I haven't priced it yet, but I really, really want to use cork flooring for the kitchen, master bath and master bedroom. How do I like cork? Let me count the ways.
1. Eco-friendly. Cork flooring (as well as cork board, for that matter) is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, native predominantly to Spain, but found throughout the Mediterranean countries. Unlike most trees, the cork oak does not die when its bark is stripped; rather, it regrows a new bark skin within something on the order of 8 years. Over its lifespan of 120-150 years, that's 17-20 harvests. Definitely renewable.
2. Antimicrobial. Among other things, this means that dust mites cannot live or nest on the floor! This is why I want it in my bedroom and bathroom.
3. Soft to the touch, easy on the skeletal structure. Again, my reason for putting it in the bathroom and bedroom, but also why I want it in the kitchen where I stand so much.
4. Water resistant. The person who steered me to cork recently had an outside faucet leak through the wall and all over the cork floor in her kitchen -- over night. They woke up to the mess. They dried out the walls and floor, and the floor is perfectly fine, thank you. Cork is naturally water resistant -- after all, its one of the protections it offers its tree. I didn't realize it was that resistant.
5. Natural sound dampening. In apartment housing and sound studios, etc, they (you know, the ubiquitous "they") will use cork underlining no matter what the surface flooring material is, just for this property. It's not on of my needs, but it's still a neat characteristic.
So, the only problem is price. Roughly the same range as hardwood flooring, depending on quality, size of planks, etc. But then, no one said hardwood flooring would be particularly cheap!
All it takes is money.
Time to do some bargain hunting!