Cork flooring has been around for many years, but it is only recently that do it yourselfers have begun to rediscover the many benefits of this unique type of floor. Being a fully natural material like bamboo flooring, Cork has excellent insulating qualities, as well as improving the sound barrier between floors of your home and providing a comfortable surface. Cork flooring is also hypoallergenic, and makes a great alternative to carpet for allergy sufferers.
Benefits of Cork
Cork flooring is available in many different colours, grades, and thicknesses. It is one of the most environmentally sound flooring products on the market, since it is produced from the peeled bark of a cork oak tree without damaging the tree itself. It is great for families with kids, because dropped things will not usually break falling on a cork floor. The material is also durable, and can be refinished just like a regular wood floor. Some cork products come with extensive warranties.
Installing a cork floor is simple, and almost any do it yourselfer can learn how to install it. The first step is to prepare the concrete floor or sub floor to which you will be installing cork flooring. Just like when you install carpet or laminate flooring the surface must be even and clean. Concrete floors should be filled with latex filler to ensure a smooth surface, while it may be necessary to free it from any old carpet rests with a floor stripper and sand the sub floor. If you are installing cork flooring over an existing wood flooring you should sand off any finish material to ensure the cork flooring will bond with the floor. If installing over vinyl flooring, you may want to “rough up” the vinyl to ensure the glue will bond.
Installing cork flooring
Once you have prepared your surface, apply your adhesive and lay the flooring according to the manufacturers’ directions. Then roll the cork with a heavy floor roller to ensure it adheres to the adhesive.
Floor tools you will need:
- A SHARP utility knife to cut the cork
- Sand paper as necessary to prepare floor surface
- Floor roller (100 or 150 pounds)
- Rolling pan and roller for applying adhesive
- Urethane and/or wax for unfinished cork flooring, with brushes, sponges, or rollers for application as necessary
With a little time and effort you will discover the many benefits of flooring with cork can have.