A cork floor has many advantages -- it's comfortable, warm, sound absorbing, and easy to maintain. Cork is also anti-static, insulating and hypoallergenic. This natural renewable product contains 200 million air cells per cubic inch, so I'm literally walking on air. Cork flooring may be the optimum choice for a green home.
A cork floor is also inexpensive at $3 to $8 per square foot. Mine cost a little less than $4 per square foot. It's made by Stepco and I ordered it from FastFloors.
Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. The bark can be harvested every decade without endangering the tree. Frank Lloyd Wright was a promoter of cork flooring. He installed it in houses where it still can be found today.
Today's cork floors are sealed with acrylic or water-based urethane sealers that protect against water and oil. It comes in tiles or glueless floating planks. I used the planks, which are just like all the other types of laminate flooring that is so popular today. The pieces measure roughly 1' x 3' and they simply snap together.
Here's an interesting cork flooring video from Tim Carter. He demonstrates how to lay plain cork tiles -- not the snap-together planks. It doesn't look difficult.
My brother and I put down the cork floor in my bedroom in one day. Once we figured out what to do, it went quickly. The only thing that takes time is cutting pieces to fit at the end. Only one of the cork planks was damaged (a chunk was missing from one corner) and overall this cork flooring is a high quality product.