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Installation of Floated Cork Flooring

Posted: 01 JUL 2002

Cork planking is designed for floated installation. The individual planks simply click together – no glue or other securing hardware is needed.

As with any flooring installation, sub-surface preparation is required. However, with floated installations the preparation is only minimal. Another benefit of this type of installation is that it can be placed over virtually any type of sub-surface except carpeting.

The following outlines typical preparation and installation steps.

Preparation for installation over concrete:

  • Make sure the sub-surface is clean, dry and flat
  • A moisture content test is recommended
  • Most manufacturers recommend placing a moisture barrier over a slab, usually 6 mil polyurethane sheeting
  • Cut the bottom of door frames enough to allow the planking to fit underneath

Preparation for installation over sub-flooring:

  • Sub-flooring must be clean, dry, flat and firmly secured
  • Cover the surface with polyurethane foam or cork underlayment to serve as a cushion, moisture barrier and sound barrier
  • Cut the bottom of door frames enough to allow the planking to fit underneath


  • Acclimate the cork planking for 2-3 days, at normal-living temperature and humidity levels, and in the room where it will be installed
    Note: refer to your flooring manufacturer for specific details

Installation of planks:

  • Using spacers, leave an expansion space around the border of the room, and also around any other permanent, vertical objects
    Note: refer to your manufacturer’s instructions since expansion space recommendations can vary from 1/4 in to 1/2 in
  • Open and sort a few boxes of planking at a time and mix the variations in shade and pattern
  • Lay the first plank in a corner with the long groove side facing the wall then connect the short side of the second plank to the first plank, per the manufacturer’s instructions
  • The last row of planks may need to be rip cut to size then connected to each other with a pull bar
    Note: don’t forget to leave the recommended expansion space between the flooring and the perimeter

By using the advice in this overview as a guide, and by following your flooring manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations, your installation should go smoothly and your new cork floor will be the envy of all who see it.