Cork Flooring
Posted on: 01/27/2016, by : David Locicero

wine cork floorThis picture, on the right, showed up on my FaceBook news feed today. This is a unique design idea.

Yes. That is a wine cork floor. I am a fan of cork flooring. But usually, it comes in sheets or rolls.

The wine cork floor looks pretty nice. I’m not sure how it would be to walk on.

What struck me, however, was how expensive it would be if I had to consume all the wine required to have that many corks. My estimate is that a cork covers roughly 2 square inches. You would have to drink 72 bottles of wine to cover 1 square foot of flooring (144 square inches). If you assume that you are drinking wine that costs an average of $15 per bottle, that means it would cost $1080 per square foot for just the corks.

But I looked closer at the photo, and I noticed that none of these corks appear to be stained with wine, suggesting that they have never stoppered a bottle of wine. These are likely to be corks that were diverted from the bottling line at a winery into this room. So, in the quantities required to cover a room of roughly 200 square feet – or 14,400 corks –  they probably cost about $0.17 each, or $12.24 per square foot.

Obsessive much, David? It’s what an architect does: worry about cost. And balance cost against function and appearance.

Conventional cork flooring in rolls or sheets costs about $8 to $12 per square foot.

And is a lot easier to install.

And wouldn’t look so cool or be so comment worthy.

I call this one a decision for the owner to make.

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