Cork tiles are generally available in 12-inch square tiles which are either 3/16-inch or 5/16-inch thick. Cork flooring can be installed over existing vinyl tiles as long as the floor is smooth and level. If the floor has bare spots where vinyl tiles are missing you will need to either replace the missing vinyl tiles or remove the existing flooring completely in preparation of laying the cork tiles.

Things You Will Need

Safety goggles

Respirator mask

Power sander

Sandpaper, 150 grit

Tape measure

Chalk line

Cork tile adhesive


Step 1

Sand the vinyl tile floor with a power sander equipped with 150 grit sandpaper while wearing safety goggles and a respirator mask. This will roughen the surface of the tiles and allow the adhesive to adhere properly.

Step 2

Use a tape measure to determine the center of each wall of the room. Extend a chalk line from the center point of one wall to the center point of the opposite wall and snap the line on the floor. Repeat this process with the two remaining walls to divide the room into four sections.

Step 3

Spread cork tile adhesive over one quarter of the room with a large trowel. Allow the adhesive to become tacky for the amount of time indicated on the packaging before you begin to lay the tiles. This time is generally 5 to 15 minutes.

Step 4

Press the first tile into the adhesive at the center of the room, at the 90 degree angle created by the two chalk lines. Lay the tiles in rows until you have covered the entire quarter of the room with cork tiles. Leave a 1/4 inch of space between the tiles and the walls.

Step 5

Repeat the process of spreading the adhesive and laying the cork tiles on each quarter of the room until the entire floor has been covered. You can take a break after tiling a section and resume the project the next day if necessary. Allow the adhesive to set for 24 hours before you attempt to move any furniture into the room.


Tips & Warnings

Cork tiles can be cut with a utility knife as necessary to fit the room.

Always wear eye protection and a respirator mask when using a power sander.

Avoid getting any of the tile adhesive on the face of the cork tiles. The adhesive could discolor the cork and cause an unattractive and mottled appearance.