In today’s environment, homeowners have become increasingly interested in finding sustainably harvested flooring materials. You want to help, but you also want beautiful floors that will last you a long time, and sometimes laminate just isn’t going to make the cut.
Cork flooring is becoming a popular alternative to other hardwoods because it can be harvested without killing the tree, and is produced sustainably. One brand in particular – Millstead Cork – is on the rise. Millstead aims to help individuals create their dream homes using natural colors and reliable materials.
But, is it right for you?
- Is it durable?
- What styles are available?
- How much does it cost?
- How easy is it to install?
- Why cork?
- The Final Decision
Is it durable?
Millstead Cork is a relatively durable and reliable product that has a surprising amount of give and a high ability to bounce back from pressure. In general, the flooring is capable of handling heavy foot traffic without too much trouble, and it has even become popular in government and public buildings. Some people swear by Millstead because of this, and believe that it creates less of the grinding action that wears down a floor’s surface.
Unfortunately, other people aren’t so lucky. Some people have noticed that while cork doesn’t wear, it can tear. Cork, despite its sturdiness, is also soft and prone to scuffs, dents, scratches, and other damage. So, while you might be able to parade your pets throughout, expect marks, especially from their nails. Cork is easy to puncture and is not exactly invulnerable against high heels, nails, claws, and other pointy objects.
Millstead avoids some of these problems by featuring options which have a layer or coat of laminate over the top that helps prevent damage and general wear. You should always aim to pick something which suits your lifestyle and how often you will be moving around. If you have pets, cork may not work for you.
What styles are available?
Millstead does not produce many styles since it emphasizes the natural look and feel of cork. At the moment, there are only three types available to potential buyers like yourself:
- Burnished straw
- Smoky mineral
The colors mimic many of the shades found in cork trees and allow you to see the structure and texture of the tree. The planks are all roughly 3/8 inches thick and about 5.5 inches wide.
Because Millstead does not need to create a photo layer for the top, your floor will not have a uniform look. Each plank features inherent anomalies, hues, and shapes that come from natural wood. This look can give you a more organic and unrefined look, great for nature lovers.
How much does it cost?
Cork flooring is a bit more expensive than other materials. On average, you can expect to pay between $5 and $7 per square foot. Millstead primarily sells its products in bundles of roughly 10 square feet.
The company does offer commercial and residential warranties for the majority of its flooring options, which can help you save money in the long run. Millstead offers different coverage based on the type of cork you have, and you can register for warranties such as moisture, structural, and radiant heat.
This type of flooring is great for people who want to invest in their home’s future but might not be willing to spend an inordinate amount of money.
How easy is it to install?
Cork is relatively easy to install depending on the type you purchase. Some of the styles available from Millstead click into place and use the floating installation method, which means they don’t need to be glued or nailed down. If you do this, you need to make sure you have a smooth, clean subfloor underneath and that you click the planks together correctly.
Other products from the company can be glued or nailed down with ease and don’t require too many special considerations. As with all other flooring materials, you need to let your new floor acclimate to the room’s environment for at least 48-72 hours before installation. This period of time allows the material to shrink or expand and will prevent potential cracking or breaking when installed.
Cork trees have a lifespan of roughly 250 to 350 years and reach full maturity at 25. One reason why more and more people are choosing to use it as a flooring material is because it can be harvested from a tree without killing the tree itself. This is good news for those who care about the plants & the overall environmental impact involved in the construction of your house.
This bark can be harvested every nine years and features a creation process that exudes few byproducts. This means there is minimal damage to the environment, unlike what happens when a hardwood tree like walnut or oak is chopped down to make a new kitchen set.
For these reasons, among others, it has become the favored choice of eco-friendly homeowners, and potentially yourself.
The Final Decision
You could have a corking-good time when you invest in Millstead cork floors. The product is relatively reliable, durable, and eco-friendly. For homeowners, it makes a great addition to the property without setting your finances back to the Stone Ages.
Some of the downsides you will need to consider are:
- Susceptibility to puncturing
- Aversion to moisture
- The lack of customization
However, these negatives are easily countered by the flooring’s value, ease of installation, and general durability. In short, if you want to find something long lasting but are on a budget, then this could work for you.
Do you have your own experiences with Millstead cork flooring? If so, please share your experiences, pictures, videos, and any other documents here on the website or through social media. Every piece of information can help a homeowner decide whether or not a particular flooring or brand is right for them.