to fashion some type of tapping guard from an unused end of a plank so that when tapping the planks into place you don’t damage the locking mechanism.
Another repeated complaint: damaged planks. Whether it’s a stained surface or a rough edge, several reviewers mentioned that they were unable to use some of the planks in their boxes.
One reviewer even pointed out that the locking mechanisms on each plank were made of cardboard, meaning that several of the planks they received came out the box damaged and unsalvageable.
What You See May Not Be What You Get
One final thing that several online reviewers repeated was: colors you see online don’t match what you get. Now, to be fair to Heritage Mill, matching the color of something in real life to what you see on a computer screen is never going to happen. Every monitor is calibrated differently, so what looks bright red on one monitor may appear much duller on another.
That said, reviewers mentioned this complaint more than once. What you may want to do, if you are leaning toward cork flooring, is go into a brick-and-mortar store and see if they have a sample for you to look at to get a real feel for how the planks look.
The reality is that some flooring materials, like bamboo and cork, can be temperamental. They don’t like things like humidity and water.
So, when you see some complaints on these types of flooring you want to give the manufacturer a bit of leeway. There’s nothing they can do about how a natural product reacts to nature. There’s a bit of buyer beware there.
That’s not the case here, though. Reviewers complained again and again about installation difficulties and about damaged products in the shipping process.
Again, you expect to see some complaints about both of those things. If you’ve never installed a floor before, it can be difficult. And shipping can damage some things.
But the complaints that we saw people repeating weren’t just simple complaints from inexperienced DIYers. They speak to larger issues–lack of tools needed for the install and an overall design flaw in the locking mechanism–that can be controlled.
For those reasons we have to say that if you’ve got your heart set on cork flooring you may want to consider a manufacturer other than Heritage Mills.