Cork coverings are a more than interesting option for decorating walls. Thanks to the ease of working with cork and the quantity of product with which it can be combined, among which varnishes, paints and varnishes stand out, the possibilities are much more than usual.

On the other hand, cork coverings can be found in very different textures, from soft and smooth finishes to rougher ones. It is also easy to find it in natural or waxed finishes, achieving with the last option that the natural contrasts of this raw material are highlighted, in addition to achieving some protection.

natural cork texture


Among the most frequent finishes for cork walls we find:

  • Varnish. The main reasons for applying varnish to cork walls are, on the one hand, the protection that this product gives to wood and other materials, including cork, and on the other hand, an aesthetic issue, whether trying to match the decor or looking for some contrast type. The use of water-based varnish is recommended to maintain the natural contrasts of cork. The result may not be good for pre-waxed cork coverings.
  • Painting. As with varnish, on walls covered with waxed cork the result will not be good. It is not difficult to paint on cork, although you should be aware that it will lose its natural appearance, although on the other hand that is what you are looking for when painting. In these cases, other characteristics of cork coverings are sought.
cork paint

Characteristics of cork walls coverings

Cork is a product 100% natural and unlike wood, it does not require the tree to be felled, because what is used is the bark and regenerates. Therefore, we are facing a material that is especially ecological and renewable. It is extracted mainly from the cork oak. Originally, we could find it in Mediterranean areas, although today it can be found in many places. It is curious that the country from which the largest production is obtained is Portugal.

cork office

Although in the last decades it has been a material that has been in the background, its use is imposing itself in certain areas, for example in floors. This is due, on the one hand, to the growing interest of consumers in the use of renewable products, and on the other hand, which, as with all fashions, ends up returning, in which case cork with a very characteristic aspect that will hardly pass unnoticed.

In addition, cork coverings are very functional. It is a material that provides a thermal and acoustic insulation naturally important, it is very lightweight and waterproof.

cork formats

Wall cork can be purchased at different formats. Perhaps the best known is a roll of different dimensions or thickness and used in offices or children’s rooms where they are used to fix paper or other elements to the wall, or also to acoustically insulate a wall. However, the offer today is much greater, we can find it in the format of tiles with very different finishes, colors and dimensions.

As for the types of cork we can find basically two. Natural and expanded. In the first case, it is used to cover walls, murals, etc. Expanded cork, which is obtained with the application of water vapor, offers better insulation performance and acquires a darker shade.

Decorative Cork Lining

The use of cork lining as a decorative element has been a trend recently. There are many interior design houses that are signing up and offering all types of designs. Dyed in very different colors, mainly irregular textures, pieces with shapes and reliefs, etc.

We can even easily find decorative papers with designs that simulate cork walls.

The cork wall when used is decorative is not used for the entire space. It is mainly used as an accent. On occasions when this use has other purposes, such as insulation, it must be placed on all walls. Or, failing that, be replaced or supplemented with another insulating material with which we can achieve our goal.

Other advantages of cork panels

  • In the event of a fire, they do not release harmful chemicals like other insulating materials.
  • It is not attacked by xylophagous insects, as can happen with wood.
  • The installation of cork panels or ceilings is very simple.
  • Use is not limited to floors and walls. Cork roofing is also common.