WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING CORK FLOORING...
DENSITY - Higher density means a stronger product. Measured in pounds per cubic foot, cork flooring should have a minimum density of 28. Densities up to 34 are available.
FINISH - Cork can be purchased unfinished, but unlike some wood, it must be finished upon installation. Though some still prefer paste wax, the most common finish today is polyurethane. There are suppliers offering cork with a low maintenance vinyl coating, but it cannot be refinished or easily repaired. The latest development is a curable oil, called hardwax, a non-toxic oil with the added advantage of not needing a topcoat applied on site. A newly installed floor featuring curable oil finish can be walked on immediately.
THICKNESS - The thickness of the cork wear layer has little to do with durability. That’s density’s job. However, thickness affects acoustical and thermal insulation. A good standard thickness is 5/32” (4mm). Other thicknesses are readily available, and particular needs can be met through special order.