CORK FLOORING INSTALLATION
Our floating cork floors are easy to install and many of our customers choose to do so themselves as a DIY project, but if you are looking for an experienced fitter, we can help – just email us your postcode. We have a list of fitters recommended by our customers and who we have found to be reliable – though please note these are independent tradespeople and as such we cannot take responsibility for their work or any arrangement you make with them.
Below are guidelines for laying our cork flooring. Every endeavour has been made to ensure the information given here is true and reliable. It is given only for the guidance. The company cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage that may result from the use of this information, due to the possibility of variations of processing or working conditions and/or workmanship beyond our control. Users are advised to conduct their own tests for a particular application.
Our floating cork floors can be installed in most domestic areas and in almost all commercial areas except in bathrooms, saunas and persistently wet rooms. They can be laid on top of most hard surfaces such as resilient floor coverings, wood flooring and ceramic tiles. Soft subfloors such as carpets and similar must be removed. In areas where water is likely to be splashed, we recommend using a joint sealer for additional protection against potential moisture damage. Clicseal is easy and quick to use: when laying your floor, simply apply the sealant to the top of the tongue on all board edges, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Our cork is suitable for use with underfloor heating, following the instructions below carefully. It must not be exposed to artificial heat sources such as from heated pipes at shallow depth below screeds, or suspended pipes below floorboards. Pipes must be thoroughly insulated.
In areas with excessive room temperatures or direct sunlight cork should be protected by the use of curtains and or blinds.
The subfloor must be even, flat, dry and variations should not exceed 3 mm in 2 m. Any type of concrete, wooden or ceramic surface must be completely dry. If you are laying on a concrete floor, the moisture level should not exceed 75%RH when tested with a hygrometer in compliance with BS8203-4; 2001.
Please bear in mind that if you are laying on new concrete it can take up to six months to dry out completely. Always install our floating floors over a polyethylene sheet with a minimum thickness of 0.2mm. On ground and basement subfloors, we recommend using two layers of 0.2mm sheeting laid crossways. Sheets must be stretched flat and free of dirt, folds and wrinkles. They should be sealed with a suitable waterproof tape.
Our floating floors are suitable for use with underfloor heating, the surface temperature of the subfloor must not exceed 28°C (82°F). For detailed information, follow the instructions supplied by the heating system manufacturer, or contact your supplier. Remember that rugs or mats placed on top of the cork floor may act as heat accumulators and increase the floor surface temperature more than the recommended level.
Because our cork floors are “floating” the planks should not be fixed to the subfloor. Skirting boards should not be fixed in such a way that they press down on the floor, restricting its movement. You should leave a 10mm expansion gap between the floor and the walls and other fixed objects. Allow 1mm expansion per linear metre, with a minimum of 8mm. You can fit edging trims to cover the gap. These should be 1.5 times the size of the expansion gap
Floor areas larger than 100m² or with dimensions greater than 10m in either direction, transitions between two rooms and asymmetrical floor areas require extra expansion gaps.
Transport, storage and acclimatisation
Flooring should be transported and stored horizontally and acclimatised at the job site in dry, well-ventilated area for a minimum of 48 hours. During the storage and installation, maintain temperature and relative humidity to the normal level when the building is occupied. In most cases, this means 18ºC to 28ºC and relative humidity range of 35% to 65%.
Tools and materials required: padsaw or a fine toothed handsaw, spacer blocks, pencil, set square, 0.2mm polyethylene sheet (damp proof membrane) and adhesive tape (eg 50mm wide polythene joint tape).
Prior to installation, please inspect the planks in daylight for any visible faults or damage and to ensure they are the design you were expecting, as we can't take items back once they have been used or fitted. Our floating cork floors are natural products and each plank has its own shade and pattern. Shuffle the planks before laying to achieve an attractive blend of shades. Ideally planks should be laid following the direction of the main light source; we recommend flooring should be laid crossways to any existing floorboards.
Measure the room accurately, at a right angle to the direction of the planks. You need to ensure that the planks in the final row are at least 5 cm wide, so if necessary, the planks in the first row can be trimmed to a narrower width to ensure the final row is wide enough.
If necessary, saw door frames and architraves to the required height Allowing 2 mm of extra space for the planks.
Lay the polyethylene sheet, allowing for at least 20 cm overlap between sheets and tape. Turn the film upward 5cm along the walls. Trim after the skirting boards are fixed.
We recommend you start laying in the right-hand corner. Place the first plank against the back wall, tongue side facing the wall; using a spacer block, leave a 10mm gap between the short side of the plank and the side wall. You will adjust the gap between planks and the back wall once three rows of have been laid.
Hold the next plank at an angle against the first one, then lay it flat on the floor. Complete the first row in the same way.
Cut the final plank of the first row to the correct length, allowing for a 10mm gap between the short side and the wall. Cut boards face down when using a padsaw, or face up when using a fine-toothed handsaw.
Start the next row with the leftover piece (so long as it is at least 300 mm long). The joins between boards should not match up with those in the adjacent row, they should be staggered by at least 300mm. If the piece is too short, start with a new board and cut it in half.
Place the first plank of the new row with the tongue side at an angle against the groove side of the plank in the previous row. Press forward and lay it flat at the same time.
Place the short end of the next plank at an angle against the previous installed plank and fold down. Ensure that the board sits on the integral locking strip of the board in the previous row. Now lightly lift it up, along with the previous laid board in the same row (about 30 mm), push it against the row in front and then put it down. This movement requires some gentle adjustments to the angle as you press it into place, so that the joint becomes near-invisible.
When you have finished three rows like this, adjust the distance to the wall to 10 mm, then continue with the installation as described above until reaching the opposite wall.
If your wall is uneven, you may have to cut planks to match the wall-angle. Do not forget to allow 10 mm for the expansion gap.
Measure and cut the planks in the last row to size, allowing for a 10 mm gap to the wall. No plank should be less than 5 cm width.
If you are fitting around a heating pipe, drill the required hole in the plank, which should be 20mm wider than the pipe diameter; cut the plank at a 45º angle towards the hole. Once laid, the cut-off piece can be glued in the position again. Cover the hole with a pipe sleeve.
If you wish to remove the flooring, just lift the planks a few centimetres and tap along the joint. The released planks can then be pulled out. Never bend connected planks backwards, as this will damage them.
If you cannot angle planks to fit under a doorframe or low fitted radiator, for example, you can cut away the locking edge and glue instead using PVA glue, class D3.
To lay on stairs, planks have to cut to size and then glued down using parquet glue along with a stair-nosing of your choice.
In areas where water is likely to be splashed, we recommend using a joint sealer for additional protection against potential moisture damage. Clicseal is easy and quick to use: when laying your floor, simply apply the sealant to the top of the tongue on all board edges, following the manufacturer's instructions.