In this article, you will learn in detail the pros and cons of cork floor, the technology of its installation and laying with your own hands and much more.
Before choosing a floor material, consider the types of cork.
Varieties of cork cover
- Cork board. This type of coverage is considered to be the most expensive. It is a natural and absolutely harmless to health environmentally friendly material.
Sold in sheets or rolls, the thickness usually does not exceed 6 mm.
- MDF panels or cork laminate. These are panels covered with cork veneer. The upper layers are protected with varnish or a special film. This type of cork flooring does not require you to carefully level the subfloor.
- Cork tiles. The most affordable type of cork coating. Tiles are produced from pressed cork chips. The surface of these tiles is very similar to wine bottle corks. The sizes and shapes of the tiles are different.
Advantages of the cork floor:
- floors springy as a result of walking, and legs do not get tired;
- creates a feeling of warmth;
- has excellent thermal insulation and sound insulation;
- does not harm health, environmentally friendly building material.
Disadvantages of cork floor:
- difficulties in installation and assembly;
- strength characteristics are not very high;
- poorly weathering odors, with the spill of odorous liquids;
- with temperature drops , cork floor starts to crumble;
- absorbs dampness and moisture, not recommended for bathrooms;
- development of bacteria during use of the floor.
Cork flooring technology
With all the disadvantages of cork flooring, there are rooms where this coating will look perfect.
Since the cork floor is warm to the touch, it can be safely placed in the children's room.
And also the floor is springy, which means that the child will have fewer injuries when falling.
Cork flooring can also be used in the bedroom, study and break room.
Today, there are three main options for laying cork floors:
- laying like a conventional laminate flooring;
- laying cork floating floors;
- gluing the cork floor.
It is very important to lay a cork floor in a warm room with an air humidity of no more than 65%.
Below we give a list of the necessary tools for work:
- circular saw;
- rubber hammer;
- trowel and glue roller;
- construction level;
- spacer wedges in case of installation for floating floors;
- sills and skirting boards.
A number of important requirements are imposed on the base of the floor on which the cork covering will be laid:
- Cork must not be laid on cement screed.
Over time, the cork begins to crumble, and the cement, due to its rough surface, will rub it.
- The floor must be dry, otherwise the cork will quickly absorb moisture. Use a special construction hair dryer to dry the subfloor.
- The cement screed must dry completely before installing the floor. To check if the screed is dry or not, simply cover two square meters of plastic, and press it on all sides with boards.
If after a day no condensation has formed on the inner side of the film, then the screed is completely dry.
- Cork tiles are very fragile, which is why a liquid leveler is used to level the subfloor.
- Cork is also placed on the old floor, linoleum or laminate.
Laying cork floating floors
To lay a cork floating floor, you need a professional team of three people, you cannot lay the covering yourself.
Below we will consider all stages of work in detail:
- Initially you need to measure the premises, calculate the amount of material and make a purchase.
After purchase, the tile must be allowed to lie down for a day in the room where construction work will be carried out. This is necessary in order for the cork tiles to absorb the moisture in the room. And it is advisable to unpack the material.
- On the leveled base of the floor, apply a film with a protrusion on the walls of about 10 cm. Parts of the film are overlapped with overlapping each other on 25 cm.
- The tiles should be laid from the far corner of the room in transverse rows. All seams between tiles are offset by half its length, as when installing a laminate.
- It is necessary to indent from the walls about 25 mm. During use, the cork floor will pick up or release moisture, and its size will change.
- After completing the installation of the cork floor, cut off any excess foil.
- The last step is the installation of the cork skirting boards. It is glued to the base of the wall with special glue so that there is a 1 mm gap between the floor and the skirting board.
Glueing the cork floor
When laying a cork floor on glue, you must carefully consider the choice of glue. Adhesives without a volatile solvent, for example, Kaskoflex, are considered to be of the highest quality. This glue is absolutely harmless to humans, it dries longer, which allows you to adjust the cork tiles to each other without haste.
Many people ask the question: is it possible to lay cork tiles on PVA glue
Cork absorbs moisture well, and water-based PVA glue .And if you do not want cork floors to bulge after installation, then do not use PVA glue in your work.
Below we will consider the stages of laying a cork floor on glue:
- Tiles begin to be laid from the center of the room in a spiral;
- Glue is applied with a spatula, and only then the tile is applied;
- Next, it is necessary to firmly press the tile to the previous one;
- Go through with a roller over the entire surface of the tile;
- At all stages of work, it is necessary to constantly monitor the horizontal laying with the help of a building level;
- Any excess glue must be removed immediately;
- Along the perimeter along the walls, it is necessary to make indent 25 mm;
- Cork dries for 24 hours. Only after complete drying can you start installing special skirting boards.
From our article you learned what a cork floor is, in which rooms it is better to use it and how the process of installing a cork floor is going on.