A cork-floor is an environmentally friendly flooring option that looks as beautiful as traditional hardwood floors, ceramic tiles or resilient flooring. cork-flooring is a hypoallergenic alternative to carpets and rugs and is somewhat springy making it easier on your legs and feet. Cork is a soft flooring material which heavy pieces of furniture will dent unless proper padding under the furniture is used. Cork resists mold and mildew, but should not be installed in damp or wet areas such as a basement with a water problem, because it is very porous and will absorb the water causing swelling if left unfinished. cork-flooring is available in many styles, colors and installation types ranging from glued down tiles to interlocking tiles to planks.
Prepare the subfloor for cork by sanding down high spots or using a silicone filler to fill in seams, holes, dents, deep nicks and gouges. Any type of nick, scratch or seam will show through once the flooring has been installed so exert the extra effort to make the subfloor look as good as possible.
Sand the plywood subfloor or hardwood flooring to create a slightly rough texture which will ensure proper adhesion. If you are installing over concrete, prime the concrete with a concrete primer.
Sweep and vacuum the sub flooring to remove any dirt, dust and debris.
Place the cork-flooring in the room where it will be laid for 4 to 5 days to allow it to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels of the room prior to installation.
Interlocking Cork Tiles
To lay interlocking cork tiles, lay each tile locking it to the one next to it, make cuts to ends as needed with a utility knife. No glue or adhesive is necessary when laying interlocking cork tiles. This is by far the easiest type to install and can probably be finish within a few hours.
To Lay Tiles or Planks
Apply proper cork adhesive to the back of the tile, set it in place, use a rolling pin or a tile roller and roll back and forth over the tile to press it into the floor to ensure a good bond. Wipe up excess glue immediately with a rag. Continue to cover the floor, make any necessary cuts with a utility knife.
Installing Cork Floating Floors
Lay the first row of cork up against the wall with 1/8 spacers in between the wall and the cork. Lay the second row, place a piece of wood up against the edge of the cork and gently yet firmly tap with a rubber mallet to tightly butt the rows up to each other. Continue down the entire line and subsequent rows.
Finishing Unfinished cork-floors
If you installed unfinished cork-flooring and want a finish which is easier to clean, use a clear urethane. Paint the urethane onto the entire floor surface and allow it to dry. Unfinished cork requires several coats of urethane because cork is so porous, it absorbs it.
Do not allow any foot traffic for at least 24 to 48 hours after the adhesive and/or the urethane has dried.
You may feel as if this process has been over simplified, but it really hasn't, cork-floors are very easy to install for any skill level of do it yourself homeowner.