Without a doubt, cork tiles are one of the hottest flooring materials today. They may be more expensive than other flooring materials, but the advantages of using cork flooring more than compensates for the price difference. Even more, with a little bit of knowledge and some basic building skills, you can easily install the tiles on your own so saving money on cork flooring installation costs. However, this article does not include a step-by-step guide on the installation process. What are included are tips and strategies that may not be covered in other installation guides.
There are two types of cork flooring tiles available in the market: regular cork tiles and floating floor cork tiles. We'll present some tips on both types to help you decide on which to use for your home.
Installing Regular Cork Tiles
Regular cork tiles are those that do not have fitting groves on the sides. The ones that do have those grooves are called floating floors and the cork flooring installation process is different.
Before you purchase cork tiles, make sure to measure the area then recheck your measurements. If you've never installed cork tiles on your own, you may want to order more tiles than required. Do not worry if you end up with excess tiles. Cork flooring tiles can be converted into pinup boards or cut into coasters.
Cork tiles are considered as wood products and like any other type of wood, these needs to acclimate before installation. Once the tiles arrive, take them out of the box and let them sit in the room where they are to be installed. Let them sit there for at least four days for them to acclimate.
It's imperative that the floor area where the cork flooring tiles are to be installed is smooth and level. Remove any excess concrete or wood by sanding the area. Use patching compounds to cover holes. Prior to installation, make sure that the area is free from any debris, no matter how small.
Installing Floating Floors
Floating floors are used when the subfloors are too damaged for a regular installation or when moisture is a factor, such as concrete floors. If a concrete floor is moisture free, then regular tiles can be used. If not, floating floors must be used.
Always lay tiles starting from the area farthest from the door. This tip may seem too obvious, but many beginners make this mistake mostly because of their excitation to start on a new project.
When using underlayment, make sure that you use plywood and not particleboards or hardboards.
If the house was built prior to 1980 and it has a wooden floor that needs to be removed, there is a chance that the base is made from asbestos. This needs to be removed before you can begin the cork flooring installation. However, it may not be safe to remove this on your own so call your local health department to check on safety procedures. They may recommend that you contact a company that specializes on the removal of asbestos products. Acquiring their services may or may not add to the cost, but whatever it is, it will certainly be cheaper than the cost of cancer treatment.