Hardwood, vinyl and laminate are dominating hard surface flooring right now. However, there's a lesser known option that's worth a second look: cork flooring.

Cork is a natural flooring option that tends to get overshadowed by its more conventional counterparts. Here, we'll cover a few reasons why cork deserves more time in the spotlight - and why it might be a better choice for your home.

It's comfortable

There's no denying it; carpet is softer, warmer, quieter and more comfortable than most of its hard surface counterparts. We say "most" because cork flooring is the exception. It's one of the most shock-absorbant hard surface options on the market. And, cork floors are among the warmest hard surface flooring options available. It's a natural insulator, making it more comfortable to walk on barefoot. Of course, its insulation properties help maintain lower utility costs. Cork is also quiet and naturally help reduce the transfer of sound, especially between building levels.

It naturally resists mold

One of the worst home nightmares occurs when moisture seeps and soaks into the subfloor, promoting the growth of mold and mildew in the process. Cork floors contain suberin, a compound that naturally stops the growth of mold. Even better, it also prevents cork from rotting after coming into contact with moisture. So if your humidity levels rise - or if there's a spill that you can't clean right away - rest assured that your flooring will be just fine in the meantime.

It's suitable for commercial use

After hearing the benefits cork, you might be thinking that it sounds like the perfect choice for your business. If so, we have good news: cork flooring is a great choice for commercial applications. It's durability rivals that of other hard surface options and its comfort level will leave customers happy.

Cork flooring is affordable

Although cork closely resembles hardwood flooring, it's much more affordable to purchase and install. In fact, typical installations are often half that of hardwood flooring. Even better, cork is easy and inexpensive to maintain for the long run. And since it's resistant to moisture, dents and so many of the other challenges that plague hardwood, you won't have to replace your flooring as often, if ever.

Easy installation

 Many cork flooring connections use float installation. Basically, this means that it can be easily installed directly over your existing floors - cutting out half the mess, effort and expense. And your existing floors don't have to be perfect since cork can be installed over uneven surfaces. It also works the other way; if you ever want to install ceramic, wood or stone flooring, cork can serve as the underlayment.