How Much Does Cork Flooring Cost to Install?

Typical Range:

$500 - $1,400

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated September 6, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cork flooring cost for 100 square feet is $950, with a typical range of $500 to $1,400. This works out to a price of about $5 to $ 14 per square foot, which covers both materials and labor. Expect to pay about $2 per square foot for professional installation if you already have the material. 

Cork floors have many benefits. They’re environmentally friendly, easy to maintain, and sound-dampening. They’re also temperature-insulating, which helps save money on heating and cooling bills.

Average Cost to Install Cork Flooring

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$950 $1,400 $500

Cork Flooring Prices per Square Foot

How much is cork flooring? The price of cork flooring materials ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot, or an average of $7.50 per square foot. When you add labor, supplies, and equipment, cork flooring cost per square foot rises to around $5 to $14.

Cork Flooring Cost by Type

Cork products include planks, tiles, and luxury vinyl-clad cork. Each type costs a different amount to install, with the finish quality being the most significant factor in the price per square foot. Here's what you can expect to pay for each type of installation.

Luxury Vinyl Cork

Luxury vinyl cork flooring costs around $3 to $7 per square foot, or approximately $5 to $9 with installation. This type of flooring involves the application of a top layer of clear vinyl to a natural cork underlayment. The vinyl layer protects the cork from staining and wear. Luxury vinyl-clad cork might be a good option if you want to save money on future floor repair costs.


The price of cork planks ranges between $4 and $8 per square foot, depending on the material thickness and finish quality. The most common sizes are 10-, 11-, and 12-millimeter thick.

Cork planks have a middle layer that creates a locking system, so self-installing this type of flooring is easier since it’s like clicking puzzle pieces into place. But should you want a professional installation, it brings the total project cost to about $6 to $10 per square foot.

Cork Plank Thickness (mm) Average Price Range for Material per Sq. Ft. Average Total Price Range for Material and Installation per Sq. Ft.
10 $4 – $5 $6 – $7
11 $5 – $6.50 $7 – $8.50
12 $4 – $8 $6 – $10


Glue-down cork tiles cost $3 to $7 per square foot on average. However, some products can go as high as $12 per square foot. The total cork flooring price typically runs from $5 to $9 per square foot with installation. 

Glue-down tiles sometimes fall on the less costly end, but the total price is about as much as click-together planks, after adding the cost of preparing subflooring. And like planks, cork tiles are available in different thicknesses, with the most common sizes being 4, 6, and 8 millimeters.

Cork Tile Thickness (mm) Average Price Range for Material per Sq. Ft. Average Total Price Range for Material and Installation per Sq. Ft.
4 $3 – $ 3.50 $5 – $5.50
6 $4 – $5.70 $6 – $7.70
8 $5 – $7 $7 – $9

Cork Underlay Cost

Cork underlay lies between the subfloor and floor to provide a more even surface and acoustic insulation. It typically costs between $0.55 and $1.30 per square foot, depending on its thickness. It’s available either in sheets or on a roll and may be less costly if you buy in bulk.

Cork Underlay Thickness in Inches Average Price per Sq. Ft
1/8 $0.55
1/4 $0.65
1/2 $1.30

The cork homeowners use for underlayment differs from the ones for primary flooring. Top flooring is more attractive and, therefore, more expensive. Cork underlay also typically has a lower density than cork finish flooring.

In areas where moisture is present, apply a waterproof membrane and sealant first. Some types of cork underlay have a built-in vapor barrier to decrease moisture. If you need to buy and apply one yourself, a 12-millimeter vapor barrier will cost you about $3 to $4 per square foot.

Installing Cork Over Tiles or Concrete

Do the necessary prep work before you install cork flooring over tiles and concrete subfloors. Not preparing your subfloor properly can lead to problems in the future, including bonding issues. The kind of prep work you need to do depends on the subfloor type.

Tile Subfloor

For a ceramic or porcelain tile subfloor, fix and secure all loose tiles. Tile repair costs between $280 and $640 but can be as low as $130 if you're just repairing a single tile. Next, use warm water and a strong detergent solution to remove soiling, grease, soap, and wax. You also need to roughen the ceramic tile subfloor by sanding or brushing with wire brushes, and then level it with a coat of Portland cement-based leveling compound.

