Installing a Cork Floor - The Basics
The following information is intended as basic advice for anyone
thinking of installing
cork flooring. Having actually bought your flooring you will also
want to make yourself aware of the individual manufacturers
instructions/guidelines for installation as this
will be more specific to the particular cork floor that you have. By
following their instructions you should be able to avoid problems
later on and therefore enjoy the use of your floor for years to come
without the need for costly repairs or maintenance.
The installation of the floating or click lock types of cork
flooring can be carried out quite easily by a competent
Do-It-Yourselfer. The glue down variety are more difficult and you
are advised to only attempt an installation of this type if you have
suitable experience in floor laying. An important consideration to bear in mind if
installing a cork floor yourself is whether or not you will
invalidate your flooring warranty by not using a professional floor fitter.
Allow to stand at room temperature before removing the cork...flooring
The unopened packages containing the cork flooring should be
placed in the centre of the installation site/area for a minimum of
24 hours in order for the floor to acclimatize. This also applies to
adhesives, varnishes & accessories, such as moldings and
skirtings. This will
help you to avoid buckling of the floor.
Some essential requirements common to most all installation types
relate to the preparation of the sub floor over which you will lay
the cork floor. This should be smooth, dry, clean and firm. If this
vital stage of preparation is ignored it may well cause problems
later on when least expected. Therefore, it should be considered
absolutely essential to do it right the first time so that expensive
and inconvenient repairs can be avoided in later years.
It is recommended that you stagger the joints when laying your
floor, as in the left diagram* below.
||Not Recommended -
Due to the nature of cork you may find that the coloration varies slightly from plank to plank or tile to tile. So that you do
not end up with starkly contrasting sections adjacent to each other
you should attempt to match each piece prior to installation.
Consider investing in a comprehensive floor laying manual if you
have limited experience with installing cork floors. This will help
you through any difficulties that arise.
Need professional help installing your cork flooring? Make the right choice
at a price that fits
Not everyone will want to take on the job of the installation
themselves. Indeed, for some the only option will be to employ the
services of a specialized floor fitter. Often this can be arranged through
the company that you bought the flooring from who will either employ
a team themselves or have connections with qualified installers that
they work with frequently. You may also seek out your own fitter if
you wish by looking through the Yellow Pages or by contacting your
local Better Business Bureau to see if they have any qualified
installers registered with them.
Having made a list of potential contractors to lay your flooring
you will want to make some calls to them to find out how suitable
they are for your project. The following is a list of some questions
that you should consider asking.
The installer will be likely to
ask you some questions in return. To save time you should try to be
prepared for such questions, which will perhaps be similar to the
Having received your estimates, you should take some time to go
through them all thoroughly before selecting an installer. Each
estimate may vary substantially but always try to remember that
price alone should not be the primary factor for making your choice.
Perhaps more importantly you will want to work with the fitter that
has the best reputation for consistently carrying out installations
of a high standard. If you find that the estimate of one of your
favored installers is a little on the high side don't be shy to ask
if they can do the job a bit cheaper. Many will be likely to oblige
so that they can land the job.
Usually you will be able to get a good idea of who can be
entrusted with your cork flooring installation by simply taking the
above mentioned steps.
So, well done! You are almost there. We just know that you'll be
rightly proud of your new cork floor and will enjoy the use of it
for many years to come. Be sure to check our our buying
guide before you make your purchase.