Do I need an additional underlayment with the floating floors?

(05:12:53) Visitor 40510907: Which of your cork floors is below grade
(05:13:13) Cancork Floor : all of the floating floors = click together options
(05:13:51) Visitor 40510907: Do I need an additional underlayment with the floating floors?
(05:13:59) Cancork Floor : Yes…and no.
(05:14:17) Cancork Floor : “Need” is a difficult word to translate in the building industry.
(05:14:36) Cancork Floor : In legal terms it denotes “requirement for warranty purposes”…which it is not
(05:14:54) Cancork Floor : “Need” from a personal perspective often means “want”
(05:15:10) Visitor 40510907: It is for the basement, that occasionally get water damage
(05:15:30) Cancork Floor : Then you will occasionally need to replace damaged planks.
(05:15:43) Cancork Floor : Cork underlay is not water proof.
(05:15:54) Cancork Floor : A vapour barrier is always required in basements
(05:16:07) Visitor 40510907: Ok, I was just goingto ask that
(05:16:14) Cancork Floor : A vapour barrier stops water from moving up through the slab and exiting into the air.
(05:16:22) Cancork Floor : STANDING WATER is a different animal.
(05:16:52) Visitor 40510907: How do I figure out what thickness I can use?
(05:17:16) Cancork Floor : You can use ANY thickness you want – in the floating floor options
(05:17:31) Cancork Floor : Again, “can use” translates multiple ways.
(05:17:41) Cancork Floor : The best way to go about this is to choose the PATTERN.
(05:17:49) Cancork Floor : The patterns often dictate thickness
(05:18:09) Cancork Floor : Not all of them duplicate.
(05:18:17) Visitor 40510907: I’m worried about it matching up to tile in bathroom in basement and carpet in bedroom in basemnet. Also have a door that needs to open and close
(05:18:36) Cancork Floor : Then a sample set is well worth the effort.
(05:19:02) Visitor 40510907: How do I get a sample set? is there a charge?
(05:19:25) Cancork Floor : Samples are ordered right off the website.
(05:19:33) Cancork Floor : for USA clients
(05:19:40) Visitor 40510907: ok thanks for your help
(05:19:41) Cancork Floor : for Canadian clients
(05:19:50) Cancork Floor : Which website are you on?
(05:20:06) Visitor 40510907:, I’m in US
(05:20:15) Cancork Floor : please click on the icork link above
(05:20:47) Cancork Floor : The cancork option won’t take zips
(05:21:00) Visitor 40510907: got it thanks
(05:21:34) Cancork Floor : The samples are free but the small cost to ship using USPS is charged. It calculates per 5 samples
(05:21:49) Visitor 40510907: thanks
(05:22:01) Cancork Floor : Anything else I can help with
(05:22:09) Visitor 40510907: no thank you

Can cork planks be used for a glue down installation in a basement bathroom?

(05:49:51) Visitor 25746827: Hi; Can bevelled edge cork planks be used for a glue down installation in a basement bathroom?
(05:49:59) Cancork Floor : No.
(05:50:17) Cancork Floor : Basement bathrooms are very tough to achieve using cork
(05:50:29) Visitor 25746827: Is there a particular technical reason?
(05:50:38) Cancork Floor : It takes plenty of preparation + plenty of water proofing and then it takes some more prep.
(05:50:43) Cancork Floor : when installing  cork tile in a basement, you first need to lay down a 6 mm vapor barrier sheet that will prevent moisture from seeping up through the slab from the ground below. Then you should install a plywood subfloor that will provide stability for the structure. After that, you can adhere the cork tiles directly to the plywood without having to worry about moisture from below.
(05:51:41) Cancork Floor : If the bathroom does NOT have shower or tub (so a powder room) then you can use a floating floor
(05:52:49) Cancork Floor : Or if you feel the shower will be used infrequently – only a few times per year. Then a floating floor can be used.
(05:53:09) Cancork Floor : Again, none of these options carry warranty…but you would certainly get many years of use out of them
(05:53:37) Visitor 25746827: Would cork tiles glued down over a polyethylene moisture barrier be different?
(05:54:34) Cancork Floor : The moisture barrier = inappropriate for tiles. It is fine for floating floor, but not allowed under glue down cork tiles
(05:55:12) Visitor 25746827: Thank you. Good day.
(05:55:46) Cancork Floor : The moisture barrier in a basement is the hardest to achieve under tiles
(05:56:13) Visitor 25746827: Thank you again.
(05:56:33) Cancork Floor : No problem…do you think this will be a heavy used bathrooms?
(05:56:38) Cancork Floor : bathroom*
(05:57:17) Visitor 25746827: Yes. Daily use, perhaps two showers.
(05:57:21) Cancork Floor : Ooppps
(05:57:51) Cancork Floor : The amount of effort to get a cork tile to stick (25years worth of ‘stick’) is tremendous. It is a little bit more work than a HIGH END porcelain tile.
(05:59:31) Cancork Floor : No problem. Please let me know if you are interested in your free set of samples.
(06:00:08) Visitor 25746827: I am in Toronto. Where do you ship from?
(06:00:19) Cancork Floor : Richmond BC = suburb of Vancouver BC
(06:00:26) Cancork Floor : Samples are free to Canadians.
(06:01:09) Visitor 25746827: Yes please, send the samples to
(06:01:19) Cancork Floor : Can you send an email |
(06:02:00) Cancork Floor : I will also need a list of the floors you are interested in.
(06:02:19) Visitor 25746827: I will do that momentarily. Thanks.
(06:02:36) Cancork Floor : Super. I look forward to gather them and shipping them.
(06:02:49) Cancork Floor : Do you have a colour-scheme in mind?
(06:03:09) Visitor 25746827: Just pulling that together now.
(06:03:34) Cancork Floor : OK…I’ll wait to see your request to see if there is anything else I can add for you.
(06:03:55) Visitor 25746827: Thank you very much.
(06:04:07) Cancork Floor : You are welcome. Good luck with the basement baths.

