There are two main types of installation processes for cork flooring. The more traditional installation method, usually used for cork flooring in tile form, is adhesive connection. First, the flooring tiles need to be acclimated to the environment inside the installation room. Then, the subfloor, such as cement board or plywood, must be prepped to assure that it's even, clean and free of moisture. "The adhesive application is either direct glue-down or contact method in order to fully secure the tile as it has a tendency to curl at its edges if not properly bonded," says Steven Tolli, owner of S/L Certified Inspection Services and a 34-year flooring industry veteran from New York.
The floating floor installation process is preferred in residential settings for its ease and versatility. This form of installation starts with cork flooring that's specially created to provide a tongue-and-groove connection that snaps together. Unlike the exact specifications needed for the subfloor in the adhesive method, floating floor installation allows for the cork flooring to be installed on top of existing surfaces such as wood, ceramic tile or vinyl flooring. It can also be easily removed and replaced as style preferences change.
It's important to note that cork flooring will react to humidity changes so you want to leave room for expansion when installing. "It's a wood product; though it's a resilient wood product," says Ann Wicander, president of WE Cork. "It still is a wood product, and it will expand and contract."
Either way you choose to install cork flooring, you can expect certain benefits from the product. We'll explore the advantages of cork flooring next.