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Kitchen Floors {How I Decided to Use Cork Tiles}


One of the biggest decisions I had to make on our kitchen renovation was what flooring to install. We have always had linoleum flooring and I was happy with it. But, when I was shopping for new linoleum I couldn’t find a pattern or flooring that I really loved. One of the things I was looking for was a flooring that had a matte finish. And I wanted it to have enough pattern that it wouldn’t show dirt easily.

Because of our water issues, I completely nixed the idea of wood flooring. Especially because we have two different colored wood floors in adjoining rooms. So, picking one color would always make the “odd floor out” feel disjointed.

I also didn’t want porcelain or stone tile flooring because I don’t like how cold it gets (which is why I installed radiant heat under our mudroom tiles.) And I didn’t want our dishes to shatter every time the boys dropped one (which happens a lot in our house.)

At one point I was considering installing groutable vinyl tiles. I loved the look and thought it would have the warmth and comfort of vinyl but the look of tile. But, then I read this article by Mike Holmes, he explained why he didn’t recommend groutable vinyl tiles. Apparently, there is a tendency for the grout to crack over time. At this point, I was really feeling stressed about flooring and was considering just picking a linoleum that I liked (but didn’t love.) Then I saw this:


Those are cork tiles! They have the look of wood, and the comfort of linoleum. And as a bonus, they are eco-friendly! Cork is harvested from the trees every 9 years. The tree is not cut down or harmed. The bark is simply cut off. And the tree regenerates new bark. Within 9 years that tree will be ready to be harvested again. This process can continue for hundreds of years without killing the tree. Did you know that most of the cork trees are in Portugal? And the cork forests provide habitat for many endangered species? You can learn more by watching this video:

There are many manufacturers of cork flooring. But, I was drawn to Globus Cork (and ultimately partnered with them) because of the variety of tiles they sell. Not only do they have 38 colors to choose from


…but they can produce custom colors as well! Oh the possibilities.

They also have three textures to select from:


As if that wasn’t enough, they also offer a variety of tile shapes and sizes!



I browsed through some of their installed flooring photos and was instantly in love with the idea of cork flooring. I found a few kitchen examples you might find inspiring:


For the more modern and daring homeowner, how about these:


If you prefer classic patterns, you’ll appreciate these:



In the process of researching flooring for the kitchen, I read through several forums online about cork floors and pets. The consensus seemed to be that if you have an animal that likes to dig and scratch, you might want to steer clear of cork flooring. We never had any problems with Buddy, so I figured we were safe.

Another concern that several people asked about was if cork floors were water resistant and stain resistant. Cork is naturally water resistant which is why they are used as wine stoppers. And the Globus Cork tiles come pre-sealed, but they sell a sealer to add a final coating after the installation.


I was sold! I’ll share with you my Globus Cork tile installation tutorial here. If you follow me on Instagram, you got the preview ahead of time.


Disclosure: After lots of research, I selected Globus Cork because I liked their products and their customer service.  I approached them about working with me on my kitchen renovation. They agreed to partner with me. I received complimentary products, but I was not told what to write or share. Please know that I am very selective about which companies and products I chose to work with.


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  1. Scott
    Scott says:

    Neat, but the prices are outrageous. $7 a sq ft. for something unusual like this is ridiculous in my opinion. Someone would be asking to lose the full investment in resale.

    If this was under $3 /ft it would be something to consider, but if you shop around you can find virtually ANY material for $7 including marble, granite, slate, and travertine.

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      I beg to differ Scott. The floors are top quality, warm, soft under foot, easy on the joints, stain resistant, water resistant, don’t show dirt, scratch resistant and really make a statement in our kitchen. They are by far my favorite material that we used in the kitchen. We have been living with them for almost a year and they have held up beautifully under the stress of two young boys and a big dog. They are also the most frequently commented item in our kitchen. With all that said, I can’t see how we would lose our investment.

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    Thank you for the heads up on cork flooring. I’ve been trying to find an option for our bathroom floors other than tile and heated flooring under it. Please write a post when you install it. I’d like to see how you prep the space.

  3. Laura
    Laura says:

    Another cork lover here too! I put cork down in our basement over a year ago, and am so happy with the choice. Funny: I picked out wood, and dh (who usually doesn’t have much opinion about house finish choices) kept going to the cork. I started researching it, and really was sold. After a year of hard use, it looks great! I was wondering how it would fare in a kitchen, so can’t wait to see how it goes!

    • Korlad
      Korlad says:

      Have you had any mold or mildew issues? I am finishing up building a cottage in the Bahamas and had wanted cork flooring (over the traditional porcelain tile used here) but shied away from due to reports that it wouldn’t like the humid climate here. I’m wondering how your has fared in the basement? Is that area of your house damp? Thanks for your input.. And thanks Brittany for your article!

