7 easy steps to laying a cork floor
Not only are cork floors environmentally friendly and
attractive, they have the added advantage of being soft and easy on
the feet. With cork
flooring, gone are the days of cold linoleum and frigid
hardwood. It's easy to give your toes a break--here's how to
install that cork flooring where you need it.
Cork flooring projects: easy installation, great
Ready to cork it up? Here's how.
- About 72 hours before you lay the floor, unpack the cork
boards. This allows the material to acclimate to the new space.
Since cork naturally swells and contracts, allowing it to sit for a
few days can make your installation easier and more
- Study the trim and baseboards in the room. You should install
the cork to within 1/2 inch of the wall, so you must trim to cover
the gap. If you have baseboards, pry them up gently to run the cork
underneath them. If you can't bring them up, shoe molding should
suffice. Don't forget to cut away any vertical trim that the cork
needs to slide underneath.
- Start with the longest uninterrupted wall and lay the cork to
within 1/2 inch on either side. Most cork flooring is tongue and
groove, so snapping it together should be...well, a snap. If you
need to cut the final piece, measure carefully and turn to your
- Insert spaces between the first course of cork and the wall to
ensure that the 1/2-inch gap remains as you work through the other
rows. Continue until you have covered the room, down to the last
- Cut the flooring to fit the final row if necessary, always
cutting on the groove side. To install the last row, use a pry bar
to fit the cork board between the last course and the wall.
- Trim the floor by adding the baseboards or shoe molding. Be
careful not to drive the nails into the cork, as that prevents the
natural movement the floor must have. Instead, drive the nails
through baseboard or molding and into the walls above the
- Some manufacturers suggest a polyurethane coating on your floor
when installation is complete, while others don't deem it
necessary. If you need to put a coating on your floor, check with
the manufacturer's instructions to determine the right blend.
If you are uncertain about your installation skills, don't
hesitate to hire a flooring contractor to make
sure the job is done right the first time. Your warm and cozy toes
are sure to thank you!
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