Concrete Subfloor

For a concrete subfloor, use liquid cement, which costs about $13.50 per quart, to fill out any grout lines or cracks in the concrete. Follow that with a layer of primer sealer, which costs about $10 for a 32-ounce can.

If you use cork tiles, you must install an underlay. You won't need to install an underlay if you're going with planks, but you might need expansion joints. A joint costs about $2.35, while a 25-foot spool is about $130.

Cork Flooring Cost Factors

A handful of factors will affect the final price of installing your cork floor. These factors include size, colors, patterns, subfloor preparation, and sealing. Here's how each factor can affect the final price.


Size is the biggest cost for installing cork flooring. Naturally, the cost of installing cork flooring is higher for a large room or house than for a smaller room because of the greater square footage. For large homes or rooms, you’ll also need more materials and time or labor to install the cork floor.

Colors and Patterns

Cork is available in a variety of colors and patterns, although many materials use cork’s natural brown shading. The most affordable 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.

Cork Floor Type With Traditional Texture Average Cost Range per Sq. Ft. Average Cost Range per 100 Sq. Ft.
Natural $3 – $6 $300 – $600
Color $7 – $8.50 $700 – $850
Premium color $9 – $9.50 $900 – $950

Technology also allows manufacturers to produce cork material with a striated texture, which has the appearance of rough lines.

Cork Floor Type With Traditional Texture Average Cost Range per Sq. Ft. Average Cost Range per 100 Sq. Ft.
Natural $8 – $8.50 $800 – $850
Color $10 – $10.50 $1,000 – $1,050
Premium color $11 – $11.50 $1,100 – $1,150

Subfloor Preparation

Proper subfloor preparation is crucial for a quality cork floor finish. This is particularly the case for cork tiles since you must ensure the surface is smooth, clean, and without any cracks or bumps. 

Getting the floor ready may be less expensive when using planks. Cork planks don't need gluing down to the surface underneath them, which avoids the need for any extensive subfloor prep work as long as it's reasonably level.


Sealing helps protect cork flooring from moisture and staining agents. The most common sealant is polyurethane. You can also use other sealants like acrylic and carnauba wax.

Some manufacturers produce cork floors with pre-applied sealant, especially for planks. If not, you'll need to buy sealant, which can increase the overall cost of your project. For both planks and tiles, you'll need to refinish and reseal every few years.

Cork Flooring Pros and Cons

Cork flooring has several pros and cons. Compare these to determine whether cork floors work for your home. A local flooring pro can evaluate your situation and tell you whether cork flooring suits your needs.

Cork Flooring Pros Cork Flooring Cons
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 resealing 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 vs. Other Options

Apart from cork, homeowners have several other flooring options to choose from, like hardwood, bamboo, laminate, and carpet. Each option has its own pros and cons. Here’s how different options compare to cork flooring.

Vs. Hardwood

Hardwood floors are generally more expensive than cork floors, ranging from $4.50 to $20 per square foot, depending on the wood type. The most common wood options are pine, hickory, red oak, white oak, and Brazilian walnut. The cost of hardwood floor installation is also higher, at around $6 to $12 per square foot, with some high-end jobs costing as much as $13 to $25 per square foot or more.

Hardwood floors are more durable than cork, often lasting as long as 100 years, especially when you use harder wood species like hickory and Brazilian walnut. But they’re less eco-friendly than cork and have much less sound-absorbing qualities, making cork much quieter to walk on than hardwood. 

Vs. Bamboo

The average bamboo floor installation cost is between $5 and $15 per square foot including materials and labor, comparable to cork flooring. Like cork flooring, bamboo flooring is a sustainable option as it has a relatively short harvest time, usually five to seven years. In terms of durability, bamboo is closer to hardwood flooring since its materials are strong and can last long.

However, bamboo is noisier than cork flooring. Cork flooring is more moisture- and water-resistant than bamboo and therefore is preferable in spaces like bathrooms or kitchens where water spills and buildup are likely to happen.

Get an Estimate for a Cork Floor
Get Estimates Now

Vs. Laminate

The average cost of installing laminate flooring ranges from $0.70 to $2 per square foot, making it much less costly than cork. Laminate is durable and mimics the appearance of pricier materials. And unlike cork, it’s harder on the feet and can’t be refinished.