      • Brittany Bailey
        Brittany Bailey says:


        This is not in the basement, it’s on the first floor over a crawl space in North Carolina. We do have humidity, but I’m not sure as much as the Bahamas. The cork is naturally water resistant and comes coated with a sealer. I love it, but can’t say for sure if it would be good for your climate. Try sending Globus Cork: http://globuscork.com/contact.html

      • Korlad
        Korlad says:

        Laura said that her basement install was over a year old. I would really love to do this. I first saw it on a bamboo house on Maui . I’m just so paranoid, though. I have maintained private islands for a living and seen a lot of “no-nos” that I am trying to avoid on my own place. Obviously, cork is “new”, but offers many benefits. Soundproofing for the space below is another bonus in my book. But, for me, there is also the sand issue………what to do………

  4. Deirdre
    Deirdre says:

    Hey Brittany:

    I sent you an email yesterday. When you have a minute can you respond? I want to write a story about one of your awesome projects. Thanks so much!


  5. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads
    Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    You are going to love your cork floors! Mainly because they are so easy on your legs and feet. We have had a cork floor in our kitchen for almost 5 years now. We went with cork because our house is old and has uneven floors, plus we would have been unable to match the wood flooring that is in the rest of the house. Our floor is green, and I can’t wait to see what you selected.

  6. Shelly Azzopardi
    Shelly Azzopardi says:

    Great write-up on the cork floors! I am sold. I had heard something about cork floors, but had no idea how fantastic they are, and how elegant they can look. Very cool! This is definitely what I want for my office floor. I wish we could renovate the kitchen right now, that floor is IDEAL!!! Thank you for the great information 🙂

  7. Cath
    Cath says:

    Interesting post. Who knew. Initially I was a little nervous about what impact it would have on the trees, even though I know they only take the bark and the tree is ok. From what I read on the WWF site, they actually want people to use more cork to keep the industry alive so the people who harvest it aren’t tempted to cut the trees down. So, you’re actually doing a good turn by buying it. (whatever is in the video, I can’t watch it now because of a sleeping husband…) I love the look of it, especially the chevron pattern with green border, and the hex pattern. The one 3D pattern would drive me mad. Anything with a cat on it looks good. I like the very plain one that is laid diagonally, too. Can’t wait to see how it looks in your kitchen.

  8. Holly
    Holly says:

    Hi Brittany, a couple of years back I was deep into exploring cork but was overwhelmed with the choices (and ultimately the price) and ended up with hardwoods.
    Now my kitchen needs a new floor and cork is at the top of my list.
    Your comment about pets intrigues me. Did you come across anything particular to cats? I don’t think my dogs will be interested in destruction but my cats might want to sharpen their claws if it’s the right “consistency.”
    Thank you for sharing your experience. It will benefit so many of us handy gals.

  9. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Brittany, we definitely are on the same wavelength!!

    I was researching cork flooring for one of our rentals because it has some old worn out vinyl tiles that I’d like to replace. In addition, the house is over 100 years old and the floor isn’t exactly level.

    So cork flooring is one possibility that I’d love to explore. Thanks for bringing Globus to our attention because they seem to have a ton of options that are stylish.

  10. Kimberly Bruhn
    Kimberly Bruhn says:

    Hey Brittany —

    They say timing is everything and boy, is it!!! We not only “need” to get rid of the carpet in our basement (family room/kid’s rooms) but we “have” to. Our son, Michael, has leukemia and we hope he will be getting a bone marrow transplant this summer. Carpet is really difficult to keep clean. Old carpet is just that, “old” and full of germs, bacteria and possibly, mold. They “suggest” a hard surface after transplant so it can be cleaned better.
    So, I’ve been home a week from Michael’s treatment(s) at the NIH in Bethesda, MD and am wondering what can we use? The concrete is not perfect underneath (too hot when we poured over the radiant wiring 12 years ago), but it is pretty level. We leave again for Maryland this Wednesday and I’m hoping my husband can start, at least, looking for products that might work. I wonder if the cork is okay for that type of heating? We live in southern Oregon and have limited selection. We do have both a Home Depot and Lowe’s in our area, but that’s about it. We have tile and hardwoods everywhere else in the house (two-story). Hardwoods won’t work and my husband doesn’t like tile for the reasons you listed…kind of un-forgiving. I’m starting a new Pinterest category for flooring ideas. I’ll add this so I won’t forget to look up Globus Cork. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  11. Sarah M. Dorsey
    Sarah M. Dorsey says:

    Love cork! I’ve been a fan since I first heard about them a few years ago. I’m planning to use them in our future kitchen (when we have a house 🙂 They feel great underfoot and can be super durable!


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