How to Install Cork Flooring

This is a basic installation guide made by Cork Flooring Pros. It is designed for the average person attempting to install their cork flooring on their own. You can also view our cork flooring DIY videos for more a visual explanation if you need more help. Remember, the cardinal rules; take no short cuts and measure twice cut once. If you have any questions or would like to add to this installation guide you can contact us.

Getting Started

You'll want to accurately measure the room you're installing in before buying your cork flooring. You'll need to figure out the square footage of the room, and add an additional 10% onto that figure; this is in case you make mistakes or need extra flooring pieces. You'll want to measure the width and length of the room, multiplying them both together to get the square footage. Then you add on an additional 5% onto that amount.

Calculation #1: Length x Width = Square Footage
Calculation #2: Square Footage x 0.05 = Total Square Footage plus 5%.

You'll now want to go out and purchase your cork flooring; each box will be marked on how much square feet it can cover. You'll want to then take the cork flooring home and place it inside of the room were you plan to install it. Let the cork flooring sit for at least 48 hours to acclimate to the room; heat and cold will cause it to expand and contract, you'll need the cork acclimated prior to installation.

Preparing the Room

You'll want to now prepare the room for installation. It's time to remove any moldings or baseboards at the floor level. Carefully use a putty knife or a straight box cutter to score the seams; then remove it carefully with a crowbar. Slow do this by inching it out all the way down the baseboard or molding. Once the molding or baseboard has been removed take it into another room so it's not in your way.

It's now time to clean the old floor, plywood or underlayment you'll be using. Make sure to remove any dirt or wax from previous flooring; if you're installing over wooden flooring make sure it's level and sanded; anything over a one forth inch in a 6 foot area must be corrected. Remember, any old nails or irregularities in the floor will show up through your cork flooring.

You may want to consider a moisture test, simply lay some plastic on-top of your now prepped floor and wait 24 hours. If moisture appears you can either setup a dehumidifier in the room for a few days or allow it to recede naturally for a week or two.

Installing the Cork Flooring

As with any type of flooring you'll want to do what's called a test layout. You'll want to layout the titles loosely through the room to make sure you have enough; this also will give you a better idea of where to start laying your cork floor tiles. Once you've finished with this careful pick-up your tiles and stack them neatly outside of the room.

To prevent any moisture problems and to have a proper seal it's suggested that you lay down a primer with a paint roller; it should only take about 45 minutes to dry. You'll not want to start laying down your water base adhesive. Do this in small sections and make sure it has a tacky feel, but not to clumpy. You'll want to start from the section you picked earlier out earlier during your test layout. Place it exactly where it should go, once the glue sets it will not move. Make sure to keep the seams close together, use another tile or piece of wood and butt them together; be gently this is cork flooring.

Unless you have a perfectly squared room you'll be required to cut some pieces. Usually only one row is required to be cut; if it happens to be at least one half or longer you can make the room look symmetrical by cutting the front and end row evenly. You can use a box cutter and a straight edge to get the perfect cut. After installation you don't want to move any furniture or walk on the cork flooring for at least 72 hours; after you finish the installation use a 100 lb. roller to evenly secure the tile to the adhesive.

Sealing Your Cork Flooring

Unless you bought cork flooring that is pre-sealed you'll now need to seal the flooring. Regardless if it's sealed or not you'll need to clean the cork flooring. Read the boxes the cork flooring came with to see what he manufacturer recommends for cleaning. If your cork flooring was pre-sealed your job is done. Remember, do not walk on your cork flooring or place furniture on it for at least 72 hours.

If you do need to seal your cork flooring you should only use what is recommended by the manufacture; each one has different recommendations on what's best for their specific product type. You can apply it with a paint roller and a paint stick. After 72 hours has passed you can now reattach your baseboards or molding, repaint where necessary and place the furniture back in your room. Congratulations, you just successfully install cork flooring.

If you have any questions you can always contact Cork Flooring Pros via e-mail.