Greenhome Before and Afters – Cork Flooring Brightens Drab Condo

It’s amazing what new flooring can do for a room, let alone a whole home! Cork flooring helped to completely transform this Seattle-area condo from dark and dreary to bright and cheery.

Location: Kirkland, WA
Scope: Full Condominium Remodel
Sustainability: Wicanders Cork Flooring
Wicanders cork flooring in Fashionable Cement replaced the dark kitchen floor.

This condo owner had a vision of a brighter and more cheerful space with modern updates and their tenant is thrilled to call it home. Cork flooring in a lighter color pallet, along with a healthy dose of low-VOC white paint, lightened up the home and provided a breath of fresh air – both figuratively and literally!

That’s because cork is more than just a beautiful floor.

The cork flooring brand that the homeowner ultimately chose, Wicanders®, has been awarded with several Indoor Air Quality certificates. The Greenguard North-American certification, for example, identifies products that have low chemical emissions, improving the air within its environment. Wicanders cork flooring products are awarded with the GOLD certification, which is a stricter criteria that ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.

The condo hallway was completely transformed into a brighter space with a coat of healthy, low-VOC paint on the walls, doors and trim, along with updated style of cork flooring in a lighter hue.

Cork – a healthy and durable alternative to carpet.

Initially the condo owner, Kimia Talajour, wanted to install luxury vinyl plank flooring to replace the existing carpet, but her condo’s homeowner association prohibits hard surface flooring in an effort to keep excessive noise between units to a minimum. She didn’t want to install new carpet because she finds that it gets dirty and stains easily, plus it holds on to dust. What “soft” flooring alternative to carpet could she use to comply with her home association’s rules? Talajour considered cork, but as she tells us, she “was apprehensive to use cork flooring because I was under the impression that it is not as durable as other flooring, especially for a rental unit.” However, after further research and discussions with our Greenhome team she “was made aware of the advancements and durability of the flooring type.”

Indeed, cork flooring is incredibly durable thanks to the healthy, eco-friendly varnish finish that adds strength and longevity to the floor.

Cork is a perfect alternative to carpet for its sound absorption and transmission qualities and the soft feel.

– Condo owner, Kimia Talajour

In the end, convinced that cork was a great option for her rental, Talajour chose Wicanders cork flooring in the color Fashionable Cement. It’s a lighter color, almost a white-washed gray. What features does she think her tenant will appreciate about the cork floors? She suspects they’ll enjoy that cork flooring is “very quiet and soft to the touch.” Plus, it’s “very comfortable to walk on. Cork is the perfect alternative to carpet for its sound absorption and transmission qualities and the soft feel.” We have a feeling the condo neighbors will appreciate those benefits as well!

Nothing brightens a space like a healthy coat of white paint and a lighter hued cork floor!

Would she recommend cork flooring to other owners of rentals?

“I would definitely recommend it especially for family rooms and bedrooms…and anywhere else that you’d want a warm cozy feel.”

From the lighter walls, doors and trim to the brighter, more comfortable cork floors, this condo remodel is a modern and cheerful version of its former self.

Photos: Jeremy Mashburn
Flooring Installation: NFI Enterprises (Auburn, WA)
Flooring: Greenhome Solutions / Wicanders Cork Essence Cork Flooring in Fashionable Cement

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