Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Install Cork Flooring

I was basically giddy when we got to the point when we got to put down the new flooring in the kitchen. We considered a lot of options for the floors in the kitchen but finally landed on cork since it is softer so it's easier on your back and dropped dishes and is really durable (especially if it is sealed). 

To protect the underside of the cork, we first put an underlayment down. The stuff we used was pretty cool even though it was pretty pricy. It's designed to not let any moisture get to the cork from the underside and to give a little extra cushion. On one side it had an adhesive and on the other side it had a plastic flap so each strip attached to the next. Once it was all laid out, it was like it was just one huge sheet instead of strips.

Once the underlayment was down, we got to start installing the cork. We ended up getting our cork at Lowe's (Natural Floors by USFloors Cork Locking Hardwood Flooring) but you can get the identical flooring at Lumber Liquidators. We chose it because it is very close in coloring to our hardwood and the details and variation in it is interesting and hides dirt SUPER well. 

This flooring is a click and lock floating floor. This means that it is pretty easy to install but there are still a few tricks that make it a lot easier to finish quickly. Here's a run down of what we find most helpful when installing this type of floor.

  1. Have two people install it together. It is sometimes tricky to get the flooring to click into place and so it is super helpful to have one person press down on the seam while another person taps the piece you are trying to put in. 
  2. Use a scrap piece of flooring and a rubber mallet to tap the flooring into place. The scrap piece has the proper notching that you can place against the piece you are installing so that if you tap the end of that, you will destroy the scrap piece instead of the piece you are installing but you will still transfer the energy. 
  3. Make sure the seams are TIGHT and you actually see/hear the piece click into place before moving on. There is nothing worse then realizing three rows later that one of your pieces isn't actually in. 
  4. Use anything that you trim off at the end of one row to start the next. This will make it so your seams are staggered.
  5. It is helpful to have a wunderbar or pry bar handy for the end pieces. If you put pressure on the end of the piece and tap the top of the floor with a rubber mallet it will often click right into place.
Working together, we finished the floor in a few hours. I also taped and puttied all the seams on the wall. We wanted to make sure the walls were nice and sealed so that nothing could make its way into the house and there wasn't airflow between the outside and inside. To test the air flow, we turned on the whole house fan and anywhere there was a breeze, we filled in.

Enough about what we did, let's enjoy the awesomeness that is this new floor.

 Appliance Nook

Transition from Dining room to Kitchen

Back Entrance

Appliance Nook

We love love love the new floor. It looks amazing, feels amazing and the best part is that the dogs make almost no noise on this floor. It's crazy to listen to them come in from the dining room since you can hear their nails click and then all of the sudden it is silent. 

We still need to seal the floor. This basically is adding a few coats of poly to the top to seal the seams between the boards. The tops are already water resistent but if a spill happens to sit right on a seam, the liquid could soak in and buckle the seam which we absolutely don't want. This step won't happen until the lower cabinets go in but since we won't be using the kitchen until then anyway, we aren't too worried about spills. Once again, I'm amazed at what a difference this step made in the look and feel of the kitchen.

Linking To: Hi Sugar Plum, The Great Indoors, House of Hepworths, My Repurposed Life, Our Delightful Home, Five Days Five Ways, Serenity Now, Lovely Etc., The Rooster and the Hen, Six Sisters Stuff, Tatertots and Jello, Wayward Girls Crafts, Twigg Studio, Serendipity and Spice, Ask Anna, Home Stories A to Z, Uncommon Designs, House wives of RivertonCrafty Texas GirlsSouthern InstituteWatch out Martha!,


  1. It looks amazing! Stopped by to see your upper cabinet install too. How exciting for you guys! Cheers.

  2. I love how your kitchen is turning out! Those floors look great!

    I nominated you for the Liebster Blog award! I'd love it if you'd pop over and check it out!

  3. The floor looks so good!! How exciting to be getting a new kitchen!

  4. great job guys! the floor looks great!