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Does Cork Absorb Water? Is Cork Waterproof? (Answered)

Manufacturers use tree bark to make different materials. Cork is one of them that is also made with tree bark. It’s a buoyant material. People used to make bottle stoppers, fishing nets, and sandals with cork in ancient times. They were used for different purposes too.

In today’s world, cork has become an exciting material that people want to know about. Therefore, people search for waterproof cork and want to know if cork absorbs water or not. To get all the answers and practical solutions, we asked experts and those who use cork regularly.

Therefore, we find the answers and other related facts. Keep on reading to know more about cork.

Does cork absorb water?

Cork does absorb water. It’s impermeable but can resist water. It will soak in water and become weighty when you put it in water. However, cork has a reputation in the wine industry since it was used for making wine stoppers. People used it to make things water-resistant and slightly waterproof.

However, cork has different variations. You should know about them. Also, we add them below for those who want to know about cork in detain.

Cork bark:

Cork bark works like a sponge. The sponge absorbs water to a great extent. The same goes for the cork bark. It also absorbs water if you put it in water.

However, cork bark can be used as cork. You can make things water-resistant through it. It is impermeable. 

Cork coasters:

Cork coasters are also helpful. In Particular, coasters are used on table or furniture tops to make them water-resistant and shiny. Cork coasters are excellent materials. They also soak water.

On the other hand, cork coasters are also impermeable. That means it won’t allow anything to pass through it. It makes the surface safe for holding drinks, bottles, and other day-to-day use things.

Cork mats:

Cork mats absorb water like other cork-made materials. But it can resist water as well. However, it’s a natural mat. Therefore, you will find it soft and beautiful.

Cork flooring:

Cork flooring is an outstanding innovation of modern science. Though cork flooring can absorb water, it can be waterproof as well. You need to follow some tips to turn cork flooring into a great surface.

Cork shoes:

Cork sandals and shoes were popular in ancient times. Now, it has become a trend to have cork shoes for running and outdoor activities. They are soft, breathable, and water-resistant.

But they can absorb little water and moisture. If you don’t need to work on water, you can surely buy cork shoes. They would be a great fit.

Does cork dissolve in water?

Cork doesn’t dissolve in water. It only soaks a little water and absorbs them. However, cork is water-resistant. So, you cannot dissolve cork in water in any way.

With some modification, you can turn the cork into a waterproof material and use it everywhere comfortably. However, if you soak the cork into the water for a long time, it will absorb some water and become a bit weighty. But it won’t dissolve in water.

Moreover, cork-made materials are durable and comfortable. Since cork is impermeable, it has become popular. People find it stable too.

So, you can soak the cork into the water and wait for hours to see if it dissolves or not. Cork will not dissolve. Instead, it will absorb some water and get some extra weight.

What happens to cork when it gets wet? How long can cork last in direct contact with water?

When the cork gets wet, it absorbs some water and gets extra weight. Cork will not dissolve or lose any ingredients either. And if you make the cork waterproof and then it gets wet, nothing will ever happen.

Moreover, cork can last 20 days in direct contact with water without structural deterioration. It’s an indication of the water-resistant solid feature. It will not dissolve either.

On the other hand, cork can resist water since it’s an impermeable material; it won’t allow something to go through without water.

Is Cork Waterproof?

Cork is not waterproof. But, you can turn it into excellent waterproof materials with some modifications. However, manufacturers use cork to waterproof shoes and other things. There are some tips to make cork waterproof. Besides, cork usually absorbs water and becomes weighty.

Now, it’s time to reveal all the products that are made with corks. You will know if they are waterproof or not.

Cork flooring:

Cork flooring is waterproof. But you need to add some extra layers using polyurethane and make the floor waterproof. Usually, if you add the direct cork floor, it will not give waterproof functionality.

Therefore, you should place the cork floors then apply some extra layers of polyurethane. It will make it waterproof, and you can use the cork in the kitchen and bathroom.

Cork underlayment:

Cork underlayment is waterproof, but it cannot resist moisture. However, you can use it like tiles and wood floors. But you must avoid using the cork underlayment in the kitchen or bathroom.

They can be waterproof and rugged, but cork underlayment fails to resist moisture.


Corkboard is waterproof. But you should not buy row one; instead, try to buy a coated one. It will be a perfectly waterproof surface.

Therefore, you can go for the corkboard and use it on the house floor.

Cork Fabric:

Cork fabric is water-resistant, but it’s not waterproof. However, this fabric is durable and long-lasting. Since the material is environmentally-friendly, people love to use cork fabric.

You can easily clean cork fabric as it is stain-resistant. You don’t go deep-cleaning. Moreover, cork fabric is versatile.

Cork backing:

Cork backing is waterproof. You can use it for different purposes. However, the installation of cork backing is challenging. It requires a hectic effort.

Cork tile:

Cork tile is functionally waterproof. It became popular due to its versatile use and waterproof feature. Only cork is not waterproof, but cork tile is.

Cork insulation:

Cork insulation is waterproof. You can use it in the kitchen and bathroom. Therefore, it is a must-have waterproof material.

How to waterproof cork?

Some easy ways lead you to waterproof the cork. Follow our tips to make your pin waterproof and use it for different purposes.

Let it rest:

After installing the cork floor or other cork materials, let it rest for a couple of days. Three days would be better and enough.

Polyurethane sealant:

Now, you need to use a polyurethane sealant. But there are hundreds of different brands that make sealants. You must buy the required one. 

In that case, you may ask your cork sellers or sales representative and go for the recommended brand.

It’s time to buy the required polyurethane from the recommended brand.

Clean and vacuum properly:

You cannot apply it now; you must clean the floor and vacuum it properly. Make sure there is no debris or dust on the cork floor. It will make the sealant useless.

Mix the sealant:

Now, mix the sealant as per the usual manual guide. Don’t try to make it in your way. Follow the instructions, then make the mixture.

Start painting:

You can use a paint roller and start painting over the entire cork floor. Make sure you start from the right area. Don’t just roll; make sure the paint is even.

Let it dry:

Once you’ve done painting, you should cover the cork area and let it dry for hours. Here, you may also follow the manufacturer’s direction and suggestions.

Make extra layers:

When the cork floor dries appropriately, you can follow the above steps further to make extra layers. It would be better to make the cork waterproof.

You can make two to three layers on the cork floor. It would be nice and will protect the surface for a long time. You can waterproof the cork floor by coating it twice in most cases.

Why is cork considered waterproof?

Cork is considered waterproof because of its water-resistant feature. It can perfectly resist water and becomes a durable surface or fabric. You will not regret using cork as your floor.

Moreover, cork is a natural material that comes from trees. That means it is environmentally friendly. Therefore, people from ancient times are using it for different purposes.

On the other hand, cork can be easily cleaned and perfect to wear in all weather. This is another reason why cork is considered waterproof.

However, cork is not a fully waterproof material. You can make it waterproof by applying polyurethane paint over it. That’s the only way to make cork a perfectly waterproof surface.

Final Thoughts

Cork absorbs water; that’s why it is not waterproof. But you can use polyurethane sealed and make it a perfect waterproof surface. Besides, cork is a durable material. It can resist water and stain. Therefore, it is easy to clean and use in everyday life. That’s why it has become popular.