How Much Does Cork Flooring Cost?
$500 - $1,400
$500 - $1,400
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated July 15, 2020Written by HomeAdvisor.
*All costs based on 100 square feet
The average cost of installing 100 square feet of cork flooring is $950. The price of more expensive projects is about $1,400 while it can run as little as $500. The total ranges between $5 and $14 per square foot. The amount for flooring material varies based on quality and color, but it usually ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot. Labor and the supplies and equipment for the job runs about $2 per square foot.
This impermeable material is found in one of the layers that make up the bark of the cork oak. This tree is unique to northwest Africa and southwest Europe. While it is often associated with bulletin boards and bottle stoppers, it is becoming a popular sustainable flooring choice.
Cork has several benefits. It is environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and sound-dampening. It is also temperature insulating, which helps save money on heating and cooling bills.
*for 100 square feet
The price of cork flooring material ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot or an average of $7.50 per square foot. It’s available in planks or tiles.
Cork looks like compressed particles and is typically ⅓ inch to ½ inch thick. Paint, stain, bleach or refinish to make it look like any other natural material. You can also design an inlay or etch into its surface to create a custom look or texture.
The cheapest cork flooring material costs about $3 per square foot and has the color and appearance of a flattened wine stopper. Other neutral, natural-looking colors are costlier while bright colors are generally the most expensive.
|Type||Per Square Foot||Per 100 Square Feet|
|Natural||$3 - $6||$300 - $600|
|Color||$7 - $8.50||$700 - $850|
|Premium color||$9 - $9.50||$900 - $950|
Technology gives manufacturers the ability to produce cork material with a striata texture which has the appearance of rough lines.
|Type||Per Square Foot||Per 100 Square Feet|
|Natural||$8 - $8.50||$800 - $850|
|Color||$10 - $10.50||$1,000 - $1,050|
|Premium color||$11 - $11.50||$1,100 - $1,150|
Luxury vinyl cork flooring amounts to about $4 per square foot. The bottom layer of the plank is an integrated natural cork underlayment. The vinyl top is durable and comes in different styles that look like beech, pine or oak.
Houses are built on subfloors which serve as the groundwork for your floor. Cork is too soft to use in this role. Subfloors are usually made of at least two sheets of plywood or concrete slab.
Repairing or replace subflooring costs most homeowners about $600. Flooring that doesn’t have a sound, structurally-solid base is prone to damage, cracking and buckling.
The underlay, for which cork is a popular choice, lies between the subfloor and the floor. The price varies with thickness from $0.55 to $1.30 per square foot. It is typically sold by the roll or sheet and may be cheaper when buying in bulk.
Cork underlay may be used under flooring of the same material so long as the subfloor is sound and smooth, and a vapor barrier is used. It can also be used under hardwoods.
|Thickness in Inches||Price Per Square Foot|
Some types have a built-in vapor barrier to decrease moisture. If yours does not, 12 mil vapor barrier runs about $3 to $4 per square foot.
The cork homeowners use for underlay is different than that used as primary flooring. Top flooring is more attractive and therefore more expensive.
It offers several benefits when used under other materials such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl or tile. It is insulating, easy on the feet and sound-dampening. Get a Quote for a Cork Floor
The cost of planks and tiles typically ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot. Quality is the biggest factor in the price per square foot. Glue-down tiles sometimes fall on the cheaper end, but the total price is about as much as click-together planks, after adding the cost to prepare the subfloor.
Planks average between $4 and $8 per square foot, though they can be found for as little as $3 or as much as $12. They are available in different thicknesses which impact the material cost. The most common densities available are 10, 11 or 12 millimeters. Having a professional install the planks adds about $2 per square foot to your overall budget for a total project typically runs from $6 to $10 per square foot.
|10||$4 - $5||$2||$6 - $7|
|11||$5 - $6.50||$2||$7 - $8.50|
|12||$4 - $8||$2||$6 - $10|
A homeowner wanting to do the job themselves would have an easier time with planks than tiles. The planks have a middle layer that creates a locking system, so laying this flooring is like clicking puzzle pieces into place.
Glue-down tiles average from $3 to $7 per square foot, though more expensive products do exist at up to $12 per square foot. They’re available in different thicknesses. The densities used most often are 4, 6 or 8 millimeters. The total installation project typically runs from $5 to $9 per square foot. Installing tiles may be more expensive than planks because the subfloor needs to be prepped before gluing them down.
|4||$3 - $3.50||$2||$5 - $5.50|
|6||$4 - $5.70||$2||$6 - $7.70|
|8||$5 - $7||$2||$7 - $9|
Cork flooring costs anywhere from $5 to $14 per square foot to install. The price range includes labor, supplies and equipment, which amounts to about $2 per square foot. Several factors can affect the total dollar amount of the project.