Vs. Carpet

The cost of installing carpet ranges from $3.50 to $11 per square foot. Both cork and carpet floors are easy on the feet and may require underlay. However, carpet gets dirtier faster and takes more work to clean.

Vs. Tile

The cost of indoor tile flooring is between $15 and $20 per square foot for both materials and installation. Tiles are generally durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. But tile doesn’t dampen sound and is hard on the feet, unlike cork.

Vs. Vinyl or Linoleum

Installing vinyl or linoleum flooring costs between $2 and $5 per square foot. Both are available in several colors and styles. Similar to cork, vinyl and linoleum are softer materials, which makes them easier on the feet. But this also makes them more susceptible to damage.

Vinyl is also not biodegradable since it's made from plastic. For linoleum, you'll need to reseal it yearly to maintain sharp colors and a high luster.

Top Cork Floor Brands

There are several top brands to choose from when buying cork flooring materials. Depending on the brand, you can spend between $4 and $12 per square foot on your cork flooring. Here are the price ranges of some of the most popular brands and the warranty you'll get for each.

Brand Average Price Range per Sq. Ft. Warranty Length
APC Cork $4.50 – $12 10 years for commercial use; 25 years for residential use
Cali Bamboo $4 – $6 25 years
DuroDesign $4.65 – $6.30 5-year renewable
Kraus Flooring $4 – $8.70 10 years
WE Cork $3.60 – $8.30 Lifetime for structural issues; 20 years for wear
Wicanders $3 – $6 5 – 25 years for different product lines
Consult with a Pro When Choosing Flooring Materials
Get Estimates Now

DIY vs. Hiring a Flooring Contractor

Cork is one of the easiest floors to install yourself. If you're going the DIY route, it might be best to go with cork floor planks as these are easier to work with. Installing tiles requires more prep work, including installing an underlayment. It's also more difficult to correct mistakes with tiles. 

If you're not confident in your ability to install flooring or want to ensure the cork floor is perfect the first time, it's best to hire a flooring professional. It'll cost more upfront, but you'll likely save money in the long run by avoiding expensive mistakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cork flooring?

Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, native to northwestern Africa and southwestern Europe. The bark is dried, ground up, and compressed with resin. This type of flooring is available in solid cork tiles or engineered planks in both prefinished and unfinished varieties.

Is cork good for kitchens and bathrooms?

Cork is a good option for kitchen and bathroom floors as it’s naturally water-resistant. However, it’s not completely waterproof and, under prolonged contact, it might absorb a small amount of moisture, which could eventually cause the floors to swell or fall apart. If you use cork flooring in regularly damp places like kitchens or bathrooms, use moisture-sealed cork to avoid damage.

Can I add cork flooring over radiant heat?

Yes, you can add cork flooring over radiant heat, but check with the manufacturer to confirm. Most cork flooring manufacturers recommend that the surface temperature not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Because cork is an insulator, a cork floor heated by radiant heat will take longer to warm up but retain the heat more efficiently.

Does cork work for commercial or industrial surfaces?

Cork works well on commercial and industrial surfaces because it's fire-resistant and mold-inhibiting. It's also insulating and comfortable underfoot. Commercial and industrial installations across the U.S. have used cork as a flooring option since the early 1900s. Many churches, libraries, universities, and government buildings have cork floors that are several decades old.

However, note that cork wears down faster in higher-traffic areas, so consider going with something dense for a longer life span.

Can you stain cork?

You can stain an unfinished cork floor to your desired color with a water-based stain used for wood before you seal it. One quart costs about $11 and covers 135 square feet.

Rub the stain on the cork floor using a soft cloth or a sponge-covered paint roller and apply as many coats of stain (up to the manufacturer's limit) as necessary to get the desired color depth.

Do I need to reseal cork floors?

Yes, cork requires sealing followed by resealing every few years. The sealant helps protect cork floors from moisture, stains, and scratches. Most homeowners use water-based polyurethane, which costs about $10per quart

You can also use acrylic or carnauba wax to seal and create a protective layer, but you need to strip and reapply these two options more frequently, about every six months to one year.