How to dye cork flooring tiles yourself

It is not difficult to add color by yourself to your cork flooring. This will save you lots of money and will allow you to give a new look to the room where to cork flooring is installed. However, it is important to mention that you can only dye cork flooring before a protective varnish has been added. Otherwise you willhave to remve the protective varnish before proceeding with the dying. Here is a step-by-step guide to dying cork flooring:

  • First sweep the cork flooring clean. If the cork flooring has a protective varnish then first remove the varnish layer with strippers.
  • Open the can of stain and mix it with a stirring stick. Stir until the stain is an even texture and consistency.
  • Test the stain either in a corner or on a piece of cork flooring left over from installation to make sure the stain doesn't damage the cork and that you like the color.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the stain and apply to the cork in an even circular movement. It might be necessary to apply two coats of stain.
  • Leave the cork flooring over night for the stain to dry.
  • When the cork flooring is dry apply a polyurethane sealant with a paint roller. Allow plenty of time to let the sealant dry. If you are applying a sealant to heavy traffic situations like in a hallway then take advice from a home store about the best sealant for cork flooring that is heavily used.
  • Apply extra coats of polyurethane to add further strength to the cork flooring.


As you can see it is quiet a simple process to stain cork flooring. You can use commercial oil based stain but this will probably contain VOCs which are bad for indoor air quality. To minimize the health impact of using oil based stain containing volatile organic compounds leave the windows open as much as possible for a few days after staining and use a fan to speed off the off-gassing of any VOCs. Alternatively, you can use a water based stain. Results can vary with water-based stains. Sometimes it is better to apply a water-based stain prior to installation. Take advice from flooring professionala or a DIY or home center about this before starting a stain job on your cork flooring.