what is the IIC and STC ratings of Forna 6mm, 12mm cork underlay?


(06:25:10) Visitor 66090347: Hi, what is the IIC and STC ratings of your 6mm, 12mm cork underlay?
(06:25:20) *** Cancork Floor joined the chat ***
(06:25:31) Cancork Floor : Have Delta IIC ratings = much better
(06:26:10) Cancork Floor : The STC/IIC ratings are outdated and easily manipulated.
(06:26:34) Cancork Floor : The Delta IIC ratings are highly scrutinized and the “Gold Standard” for today’s building industry.
(06:27:00) Visitor 66090347: Ok thanks. What is the Delta IIC for these products?
(06:27:15) Cancork Floor : What type of floor is going over top?
(06:27:20) Visitor 66090347: laminate
(06:27:41) Cancork Floor : 12mm underneath 8mm Pergo (laminate) = 22 dB
(06:27:58) Cancork Floor : 6mm cork underlay underneath CORK floating floor = 20 dB
(06:28:07) Cancork Floor : 6mm cork underneath laminate = 11 dB or so
(06:28:59) Cancork Floor : The STC/IIC ratings are NOT convertible to Delta IIC.
(06:29:12) Cancork Floor : You cannot compare an STC of “72” to Delta IIC of 22.
(06:29:25) Cancork Floor : There are completely different tests with different outcomes.
(06:29:36) Cancork Floor : Are you looking to install in a Condo?
(06:31:58) Visitor 66090347: Yes. My condo requires cork underlay of IIC 71 STC 70. I can’t seem to find anything that meets this requirement. 🙁
(06:32:35) Cancork Floor : Those numbers are as outdated as Harvest Gold appliances
(06:32:44) Visitor 66090347: LOL
(06:32:46) Cancork Floor : How many stories to the building
(06:33:38) Visitor 66090347: 4
(06:33:45) Cancork Floor : wooden lowrise???
(06:33:49) Visitor 66090347: yes
(06:34:00) Cancork Floor : Sigh…this is why the numbers are sooooo out of date.
(06:34:18) Cancork Floor : The condo board is as old as the building = completely out to lunch on these numbers
(06:34:27) Visitor 66090347: LOL :)))
(06:34:39) Cancork Floor : Only a LUXURY highrise with 12 INCH concrete slabs can achieve “STC 72”
(06:34:56) Cancork Floor : If you don’t have the 12 INCH concrete you CANNOT achieve “72”
(06:35:01) Cancork Floor : It is a physical impossibility.
(06:35:26) Cancork Floor : Which a lawyer would eat this ordnance for breakfast…
(06:35:45) Cancork Floor : To get this, you would have to undergo “severe personal or financial hardship”
(06:36:10) Visitor 66090347: Sigh! I wish the council members have more knowledge about what they’re asking for…
(06:36:31) Visitor 66090347: yes totally agreed!
(06:37:32) Cancork Floor : You are welcome to show them the evidence…but that means becoming an acoustics detective and learning everything there is to know.
(06:37:56) Visitor 66090347: I’m too old to learn 🙁
(06:38:36) Visitor 66090347: Thank you Stephanie! I wish you were on the council board!
(06:39:21) Cancork Floor : Ok…You can point out that the 6mm is accepted by 90% of condos in Vancouver/Toronto, etc.
(06:39:43) Cancork Floor : Then you point out that the other 10% accept 12mm…but those condos are $1.6 MILLION or MORE!!!
(06:39:59) Visitor 66090347: Holy smokes!
(06:40:32) Visitor 66090347: I really appreciate your help, Stephanie! Thank you thank you!
(06:41:06) Cancork Floor : no problem…those are your biggest arguements = money.
(06:41:29) Visitor 66090347: yes precisely
(06:42:08) Cancork Floor : So long as you are UNDER the “luxury” condo market value, you have every right to ask them to update their mandate to state “6mm cork underlay or equivalent”
(06:42:11) Cancork Floor : It is simple as that.
(06:44:05) *** Visitor 66090347 has rated the chat Good ***
(06:44:41) Visitor 66090347: Super helpful and knowledgeable!
(06:44:59) Cancork Floor : Good luck. This is a battle I’ve helped win many, many times.

Can Cork Tiles be Installed over a Painted Concrete Floor?

