How to Install Cork Flooring

Installing Cork FlooringCork flooring is becoming more and more popular in homes and businesses today.  Your initial reaction to cork flooring might be that it would never hold up under foot traffic or it may be easily stained but you may be surprised at how versatile and durable modern cork flooring can be.  Our cork flooring is actually made from the left over cork in wine cork production so you are also getting the benefit of using recycled materials.  Also, the cork oak tree that our cork floors re produced from are all replanted after harvesting so you cork flooring is being produced in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Cork flooring can be just as beautiful and durable as any other hardwood flooring.  Cork also offers a few additional benefits over traditional hardwood flooring.  Cork floors will always feel warm and soft under your bare feet due to its insulative properties.  These properties also make it a great sound barrier and it can help quite down and warm up a room.  Adding a cork floor can benefit any room and give it a modern look and feel.  For an added benefit, Cork flooring is actually even easier to install than traditional wood floors.

Cork flooring is installed as a floating floor meaning it is not attached to whatever it is laid over, but the planks are only attached to each other.  This makes installation very easy and allows the cork to expand and contract as it needs to, but requires a few simple precautions.

Cork Floating Floor precautions:

  • Allow the flooring material to warm up or cool down to room temperature before you install it.  As we talked about before, cork expands and contracts with temperature so you need it to be at room temperature when you install it to make sure everything is the proper size and fit.
  • Speaking of expanding and contracting, each piece of cork flooring won’t change size much, but if you add up a whole room full of cork, you will get a significant amount of movement.  To make sure your floor doesn’t buckle leave approximately a ½ inch gap at any wall on final installation.  You can cover the gap with a baseboard or molding attached to the bottom of the wall
  • As you are installing your cork floor, be careful not to damage the flooring edges.  Use only the supplied tapping block with light hammer blows.
  • Since the pieces of cork simple snap together, there is a possibility that water can get between or under the flooring causing problems.  After you’ve installed the floor consider sealing it to prevent any water penetration.

DIY Cork FLooringThe benefit of installing a floating cork floor is that you do not need any special tools and it can be done over a very short amount of time.  Also, a floating floor can be installed over just about anything.  You can install cork over your plywood subflooring, or over any existing hard flooring surface.  Before you lay your new cork down, make sure that the surface you are installing your floating floor over is free from any large debris and is not warped, lumpy or uneven.  The floor you lay your cork over will determine the level and pitch of your cork floor as well, so take a few minutes to walk the area and make sure the flooring is in good shape and remove any high spots and consider filling any low spots.  As you install the first row of cork, remember to cut off any tongue the floor has to provide you with a clean edge for your ½ inch expansion gap.  Work all the way to the other side of the room and finish your last row by measuring the gap and ripping the cork tiles down to the proper width again leaving a ½ inch gap.  The only thing left to do now is decide how you’ll finish your new cork flooring!  You can choose to leave it natural, add wax or use polyurethane.  All that is left to do now is enjoy the wonderful feel of cork underfoot and love your living space!

For all your questions and for the best source to purchase your cork flooring, contact Carolina Flooring Services at 843-225-0700 or get more information online at

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