What are the different grades of cork for flooring?

What are the different grades of cork for flooring featured

Understanding the Grades of Cork for Flooring

If you’re considering cork flooring for your home, you may have heard about its numerous benefits, such as durability, comfort, and eco-friendliness. However, not all cork floors are created equal, and understanding the grading system is key to choosing a high-quality and lasting product. Here are the different grades of cork for flooring:

Grade A Cork

As the highest-quality cork, Grade A comes from the first stripping of cork trees, typically at around 25 years of age. It has a uniform color and texture, without any cracks, holes, or other defects. Grade A cork features a fine grain, high density, and superior resilience, making it ideal for high-traffic areas and heavy furniture. It also has excellent sound absorption and thermal insulation properties. However, Grade A cork is also the most expensive option.

Grade B Cork

Grade B cork is a step below Grade A but still of good quality. It comes from the second or third stripping of cork trees, typically at around 40 years of age. It may have some variations in color and texture, as well as minor imperfections such as small holes, cracks, or knots. However, Grade B cork still maintains most of the benefits of cork, including softness, warmth, and noise reduction. It is also more affordable than Grade A.

Grade C Cork

Grade C cork is the lowest grade of cork for flooring, and it can have significant defects such as large holes, cracks, and discoloration. It usually comes from the last stripping of cork trees, typically at around 80 years of age. While Grade C cork is not as durable or appealing as the higher grades, it can still be used in certain areas, such as basements or non-residential spaces. Grade C cork is also the most affordable option.


Cork-veneer is a type of cork flooring that comes in thin sheets or rolls, which are glued to a substrate material such as MDF or HDF. It can have different grades of cork on the surface, ranging from Grade A to Grade C, depending on the manufacturer. Cork-veneer is often used as a cost-effective alternative to solid cork flooring, especially in areas with high moisture or uneven subfloors. However, cork-veneer can wear out faster than solid cork and may not have the same insulation properties.

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