The Cork Flooring Guide - Installation

Because cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree it does not have any 'grain' to match up so installation is made considerably easier. Cork flooring comes in tiles of varying sizes. The most common types of installation are: glue-down, interlocking (glue-less) and floating.

Many of the cork flooring tiles for sale on this site use the interlocking glue-less method of installation. This method of installation is very easy:

  • Clear the area of debris.
  • Make sure the area is level. Use a leveling compound if it is not.
  • Cork flooring can be installed over any type of subfloor. The only requirement is that the subfloor be dry. This makes cork unsuitable for damp basements. To dry-proof a concrete subfloor use a waterproof mastic.
  • Interlocking cork flooring doesn't need underlayment but often comes with underlayment attached to the tile. Otherwise a vapor barrier such as a plastic sheet is enough.
  • The rest is easy. Just click the tiles into place on the floor.

A floating installation is nearly exactly the same apart from the tiles rest side by side instead of locking together. Here are some tips for a glue-down installation of cork flooring:

  • Before installation clear the subfloor of debris, clean and make sure it is level and not damp. If it is damp apply a waterproof mastic with a trowel.
  • If you are installing over a pre-existing wooden floor then use a varnish remover to remove the top protective layer of the wood. Allow to dry before continuing.
  • If you are installing onto a concrete subfloor then you will need to level the floor with latex fill and then use a standard concrete primer.
  • If you are installing onto a smooth surface such as vinyl then roughen the vinyl surface first with sand paper to ensure a good bond is made with the adhesive.
  • One the subfloor is ready take the cork flooring tiles out of their boxes and leave for at least 48 hours for the flooring to acclimatize to the humidity levels of the room.
  • Before you start gluing it is a good idea to lay out the cork tiles first and chalk out the flooring pattern.
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for adhesive and trowel size.
  • Apply adhesive to the underside of the cork tile using a paint brush. Lay the cork tile in place and then use a 100 or 150 pound tile roller to press the cork tile to the floor so the adhesive can work properly. Roll at least four times in both directions and use a clean and damp rag to wipe away any excess adhesive.
  • Use a polyurethane or wax finish after installation if you have bought pre-finished cork tiles. Or let the adhesive dry and then add stain if you wish to dye the cork tiling a different color. After staining add a finish.

Cork flooring can be installed in any part of the house, but if you are thinking to add it to a finished basement consider mold remediation activities. The basement is an underground area with high level of moisture that is the perfect place for mold growing. Today specialists are using innovative techniques to decrease its possibility to appear. In any case experts from Brucenv.com - mold inspections in Atlanta, GA recommend to apply for professional services before any innovations.

Before attempting any type of DIY installation always seek as much advice as possible from the manufacturer, the shop where you bought the cork flooring and your nearest homebase center.