Cork Flooring Installations
Cork Flooring Installation Process
Cork flooring is a type of surface finishing that is made from cork, which is an oak tree bark. The bark is manufactured by grinding and processing it into sheets that are later baked to form tiles. Cork Flooring is made in two forms; tiles and planks. This type of flooring is suitable for residential, office and light commercial locations. It is preferred by many because of its numerous benefits which include resistant to mildew, and water damage, its durability, fire resistance, it insulates heat and cold, and it absorbs sound thus reducing noise.
Installing cork flooring is an activity that requires keenness so that the intended results may be effectively and efficiently achieved. For the process of laying the cork flooring to be successful, there are a number of steps that ought to be followed which are; measuring and purchasing, room, preparation, installation, and sealing of cork floor.
Measuring and purchasing:
The room to which the flooring is being installed should be drawn and the measurements accurately taken. This is a crucial stage of the installation since the measurements and plan will assist in identifying the number of cork floorings sufficient to fill the room. When calculating the square footage of the room, a percentage margin of error should be added so as to factor in extra tiles that can be used in case of an error while cutting. Once the cork flooring has been purchased, allow it to rest for at least 48 hours in order to acclimatize to the area to which it will be laid. Cork tiles should not be unpacked until the day of the installation so as to avoid curling of the cork tiles.
Preparation of the room:
For best results the surface to which the flooring is being laid should be cleaned and any old flooring is scrapped off. The surface should be debris free, fairly leveled and completely dry to enhance good adhesion. Moldings or baseboards and the seams should be carefully removed using a putty knife, if improperly done the seams, bumps and old nails will protrude through the tiles after installation. It is necessary that the floor is completely dry before installing the cork floor since wetness will cause seam swelling. Dents and major problems encountered on the cork flooring in later days are as a result of poor preparations. The floor should be well leveled, all cracks if any be well filled, and proper sanding for smooth floors must be done to achieve uniform roughness. After all these preparations, the floor can be left to rest for one day before the actual laying of the cork flooring is done.
Installation of cork flooring:
Before laying down the cork flooring, one would first perform a test layout, whereby tiles are loosely laid in the room so as to have an idea of how the cork floor tiles will be fixed. Then pick–up the tiles and place them aside for final placement. While fixing the tiles lay a primer using a paint roller so as to attain a proper seal which will help prevent moisture and wetness problems, this process takes 45 minutes. For proper positioning of the tiles, chalk the area and draw layout lines to act as a guide. Laying instructions outlined by the manufacturer ought to be followed in the application of the adhesive so as to ensure only the required amount is applied. Use a rubber mallet on the tiles when laying them down, once the adhesive has dried and got a tacky finish, complete the process by rolling a heavy floor tile roller on the entire cork flooring so as to bind the adhesive uniformly. After full installation is done, there should be no movement on the cork floor for a period of 72 hours. In case of any error during the installation, a 3-in firm blade scraper should be used to remove the messed tile(s). New adhesive should be applied on the surface being repaired and, allowed to dry and place a new tile.
Cork floor sealing:
This is a process done to cork flooring that were bought pre-sealed. The current cork tiles on the market already have the sealant applied, but if the area the flooring is being installed receives high traffic or moisture it is advisable for additional sealant to be applied to enhance durability and beauty. When purchasing cork tiles, the manufacturer’s instructions should act as a guide on the most suitable sealant to be applied. Sanding should be done, to create a smooth surface for the application of the sealant. A foam roller is recommended for the sealant application since it spreads easily and thickly. When the sealant is applied it should not be stepped on for 24 hours and should be left for eight days to completely set. Annually the cork flooring sealant should be reapplied depending on the human traffic experienced so as to retain the look of the floor and enhance its simplicity in maintenance.
Cork flooring is a natural, durable and easy to install floor finishing. The installation of the floor is a key determinant on the final look of the flooring; therefore, it is important to adhere to the basic steps of measuring and purchasing, preparation of room, installation and sealing of cork floor while working on the surfaces. Measuring of the area being worked on helps in determining the number of tiles to be purchased. Preparation of the room is very crucial therefore utmost care should be taken if the cork floor installation is to be successful. The process of installation and sealant application should be guided by the manufacture’s instruction which is specific to the type of cork flooring being installed. All in all these steps are dependent on each other and should be followed sequentially for best results.