Category Archives: Cork underlay

Vinyl and Cork Underlay – Don’t Normally Mix

The more popular vinyl becomes, the more frustrated homeowners become with the installation of it.  The biggest reason for this cartier love bracelet knock off
frustration:  The unknown complications with underpad or underlayment.

Just because vinyl (Luxury Vinyl Tiles or Luxury Vinyl Planks) may look like laminate, homeowners assume it acts like laminate.  Sadly this could not be further from the truth.  Vinyl planks (especially the thin products 3mm – 6mm thick) are not as rigid as laminate.  For that reason the systems required to hold them in place are much thinner and are therefore much easier to damage should the underpad compress underneath.

Many homeowners hope to use cork or other under pads that offer some form of warmth or acoustic insulation.  Sadly most vinyl on the market bracelets will not allow this.  This restriction leaves many homeowners holding thousands of square feet of flooring with very little cartier double bracelet
choice but to install it in a way that makes them unhappy.  All they cartier bracelets can achieve is a cold, hard, loud floor.

In condos, these under pad restrictions are deal killers.  Acoustic requirements in multifamily units can be quite strict – requiring thousands of dollars in upgrades just to meet the HOA standards.  Unhappily, many condo owners find they have purchased the wrong product with the wrong specifications for their apartment.  This leaves the owner feeling angry and vulnerable – as if someone should have known better than to sell them a product that won’t work in their home!

As cork specialists, well trained in acoustics and installation techniques, we run into this on a daily basis.  Time and time again we have had to correct a flooring sales person (and several installers) as to how to go about installing their vinyl products.  Dozens of times per week we turn away clients because their vinyl floor (already purchased and waiting for them back home) will not allow cork as an underpad.

The good news is there are a few good brands out there that have given us the green-light to have our cork underlay (3mm) glued down underneath their vinyl planks.  Drop N Done and Flexiplank vinyl floors have stepped up and agreed to allow our 3mm cork underneath their flooring.  The reason: These LVT/LVP products are THICKER and DENSER than regular vinyl.  Their RIGIDITY is what allows them to be used with cork.

The only drawback that our clients have found has to do with Condo Boards, Strata Councils or HOA Boards acoustic requirements.  Unfortunately the vast majority of multifamily buildings do NOT recognise 3mm cork as being “good enough” for their buildings.  And in many situations, they are 100% correct.  For regular homeowners who simply want a little bit more cushion and a little bit more warmth, the 3mm cork underlay is well worth the extra effort.

We have a vinyl like cork flooring =10.5mm Fusion Cork flooring = vinyl plank “replacement” product that is super tough and is allowed to work with acoustic underlayment such as 6mm or even 12mm cork underlay (which traditional vinyl is NOT allowed to work with).

All our cork floating flooring are allowed to work with cork underlayment.


Cork under Hardwood

The look of hardwood is hard to beat. For those who are not satisfied with faux products such as laminate, porcelain or vinyl, solid hardwood cannot be replicated. Engineered hardwood comes close, but those of us in the industry can spot 90% of engineered hardwoods installed today. For purists who live in areas that require engineered hardwood, it is as close as they can get to the real thing.

Some of the difficulties of hardwood (both engineered and solid) come from acoustic or thermal concerns. Wood flooring in condominiums can pose problems at time of installation. Multifamily units require acoustic insulation. This is where cork comes in. For many strata buildings – roughly 70% in the USA and 90% in Canada – will accept 6mm cork underlay as an acoustic barrier. For the remaining cartier love bracelet knock off
strata councils, the 12mm cork underlay is a necessity.

When using cork under hardwood, a few issues come to the fore. First and foremost: cork cannot be pierced by nails, staples, screws or cleats. It can be floated (unattached to the subfloor) or it can be glued in place. The form of install (floating vs. glue down) will follow the format of the hardwood installation (floating vs. glue down). At this time, the homeowner must assess the form of install the hardwood manufacturer allows with their product. Not all hardwoods can be floated. Not all hardwoods can be glued. Many are nail/staple/cleat only. It is critical that the choice of hardwood matches the form of install that cork allows.

Working backwards can help. When shopping for hardwood, it is best to look at options that allow floating and or glue down applications. Asking the sales person at the flooring store to point you towards the hardwood selections that allow one of these two formats is the best way to move forward. The most impressive form of install is a glue down hardwood floor. It feels solid underfoot. It is the type of installation that most homeowners dream about. It is also one of the most expensive formats available with hardwood.

A cork underlay would be glued in place underneath a glue down hardwood floor. We refer to this as a double stick. It is beyond impressive – when done properly. This form of install offers decades of comfort and sound control. It is also one of the highest priced flooring installs on the market. Magnificent often means pricey.

A floating hardwood over top of floating cork underlay is the price advantageous younger cousin to the Magnificent Double Stick. When the subfloor is properly prepared (flat and level) it can be just as impressive. A flat subfloor makes all the difference. The biggest flooring complaints by homeowners – such as bouncing, clicking, popping, squeaking, etc – are based on the subfloor. Lack of sublfoor preparation can and has caused tremendous amount of heartache. As wonderful as cork is, it cannot make up for poorly executed subfloor preparation.

Cancork Floor Inc.
185-1991 Savage Road. 
Richmond BC, V6V 0A4 
Tel: 604-207-0661
Toll Free: 1-866-998-1198