Site/Subfloor Preparation: Homeowners planning to use tiles need a smooth and sound surface to avoid flaws. Getting the site ready may be costlier than laying planks that require less preparation.
Underlay: Cork underlay ranges in price from $0.55-$1.30 per square foot. Material on the more expensive end is denser. If your underlay doesn’t have a vapor barrier built in, 12 mil vapor barrier is priced at $3 to $4 per square foot. It is not needed when laying planks.
Planks - Sealed in the manufacturing process. Reseal every few years.
Tiles – Seal with a clear polyurethane finish and reseal every few years.
Use liquid cement at about $13.50 per quart to prepare the existing floor properly before installing cork over concrete. This will fill in any grout lines or cracks in the concrete. Follow with a layer of primer sealer, which costs $10 for a 32-ounce can.
If you’re going to use cork tiles, install underlay first for $0.55-$1.30 per square foot.
If you’re going with planks, expansion joints may be necessary. A joint costs about $2.35 while a 25-foot spool is $125. Consult with a Pro to Install Cork Flooring
|Easier on feet||Susceptible to damage from sharp objects or heavy appliances/furniture|
|Insulating (prevents heat loss, dampens sound)||Will warp or discolor if not perfectly sealed against water/humidity|
|Can be refinished||Prone to fading if exposed to sunlight|
|Hypoallergenic/antimicrobial||Needs to be resealed every few years|
|Safe for children and animals||Companies don’t offer guarantee for as long as other flooring types|
|Environmentally-friendly||Prone to uneven color/tone variations if not professionally stained|
|Easy to maintain||Doesn’t appeal to all homebuyers|
Cork flooring material costs about $7.50 per square foot but can range from $3 to $12. The cost of hardwood floors depends on the quality and kind of wood used.
Wood flooring is available in solid or engineered. Solid wood and denser cork may be refinished multiple times. Engineered woods lose a small amount of the surface with each refinishing job, which decreases its lifespan.
The average per-square-foot price of laminate ranges from $0.70-$2.
Laminate is durable and mimics the appearance of pricier materials. Unlike cork, it’s harder on feet and cannot be refinished.
The cost of carpet ranges from $1 to $11 per square foot.
Both types are easy on feet and may require underlay, which is priced from $0.55-$1.30 per square foot. But carpet gets dirtier faster and takes more work to clean.
The per-square-foot price of indoor tile runs from $0.50-$15, depending on the type. Homeowners typically pay $15-$20 per square foot, which includes material and installation.
Like cork, tile is easy to maintain, durable and non-toxic. Both types also work with radiant heating. Tile doesn’t dampen sound and is hard on feet.
The cost of vinyl or linoleum is, on average, $4 per square foot. However, they can be as little as $2.50 or as much as $7. Both are available in several colors and styles, but vinyl isn’t environmentally-friendly, and linoleum needs to be resealed yearly.
Similar to cork, vinyl and linoleum are softer materials. This makes them easier on feet but more susceptible to damage.
|Brand||Price Per Square Foot||Warranty|
|Cali Bamboo||$4 - $6||25 years|
|Duro Design||$4.65 - $6.30||5-year renewable|
|Wicanders||$3 - $6||Multiple options|
|Kraus||$4 - $8.70||Multiple options|
|We Cork||$3.60 - $8.30||Lifetime (structural), wear (20 years)|
|APC||$4.50 - $12||Multiple options|
For the perfect cork floor the first time around, hire a floor professional who has experience working with the material. Homeowners going with planks will have an easier time installing it themselves. Installing tiles requires more prep work and it’s more difficult to correct mistakes.
This flooring is made from cork oak tree bark that has been dried, ground up and compressed with resin.
The per-square-foot price of cork, including material and installation, is comparable to other types of flooring and is generally cheaper than tile.
The cheapest cork is plain, has traditional texture and is on the thinner side. It’s available for as little as $3 per square foot.
While other types of flooring are better options for these rooms, moisture-sealed cork can be used in kitchens and bathrooms.
It can be added over radiant heat, but the surface temperature shouldn’t exceed 82 degrees. Professionals price radiant heating installation at about $3,700.
Cork works well in commercial and industrial surfaces because it’s fire-resistant and mold-inhibiting. It’s also insulating and comfortable underfoot. It wears down faster in higher-traffic areas, so go with something dense for a longer lifespan.
You can stain it before you seal it. A water-based stain is best. One quart is about $11 and covers 135 square feet.
Wine corks can make interesting décor. However, we don’t recommend them for flooring due to time and effectiveness concerns.
The cost of repairing or removing and replacing the flooring ranges in price, but it varies per job.
Repair minor blemishes with wood filler, which is available for about $6.50 for 8 ounces.
Removing the flooring is about $3 per square foot including disposal of the debris.
Replacing it amounts to $3-$14 per square foot.
Cork should be resealed every few years. Apply water-based polyurethane for about $10 per quart.Hire a Flooring Contractor Today