Tools You Will Need

When you receive the cork tiles, remove them from the boxes 4 days before you’re going to install them. Carefully cut down opposite corners to open the boxes and lift out the tiles, making sure not to break the corners. Let the tiles acclimate to your normal room temperature for 4 days. You should also shuffle or blend the tiles as there is naturally some shading variations. If you have any concerns about the tiles, do not install them. Installation signifies acceptance of the materials.

Substrate should be smooth and free of dirt, waxes, polish, old adhesives, paint and voids. Bumps or seams will telegraph through the tiles.

Getting Started

Lay out your pattern as you would for any tile work. Chalk your lines onto the floor or walls for wall installations.

Apply adhesive to perimeter of the room using a paintbrush. Brush adhesive close to the inside corner. If adhesive should hit the wall, simply wipe off with a moist towel or rag.
Using a paint roller with a medium nap refill, apply the adhesive to your substrate as you would in painting a substrate.
The adhesive is considered dry when it turns clear and is tacky to the touch (roughly a half hour depending on humidity). Be sure it reaches this state before continuing. Once adhesive is dry, carefully align the tile edge to the chalk line. Once tiles touch the adhesive, the tiles will grab to the substrate. If a mistake is made, slowly peel up the cork tile with the aid of a putty knife, using a slicing motion, cut the adhesive free from the substrate and or tile. Reapply the adhesive to these areas.

Once the first cork tile is in place, align the next tile tight to the edges of the first.

Press the second tile tightly against the edges of the first tile. Pay attention to your alignment with each tile and you can compression fit the tiles to stay in alignment as necessary. Use a straight edge to align the tiles. Initially you can slap the face of the tile in place and then you must use a rubber mallet to ensure contact, particularly around the edges and corners. Tiles must be hit with the mallet for positive contact between substrate and tile. You can also use a batten board for this process. Tiles can be cut with a utility knife.

Continue in the same fashion as above.

Do not allow any traffic onto dry adhesive. This will cause a coating of dirt onto the adhesive and inhibit it from being effective in holding the tiles.
When applying the top coat of finish on site, vacuum the tiles and seams first and then clean with a very dry sponge, or mop. Globus Cork tiles are shipped with several coats of finish. This final top coat helps to protect the underlying adhesive from water.
Finish can be applied with the use of a 3/8″ foam roller. Best results is to use a pull foam applicator. This will prevent air bubbles from possibly forming. (Shureline 9″ applicator pad works very well). Apply a fairly thick coat of finish in a single pass motion. DO NOT make a “scrubbing or waxing motion” by going back and forth on the same cork tiles, simply go over them once with a thick coat. Let the finish dry for 4 hours before walking on it without shoes. After 24 hours, you can walk on the tiles with shoes. Do not use rubber-soled shoes on the new floor for several days as this might cause smudging to occur during the hardening period. Final hardness is achieved after 8 days.

After Installation

If construction is continuing in the room after the cork floor is installed, protect the floor tiles with roll paper or masonite, not with plastic or carpet. Do Not use any type of tape to tape something to the newly finished floor, not even Painters Blue Tape.

Caution

Cork is a natural wood product and even the coloured cork product will have some shade variations due to the underlying variations of the natural cork.

Moisture can cause problems. Be sure there are no water drainage problems and if installing on a concrete subfloor, be sure the moisture in the slab is less than 3#/1000ft in a calcium chloride test.

Let the adhesive on the subfloor dry to a tacky state before laying the tiles. It will dry to a clear appearance in roughly 45-60 mins unless you have high humidity at the site.

Maintenance