Cork tile flooring is a natural product that can help make a cold room a warm one. If you live in cold climates or you do not like the cold floor early in the mornings, then cork tile is the way to go. It gives warmth and a little support underfoot. Cork is an easy installation product where even first time DIYers can get it right. Cork floors are strong, resilient, earthy, and elegant and mainly it is a go green product.
There are two ways to install cork tile flooring. One is the glue down method and the other is the click lock method of installation. Here we will have a detailed look on how to install the click-lock method of installing cork tile flooring.
Click-lock flooring or floating hardwood floors can be laid on any surface like vinyl or wood or even ceramic tile floors except on carpet floors. The only criterion is that the floor that the tile is being laid on should be flat and even without any dips or bends. Before you begin the installation, you should check to see that the variations in the subfloor are not more than 1/8thover 8 ft.
Click lock floors is a simple flooring type that is easy to install but one thing that should be taken into consideration is that the unglued seams can absorb water which will allow the planks to swell and eventually you will have warped planks and an ugly floor. Use a moisture barrier to prevent dampness for concrete floors and vinyl floors. Due to its reaction to water, they are not recommended in baths and other wet areas. It is a good choice for kitchens and living rooms and children’s play room and the master bed room.
To begin, you will need the below tools:
- Hammer/rubber mallet
- 1/2” spacers
- Floating floor scrap
- 25’ measuring tape
- Painters stick
- Deep dish pan (paint)
- Circular saw/hand saw
- Pull foam applicator
Step by step process to install your click lock floors:
- Start installing from the corner of a room. Use ½” spacers to help give you a uniformed look. Place a plank from both the walls of your room corners.
- You will have to place the planks length wise from end to end and not side to side. At an angle of 25 degrees, snap the next plank to the first plank and then push it in and lock it down tight till you find no gaps. Using a small tapping block slightly tap the plank as you push it down. Never hammer, as it can break the cork.
- After you finish the first row, if you need to cut the plank, cut it and place the plank face down and slide it ½” away from the wall. Place a mark where you have to cut.
- Place the plank on a work surface and cut it according to the mark made earlier. You can use the circular saw or hand saw to cut the plank.
- After you cut the plank and place it, the remaining piece should be placed in the 2nd row (if it is at least 10” long), otherwise cut a new plank and place the first half in the 2nd row and leave a gap of 1/2 “from the wall and snap the plank to the side of the plank from the first row. The same step you followed to install the first row.
- Continue the said process till you come to the last row. For the last row, make sure to leave a ½” gap between the last row and the wall.
- After the planks are laid, vacuum the dust. Now apply a coat of sealer finish on top of the floor. Never move back and forth, apply the sealer in a very systematic manner. This will help not to miss any spots. Use a foam roller to apply the finish. When you use a pull foam applicator, it will help in preventing bubbles forming on your floor.
- Wait for a couple of hours or however long the finish takes to dry up. Avoid walking on your floors with shoes for at least a day. Your floor will take a week for it to be fully functional. Make sure not to place any carpets till your floors are completely cured. And do not clean using a wet mop for a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Now you can install baseboards around the room to cover the ½” gaps between your floors and walls.
Once your new floor is installed it will take a minimum amount of maintenance to keep your floors as good as new. A few pointer tips on how to maintain your cork tile flooring.
- Vacuum your floors regularly. You can dry mop or damp mop but never leave excess water on your floors.
- Abrasive cleaners, oil based or ammonia based cleaners are not to be used on your floor.
- Use a ph balanced detergent like hand soap when damp mopping your floors.
- Must never steam clean cork floors.
Importantly, like other flooring’s, you should protect your cork flooring from direct sunlight to avoid discoloration. Ultimately, cork flooring is the better option for your flooring as it is highly durable, versatile material available in variety of colors in either tiles, planks or sheets for the people on a budget.