Installation of Glued - Down Cork Flooring by Tony Cuozzo

Cork flooring tiles are manufactured in 12-inch squares and are mounted to the sub-surface with flooring adhesive. They can be installed directly onto concrete slabs or over secure wood sub-flooring. Some flooring manufacturers recommend hardboard for glue-down installations, so be sure to follow your manufacturers advice.

Regardless of the sub-surface, the preparation requirements are the same. The sub-surface must be clean, dry, smooth and level. The following information provides some typical steps involved with sub-surface preparation of concrete slabs and wood sub-flooring.

Preparation for installation on concrete:

* Patch any cracks or holes per your flooring manufacturers recommendations

* Check the concrete for moisture content

Note: test methods vary; follow your manufacturers recommendation

* Cut the bottom of door frames enough to allow tiles to fit underneath

* Make sure the concrete is clean, dry, smooth and level prior to beginning the installationNote: having a smooth sub-surface is very important for glued-down tiles the shape of imperfections in the concrete or loose debris left behind will be seen and felt in the finished surface

* Apply sub-floor primer to the concrete with a roller and allow to dry prior to applying adhesive

Preparation for installation on wood or hardboard:

* Repair any uneven areas

* Check moisture content of the sub-floor according to the manufacturers recommendations

* If sub-flooring is over a crawlspace, cover the ground below the sub-floor with polyethylene sheeting

Note: most manufacturers recommend 6-mil sheets overlapped and taped together

* Cut the bottom of door frames enough to allow tiles to fit underneath

* As with concrete, make sure the sub-floor is level, clean and most importantly, smooth to prevent any irregular shape transfer through the cork

* Apply sub-floor primer with a roller and allow to dry prior to applying adhesive


* Most manufacturers recommend acclimating cork tiles for 2-3 days, at normal-living temperature and humidity levels, and in the room where the tiles will be installed

Note: refer to your flooring manufacturers documentation for specific details

* Apply the recommended adhesive to the sub-floor with a roller, working in small areas at a time, and allow it to dry

Installation of tiles:

* Since cork has natural variations in shade and pattern, sort through the boxes and select tiles that will provide the best overall look

* Using spacers, leave an expansion space around the border of the room and around any fixed objects, like pipes and kitchen islands

Note: refer to your manufacturers instructions since expansion space recommendations can vary from 1/4 in. to 1/2 in.

* Apply pressure equally across the surface of each tile as it is laid in place

* After all tiles are in place, and prior to applying sealer, roll the entire floor according to the manufacturers recommendations

* Allow the adhesive to dry completely before walking on the floor

Note: the typical recommendation is 24 hours, but this could vary depending on climatic conditions

* Clean the finished floor with a polyurethane cleaner then seal it with a urethane sealer, as recommended by the manufacturer

Always follow your flooring manufacturers recommendations and the end result will be a beautiful new cork floor that youll be proud to show off for years to come.