Learn how to Set up a Cork Flooring

It is dangerous sufficient to should rise up within the morning, not to mention rise up and expertise the icy shock of a chilly flooring. What you want is a few heat underfoot, a bit cushion as you pad throughout the home. Enter cork. Resilient but sturdy, trendy but earthy, a pure cork flooring can flip any cool room into a comfortable haven.

Does Cork Make Good Flooring?

Cork can also be rather a lot simpler to put in than conventional wooden flooring. Producers now supply merchandise in engineered panels that snap collectively with out glue or nails. These floating-floor techniques sit effectively over plywood, concrete, and even the prevailing flooring.

As This Outdated Home technical editor Mark Powers reveals right here, in a single afternoon you possibly can flip a kitchen or playroom flooring into a snug mat the place your toes can roam free with out worry of the massive chill.

What Occurs If Cork Flooring Will get Moist?

Whereas cork flooring is acceptable for many areas in your home, its unglued seams will soak up water, which may swell and probably warp particular person planks. That guidelines out its use in moist rooms akin to baths.

And, like all-natural supplies, cork expands and contracts with modifications in climate. Each bit might solely transfer a bit, however that provides up over the width of a complete room. This cumulative impact requires you to depart a 1/2-inch area across the perimeter of the flooring. In fact, for a completed look, you may wish to disguise that growth hole. In case your partitions have a baseboard, you possibly can fastidiously pry it off earlier than you begin, then run the flooring to inside 1/2 inch of the wall and reinstall the bottom atop the brand new flooring. A neater choice: Go away the baseboard in place, lay the ground with that half-inch hole, after which cowl it with shoe molding. In case your baseboard already has shoe molding, you may should take away and reinstall it.

Producers present a particular tapping block that, when butted to a plank and knocked with a hammer, helps lock the tongue of 1 piece into the groove of one other. Ensure you use this block fairly than a wooden scrap or a direct hammer blow, each of which can injury a plank’s comfortable pressboard backing and make a decent be a part of inconceivable.

Learn how to Set up Cork Flooring

Oct 2006 issue, Homeowners Handbook, cork floor illustration

Gregory Nemec

Putting in a click-together floating flooring is an easy course of, however just a few pointers want minding.

Whereas almost all cork flooring comes prefinished and goes down in a day, just a few corporations counsel making use of an additional protecting end coat of polyurethane after the set up. And most producers suggest that you simply unpack all the fabric 72 hours earlier than beginning a job to permit it to acclimate to its environment.

So maintain your timing in thoughts—you could want to attend to put in the flooring after which take the room out of fee for a day or two.

Step 1: Prep Steps

Oct 2006 issue, Homeowners Handbook, cork floor step 1

Kolin Smith

Search for any vertical trim that may should be lower away to permit the brand new flooring to slip beneath it. At doorways, place a cork plank atop the saddle (the brink) and butted to the door stops. Utilizing a flush-cutting backsaw, trim the stops—however not the jambs—]on both facet of the door above the saddle. Rigorously pry up the saddle earlier than putting in the flooring. Additionally lower the casings on the wall across the door, utilizing a cork plank to evaluate how a lot to trim them.

In a kitchen set up, take away the cupboard toekicks if potential so you possibly can run the cork underneath the cupboards. If the kick is stationary, plan to put in the flooring as much as inside ½ inch of the toekick. This hole may be hidden within the end step.

Set up over concrete, akin to in a basement, requires the elimination of any baseboard so you possibly can cowl the slab with 6-mil polyethylene sheeting and run it 3 inches up the wall. Overlap the sheeting’s seams by 8 inches and seal them with tape.

Step 2: Trim the Doorway Moldings

After fastidiously sawing by means of every doorstop, draw back the cork-floor plank and take away the waste piece of wooden. Then, pry up the saddle earlier than putting in the cork flooring.

Additionally, use the backsaw to trim the casings on the wall across the door. Once more, use a cork plank as a information to evaluate how a lot of the casings that you must trim away.

Step 3: Trim the Planks for the First Course

Oct 2006 issue, Homeowners Handbook, cork floor step 3

Kolin Smith

Begin laying the planks alongside the longest uninterrupted wall. Measure the gap between it and the other wall, then subtract 1 inch for growth. Divide the rest by the width of a cork plank to calculate the variety of programs wanted to cowl the ground.

If the final course finally ends up being lower than half a plank, you may want to chop the primary and final programs narrower to steadiness the format.

Add the width of the final course to the total width of a plank. Divide by two to search out the width of the primary and final course. Use a jigsaw to tear the first-course planks to this width. When you needn’t rip down the primary course, noticed off their tongues to create an unobstructed growth hole on the wall.

Step 4: Set up the First Course

To piece the primary course collectively, carry one plank off the ground at an angle, slide its finish into the tip of one other plank and gently press down till the tongue and the groove click on collectively.

Proceed becoming a member of planks finish to finish till the primary course is full. If that you must lower the final piece to size, use a jigsaw guided by a clamped straightedge.

Step 5: Set up the First Course

Place ½-inch spacers in opposition to the beginning wall and slide your entire first course, groove facet dealing with towards you, tight in opposition to the spacers.

Tip: Since every plank is exclusive in colour and sample, kind by means of and think about the way you match and group your flooring.

Step 6: Set up the Remainder of the Area

Oct 2006 issue, Homeowners Handbook, cork floor step 6

Kolin Smith

When you lower the final plank within the first course, and the leftover piece is longer than 10 inches, use it as the primary piece within the second course. Set the lower finish of the plank in opposition to a spacer on the finish wall, then push the tongue of the plank in opposition to the primary course.

Place a tapping block in opposition to the plank, becoming it across the groove. Use a hammer or mallet to faucet block and coax the tongue and groove to click on collectively.

Set up the subsequent plank by clicking its finish into the earlier plank, then tapping it in opposition to the earlier course. Proceed putting in planks till you will have crammed the sphere.

Tip: To maintain the floating flooring from transferring as you faucet within the following programs, weight it down with the stacks of uninstalled planks.

Step 7: Set up the Final Course

If essential to suit the ultimate course, rip down the planks to width, taking away from the groove facet. Keep in mind to account for the ½-inch growth hole.

Angle every bit into place and let it drop flat to the ground. To click on and lock it to the earlier row, hook it with a pry bar and pull the bar towards you.

Tip: Hire a desk noticed for cleaner, faster cuts, particularly should you’re flooring over a big space or multiple room.

Step 8: Trim out the Flooring

Oct 2006 issue, Homeowners Handbook, cork floor step 8

Kolin Smith

Measure the partitions that require shoe molding and lower the molding to size utilizing a backsaw and miter field. For corners, be a part of the molding at a 45-degree angle.

By no means nail the molding to the flooring, which might forestall the cork from floating with modifications within the climate.

To make sure that your nails intention true into the baseboard and to forestall the molding from splitting, drill 1/16-inch pilot holes each 12 inches by means of the shoe molding. Fasten the molding to the baseboard with 4d end nails.

Reinstall any doorway saddle. If the saddle would not sit flush on the ground within the subsequent room, fill the hole with a slender size of flat inventory or quarter-round molding.

When you eliminated the cupboard toekicks earlier than set up, trim their peak by the thickness of the brand new flooring and reinstall them.


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