When you're creating your new kitchen, one of the most important things to think about is what kind of flooring you want. There are plenty of materials available, but one that people often fail to consider is cork. It's a less common flooring material, but still one with a whole host of attractive benefits.

Here are just five.

1. Comfortable

Look at a cross-section of cork and you'll find it's filled with millions of air-filled chambers. As such, it's very spongy and comfortable when you stand or walk on it. That's ideal for the kitchen since you'll often be standing in place to wash up or make a meal, which can be uncomfortable and cause joint pain when you stand on harder materials. Additionally, delicate glass and cookware is less likely to break if you drop it.

2. Warm

Walking onto a cold kitchen floor first thing in the morning is never pleasant, but it isn't an issue you'll face with cork flooring. Those tiny air pockets make cork an excellent insulator, so cork flooring will always remain relatively warm regardless of the time of year. This isn't just nice on your feet – it should also help reduce your energy bills.

3. Easy to Seal

Moisture damage is always a possibility in the kitchen, which is why many homeowners go for tiles. Wood is attractive, but it doesn't cope well with moisture. Cork replicates the warm appearance of wood, but it's also very easy to seal, making it impervious to moisture and staining.

4. Numerous Styles

As a natural product, cork can be found in several colours and patterns, and each piece will look unique from the next. If you don't like the natural look, you can have background colours applied. Cork can be stained or dyed to virtually any colour, so there is a myriad of design options available. This should be a particularly compelling point if you're creating a custom kitchen – you'll be able to fit the flooring around whatever design scheme you choose.

5. Antimicrobial

Cork has natural antimicrobial properties thanks to the presence of a waxy substance known as suberin. Suberin naturally repels vermin, insects, and mould, so cork flooring is extremely resistant to their growth. This is important in any room, but it's particularly important in the kitchen – excess moisture can attract such problems, and this is the last room in the house you want any unhealthy vermin or mould.