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Cork Tile Installation Guide

Installation of the cork tile is similar to typical ceramic or mosaic tile installation using the glue and grout method.

PREP: The existing substrate should be clean. Remove old adhesives, loose or weak concrete, dirt, debris, and any other contaminant that may impact the bonding of the cork tile.

SUBFLOOR: Apply on (1) fully cured and smooth concrete; (2) a tile backer; or (3) a plywood subfloor – a minimum of 1" thick over joists spaced a maximum of 16" on center.

NOTE: In "wet" applications (such as, a shower, spa, etc.), it is important to use a "water-proofing and crack prevention membrane" (such as Custom's RedGard), followed by the "thinset" installation method.

cork tile installation

Step 1. Spread evenly a flexible ceramic thin set mortar, or an oil modified urethane adhesive across the prepared cement substrate.

cork tile installation

Step 2. Place carefully cork tile sheets next to one another, cutting with a sharp utility knife where needed. Apply pressure evenly to sheets to ensure they are level.

cork tile installation

Step 3. If staining cork tile, do so now using a water-based wood stain, such as Minwax. All unfinished cork tile should receive 2 coats of a waterbased urethane finish, such as Bona Kemi's Traffic before grouting.

cork tile installation

Step 4. Apply a "flexible" sanded grout with a rubber trowel, making certain that all joints are filled. The finished joints should be uniformly smooth, without any voids or low spots.

cork tile installation

Step 5. After the grout is completely cured, finish the installation by evenly applying two additional coats of polyurethane.



Sweep or vacuum and dry mop (using mild soap and water). Use a restorative cleaner compatible with your finish for routine maintenance. In addition to simplifying cleaning, this will prolong the time between refinishing. Refinishing should be done every 5-10 years, or whenever wear is visible.

Cork Tile Maintenance