Installing cork flooring planks is a project that can be done rather quickly compared to other types of floors. Putting in cork offers you several advantages over other types of flooring. It is quiet and warm underfoot and very durable as well. Many homeowners are also turning towards cork because of its highly sustainable nature. With the green movement in full swing, cork is growing rapidly in popularity. Here are the basics of installing cork flooring planks.
Step 1 – Acclimating the Cork
Unload the cork into the environment that it will be installed in before installation. Read what the manufacturer recommends, but it usually varies from 24 to 72 hours prior to installation. Being a natural product, it expands and contracts in different environments and temperatures. This is important as many companies will not warranty product problems if this is not adhered to.
Step 2 – Prepare the Subfloor
Before you get started, you will want to get the subfloor ready. You need to clean the subfloor and remove any debris that is in the way. Installing a floating floor does not require that the subfloor is completely perfect, but you will want to make it look as nice as possible.
Step 3 – Remove the Baseboards or Quarter Round
Depending on how you want the edge of the room to be finished, you need to remove the baseboards or quarter round. Your cork will require an expansion area around the outside of the room and baseboards or quarter round can provide this. Removing the baseboards is a good idea if you are installing over concrete so that you can run your moisture barrier up the wall a few inches and keep all the moisture out.
Step 4 – Undercut the Doors
You will want to take your undercut saw around to the door jambs and undercut them appropriately. You want the cork to be able to slide up underneath the doors and give it a professionally finished look.
Step 5 – Lay the Underlayment
If you are on a concrete subfloor, you will want to lay the moisture barrier down first and then put the pad on top. On a wood subfloor, you will now lay the pad down on the floor. The thicker the pad you have, the better your floor will feel and perform. Thick pad helps to mask the sound of footsteps on the floor.
Step 6 – Start to Lay the Cork
Floating cork has a locking mechanism that allows you to snap the joints together easily. You will attach it together with the tapping block that is provided by the manufacturer. The tapping block is essential so that you do not damage the joints with something hard. Do a run across the edge of the room first and then add onto that run one board at a time.
Step 7 – Finish the Job
After the floor is down, you will need to install the baseboards or quarter round back along the wall. Install necessary transition pieces as well where the cork meets another floor. Your cork flooring should now be ready to walk on and enjoy.