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Cork flooring....

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MJ5150, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Our neighbors started a major kitchen remodel, and I couldn't just sit idly by while he fixed up his house. So the wife and I decided to do some work to our kitchen too. My neighbor is paying contractors to do all the work, I am doing it all myself.

    Among all the work I am doing, we bought some cork floor after seeing it at the floor covering shop. The salesperson did a great job presenting it to us, so we went for it and bought 100 square feet for a small corner of our kitchen. I LOVE IT! It is warmer than tile for sure, and softer. I dropped a plate from about three feet up and it bounced. That same plate would have shattered on our old ceramic tile. We ended up liking the cork so much that I am installing another 250 square feet of it this weekend.

    So how about it....anyone else have cork flooring in their home? What do/don't you like about it?

  2. How do you keep such a porous surface clean?
  3. Mike, how is it at water resistance? Also, what about pushing heavy wheeled items across it? (My stepson is wheelchair bound, and we have him going through the kitchen all the time.)
  4. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    i'm about to pull up the carpet in our den/breakfast room, and underneath is original '50s cork flooring, but it's covered in paint from a previous remodel like the hardwoods were before refinishing...i haven't looked into whether it's possible to sand down a cork floor, but it seems unlikely

    i'm considering replacing with new cork flooring if i can find a good deal...that's great to hear you enjoy yours--how was the install?

    any unforeseen problems you ran into?
  5. HomeBrewTJ


    May 16, 2004
    Lafayette, IN
    I saw an episode of This Old House where they refurbished an old painted cork floor. You might see if you can find that.
  6. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    No pics, no cork floor.
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    +1, Mike, you know the rules! ;)
  8. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    It has a finish on it to seal it and shine it up a bit. It isn't glossy, more like satin. I like the look. It's kind of slick as well, but not too bad.

  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    It's pretty much the same as most wood flooring. Wipe up a spill right away and you'll be fine. Standing water will ruin it.

    I rolled our fridge across it lat night, and it did no damage. Two of the feet on our oven are sitting on it, and the indent is minimal. I will say thought that it does have a sponginess to it, so you may put some ruts into the floor in a high traffic area. The cool thing about it though.....it will expand when the pressure is removed. It's almost like the memory foam beds.

    If you are considering it, go to a floor shop where it is on display. You'll be amazed how strong it is, and still cushy when you walk on it. The main thing they warn you about is stiletto heels and other pointy objects. Like the old kitchen tables with the skinny metal legs. That could be a problem.

    What got us to try it is how warm it is, how soft it is on the feet, and the fact that it is hypoallergenic, meaning it will not absorb dust or crud. All you have to do is sweep it up with a damp cloth like microfiber to clean. No chemicals or mopping.

  11. Ah, that brings another question, the only major appliance I have sitting on the floor is our fridge...would you expect we need different flooring under that, if we were to consider cork?

    Also, is it as quiet to walk on as I would imagine? Ryan's bedroom is the converted "formal dining room" (something we would NEVER use! :spit: ;) ), and is literally right next to our kitchen.
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    You're right, you're right. I'm at work right now, so I'll upload a couple to photobucket when I get home and post them.

    My wife loves to take step by step photos of all remodel projects, so I'll have plenty to show you.

  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    We set our fridge on the cork floor. You won't need anything special to set the fridge on. The manufacturer recommends putting any furniture on those felt pads. So we did that with our fridge. I ran out of them for the oven, but I am picking up some more tonight.

    I forgot to mention the sound deadening qualities. Yes....it is really quiet to walk on. If you walk on it with rubber sole shoes, it will make that squishy squeaky sound though, but it isn't loud. It sounds kind of funny actually. But yes, the room you install cork in is will be quieter than a hardwood/tile/laminate room.

  14. Works fine in my studio/mancave/whatever room..see left side of pic:


  15. You can refinish a cork floor. It never comes out perfect. But what does, right? My family owns/operates a wood floor business that my grandfather started. We've come across our fair share of cork floors. Some businesses might not want to do it because it is pretty strange, but it definitely can be done with very good results. The only real trouble is that if it has any deep indentations from furniture etc...they might not be able to be sanded out. Look into it, ask around. A lot of smaller flooring business will give you a free estimate. Ask them every question you can think of and see what they think. Find out if it would be better to just re-install new flooring.
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Do you have to get your cork soaked first?? Try to find yourself a good cork soaker. Nothing feels quite as nice as a well soaked cork you know. It'll be worth the extra effort to get it soaked by a professional.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    We got our cork floor for about $3.95 a square foot. The brand is a Wicanders, and some from WE Cork. From what I can tell, it is the same company. Some family differences caused them to divide into two corporations. Regardless, the cork comes from the same place in Portugal and Spain.

    Install is simple...very simple. For tools, I used a framers square, a pencil, a tape measure, a tapping block, a utility knife with an ultra sharp blade, and that's about it. You can use a skil saw if you don't have a sharp utility knife. Lennox makes an ultra-sharp utility knife blade that I recommend you buy if you go that route. You'll have to find it at a tool store or flooring shop. I don't think Home Depot or Lowes sells those blades.

    The material is easy to cut, light weight, and doesn't make much dust. Which is ANOTHER good reason to go with cork....it is "green" as in environmentally friendly. If you're into caring about the earth and trying to reduce your carbon footprint, go with cork. It feels great on your feet, and it will feel great on your conscience.

    The only "problem" I ran into was not having enough to do all the rooms I wanted to.
  18. Cork is some of the easiest stuff to install. Although I have never really liked the look, but it would be nice in a kitchen.

  19. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    It looks like you've got a cork guitar to match your cork floor, Jim! I totally dig it!

    I want a home where I don't ever have to ask people to take off their shoes. I either want a completely tiled home, or a completely corked home.
  20. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    We used to have cork in our bathroom. It was pretty cool. It had awesome patterns. When I was much younger (like 3 or 4) I would sit on the floor and look at the patterns. There was one shape that looked like a Christmas tree, and another that looked like a big trailer stacked high with logs.


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