How is a Cork Floor Installed?

[Click here for detailed instructions] After proper conditions of the substrate are met (see below), the installation continues with the layout of the room area. To establish centerlines in the same manner as other tile installations, run a parallel line from the centerline at the entryway. The substrate is then coated with Globus Cork reciprocal adhesive. The adhesive is applied with a paint roller, (paintbrush for the perimeter), to the substrate. A 3/8″ nap roller generally works best. The reciprocal adhesive must cover 100% of the substrate. Let adhesive dry clear, which usually takes about 45 minutes depending upon the substrate and humidity conditions. (Do not allow any foot traffic to the adhesive area.) Apply reciprocal adhesive to as much of the area of the substrate that will be covered with tile within a day’s work. Installation begins with the first tile aligned to your layout lines. When the tile is in its proper position, secure the contact between the tile and substrate using a rubber mallet. Once a few tiles are in place, you can use a small block of flat wood or plywood as a tapping board for the rubber mallet. Once the tile is tapped, it CANNOT be removed. Continue the installation in the same manner. Cut in the perimeter as you go or when field tile is completed.

Note: Globus Cork tiles are shipped to you pre-glued and must be installed within 40 days from the date of shipment from Globus Cork. If the installation of tile exceeds 40 days from the date of shipping, a refreshing coat of adhesive must be applied to the back of the tile. The adhesive must cover 100% of the back of the tile. Allow adhesive to COMPLETELY dry before proceeding. Clean any and all overspill of adhesive from the edges of each tile. Clean up of adhesive while wet is done by with a damp cloth. Clean up of the adhesive when dry is done by simply rubbing the excess adhesive off the edges like rubber cement.

You need to apply the reciprocal adhesive to the substrate for proper installation. The adhesive is available in 1 gal. tubs at an additional charge from Globus Cork and will be shipped with your order. Request it when you place your order.

Who can install it?

A reputable flooring installer who is comfortable with installing vinyl, wood or ceramic tiles can install Globus Cork tiles. We do provide telephone consultations to anyone installing our tiles. Many of our homeowner customers consider this a DYI project. If you have some experience laying vinyl tiles, you might want to install the cork tiles yourself. Our product is shipped with an installation guide. If you choose to use a flooring installer, have them give us a call to fine-tune their cork installation practices or ask questions about substrate floor preparation.

Installer Selection

You should look for a local flooring installer that lays luxury vinyl tiles or ceramic tiles in a precise and professional manner . Our tiles are very easy to install and the skill is more in the attention to details, tight fits and straight lines. There are no special tools required to install our tiles and we do give free telephone consultations to any installer that calls us. Please take a look at our installation slideshows. Many homeowners actually install the tiles themselves.

Restaurant Installs

Daily care is easy with a damp mop and a mild detergent. Don’t use any bleach, abrasives or ammonia products (think of this as a wood, which it is). In a restaurant situation, you’ll want to make sure that the porters don’t dump a bucket of water down and then mop it up. You don’t want to get a lot of water under the tiles. The water doesn’t damage the cork or finish but it can loosen the water-based adhesives that we use. So if you wet mop or spray down the kitchen areas, you’ll want to have a transition piece between the areas to keep the soaking water away from the finished dining room floor. We don’t recommend using cork in commercial kitchens because of the typical cleaning techniques in restaurants.

Quick Wall Installation Instructions

For wall installation, first draw your horizontal and vertical lines that you’ll need to line up the start of your tiles. The wall surface (drywall or plywood) should not be painted or primed. If it has been, you’ll need to rough up the surface with a light sandpaper sanding and then remove the dust so the adhesive can get a good grip. Next simply roll our adhesive on the wall or you can use a paint brush to apply the adhesive if its a small area. Wait until the adhesive dries to tacky and clear state (about 30- 45 mins.) and you’ll be able to see your lines again.

Important: After the first coat of adhesive is dry (and clear), apply a second light coat of adhesive and let that dry. This ensures that you have the appropriate amount of adhesive for a vertical surface.

To install the tile, align one corner of the tile against your 2 lines and then carefully push down the rest of that tile. Press tightly against the first tile with the edge of the next tile to tightly align it to the first one and continue to stick the tiles to the wall. Carefully place each tile tightly against the next one because once the tile sticks, its very difficult to remove. When the tile is in place, smack the tile with the palm of your hand to hold it temporarily and then hit with a rubber mallet or a hammer and batten board all across the tile to ensure that all parts of the tile have made positive contact with the wall adhesive. You should not have any gaps between tiles when installed correctly.

Installing on Painted or Sealed Concrete Floors

A cement subfloor should not have a sealer, paint, or primer on it.

If the cork were to be applied to painted concrete, the cork could pull up any loose paint might not get a grip into the cement. You can shot-blast the concrete to remove the paint, put a patching cement over the top if the paint is secure or put down a plywood subfloor. You should not use any chemical paint removers as this will seep into the concrete and cause an adhesion problem.

Dry Climates- Low Humidity

Humidity levels for installation and use of cork flooring or any other wood should be above 50%. If you have low humidity in your area, this will cause cork (as a wood) to contract so you want to let the tiles acclimate for at least a week before putting them down. Once down, the base of the tile will always be tight on the floor and will not move but the surface area of the tiles can still contract. The effect of that will be that the seams between the tiles may look larger. Extremely low humidity levels will cause more extreme contraction and could even change the shape and dimensions of the tiles. The tiles will not all contract in the same manner as there is no dimensional stability in cork such as there is in hardwood which also contracts. Larger tiles will contract visibly more than smaller tiles, especially 24″x24″ tiles. Installers need to take extra time to make adjustments when laying the tiles in order to adhere to required pattern alignment. Techniques such as compression fitting should be used rather than trimming any tiles. Globus Cork can provide more information on this technique by calling our technical service at: 718.742.7264.