What are Cork Squares?

Mary McMahon

Cork squares are square pieces of cork, bark taken from the cork oak tree. Cork has a number of unusual properties which make it very distinctive; it is used for products like flooring, corks for wine bottles, and bulletin boards. In the case of cork squares, part of the processing of this wood product includes slicing the materials into squares of varying sizes which can be used in a variety of ways.

Typically, cork board is used as a bulletin board because the resilient nature of cork makes it ideal for sticking pins and tacks into.
Typically, cork board is used as a bulletin board because the resilient nature of cork makes it ideal for sticking pins and tacks into.

Usually, the squares are sold loose, with no backing, trim, or other additional features. People can use cork squares in a number of innovative ways. For example, they can attach them to a wall to use as a bulletin board, configuring cork squares in any number of patterns to achieve a desired size or look. People can also make their own cork boards by attaching squares to a backing and adding trim, creating a bulletin board which can be moved around and relocated while preserving the objects attached to it. Cork squares can also be used to cover an entire wall to add insulation to a room, keeping it warmer in addition to dampening sound and creating an interesting aesthetic look.

Cork squares can be used to make trivets and placemats to protect tables and counters, as cork has excellent insulating properties. It also resists mold, mildew, and rot, making it suitable for a wide variety of environments. Specialized squares are designed for use as floor tiles. They can be installed directly on a floor as permanent flooring, or used to create configurable mats and runners. Cork makes excellent flooring, thanks to its insulating properties and natural loft, which makes it comfortable to walk or stand on cork.

Some other creative uses for cork squares include use as lining for drawers and shelves to preserve the underlying material, as cork will absorb pressure, cuts, and stains without allowing them to penetrate, and using small squares to pad the feet of furnishings so that they will not damage a floor. Cork squares will also act as grippers to keep furnishings from sliding on slipper floors, making rooms safer and more pleasant to use.

Some home supply stores carry or can order cork squares, with several different sizes available for people to choose from. Manufacturers of cork products may also accept custom orders for large numbers of squares, or unusual sizes. Buying cork squares this way can sometimes be cheaper than purchasing them individually at a home supply or hardware store.

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