OK, I am totally sold on cork these days. There are so many colors and patterns, it's easy to install, warm and comfy under my tootsies, not to mention it's a very sustainable flooring option. It's even so versatile you can use it on the walls as well.
Cork is a renewable resource that comes from cork oak trees found in Mediterranean countries. Bark is peeled from the tree without damaging it, and it then fully regenerates in 9-10 years and is able to be peeled again. A cork tree lives to be about 200 years old, and drops acorns that seed themselves and mature into new trees.
Cork has some remarkable and unique characteristics that make it a perfect choice for flooring and walls. It has the best insulating and acoustical capacities of any natural or man-made material, so it is a great choice for flooring when you want to cut down on the blaring music the kids are blasting in the basement. It is impermeable to liquid, making it functional even for kitchens and bathrooms. It is organic, and repels dust, germs and mold, so it's also a good choice for homes with little ones. It is elastic, which makes for easy installation in awkward areas. And it's super durable and cleans easily - perfect for high traffic areas and highly busy home owners.
There are some amazing new cork floors out there these days, in a variety of tones and textures. But cork isn't just used for flooring. It is also taking off as unique and natural wall and ceiling applications in tiles, or in rolls of wallpaper. Here are some cork interiors that I love.