(06:42:48) Visitor 92708909: Looking at cork floor for my bathroom
(06:42:57) Cancork Floor : Sure.
(06:43:00) Cancork Floor : Glue down cork tiles
(06:43:57) Cancork Floor : All glue down floor tiles are for bathrooms.
(06:44:26) Visitor 92708909: Would you recommend 8mm over 6mm?
(06:45:06) Cancork Floor : It is a personal choice.
(06:45:14) Cancork Floor : Have you seen samples?
(06:45:44) Visitor 92708909: I had installed the 6mm salami…on a painted concrete floor…Big mistake!
(06:46:21) Cancork Floor : yep.
(06:46:29) Visitor 92708909: I had a flood in my bathroom due to a clogged drain. The whole floor lifted up and bucked. Have to start all over
(06:46:38) Cancork Floor : Painted concrete is not allowed underneath these tiles.
(06:46:54) Visitor 92708909: I know NOW
(06:47:29) Cancork Floor : So how did you like the 6mm thickness?
(06:47:40) Visitor 92708909: it was fine.
(06:47:53) Cancork Floor : Are you looking for a thicker floor?
(06:50:17) Visitor 92708909: not really
(06:50:40) Cancork Floor : OK. Then you are welcome to stick with the 6mm in which ever pattern it comes in.
(06:50:51) Visitor 92708909: right. thanks
(06:51:11) Cancork Floor : We still have plenty of the 6mm Salami if you want to keep going with that.
(06:51:59) Visitor 92708909: ithat’s what I’ll do
(06:52:32) Cancork Floor : Sounds like a plan. Once the paint is removed, you will have a much better situation to work with.
(06:53:37) Visitor 92708909: How Loba 2K ultra do I need for about 110 sf?
(06:53:45) Visitor 92708909: how much
(06:53:53) Cancork Floor : 1 litre = 150sf of coverage.
(06:54:02) Cancork Floor : You will need 2 coats = 2 litres.
(06:54:02) Visitor 92708909: one coat?
(06:54:07) Visitor 92708909: ok
(06:54:13) Cancork Floor : No problem.
(06:55:39) Cancork Floor : Anything else I can help with?
(06:56:16) Visitor 92708909: i’m good. thanks
(06:56:48) Cancork Floor : OK…remember the adhesive as well. 1 gallon Wakol D3540 lays 170 – 180sf of cork = just about perfect for your project.
(06:56:53) Cancork Floor : ‘Bye.
(06:57:08) Visitor 92708909: bye
(06:57:15) *** Cancork Floor left the chat ***
(07:14:54) Visitor 92708909: Me again. Are there any active coupons in July?
(07:15:06) *** Cancork Floor joined the chat ***
(07:15:11) Cancork Floor : Sorry but we don’t have coupons.
(07:15:19) Visitor 92708909: ok
(07:17:45) *** Cancork Floor left the chat ***
(07:23:14) *** Luc left the chat ***

What do I need for a basement install? How much will cork fade?


(09:24:06) Visitor 70961544: Hi, I’m looking at buying 1000sq ft of floating cork flooring for my basement. What do I need for a basement install and how much would it cost? I have picked out a Torly’s product, but wanted to compare your product.
(09:26:14) Cancork Floor : A vapour barrier is needed over concrete.
(09:26:23) Cancork Floor : This is the same as Torlys.
(09:27:17) Cancork Floor : Our product runs around 50% cheaper than Torlys
(09:27:34) Visitor 70961544: Do I need a cork underlay as well that I saw on your website?
(09:28:08) Cancork Floor : Sure…3mm or 6mm???
(09:28:30) Cancork Floor : Which floor are you interested in from Torlys?
(09:29:26) Cancork Floor : I’ll see if I can find a “match” in my warehouse.
(09:29:45) Visitor 70961544: I have a sample of the Classic Premier line in Traditions Malibu or burl latte.
(09:30:01) Cancork Floor : I’ll see if I have a match.
(09:30:10) Cancork Floor : Do you have a set of free samples from us?
(09:30:55) Visitor 70961544: No I don’t.
(09:31:25) Visitor 70961544: How much will cork fade?
(09:31:26) Cancork Floor : OK..I’ve found the Traditions Malibu = our 12mm Autumn Leaves (sells for $3.59/sf)
(09:32:51) Cancork Floor : I’m having a hard time finding a photo of Burl Latte
(09:33:04) Cancork Floor : Cork = fading. It is what it does.
(09:33:15) Cancork Floor : It is to be expected, anticipated and if you can, loved.
(09:34:14) Cancork Floor : Found the burl latte.
(09:34:28) Cancork Floor : It would be something between the 12mm Creme Royale Marble
(09:34:42) Cancork Floor : And a product we have on order = Ceramic Marble.
(09:34:47) Cancork Floor : We have samples of both to send out.
(09:35:03) Cancork Floor : To be honest, the “whites” have the LEAST AMOUNT of colour change.
(09:35:20) Visitor 70961544: I don’t mind a fade at all…I just may decide on a darker colour if I can anticipate how much lighter it gets. I have pictures of my samples if I can text/email them to you.
(09:35:33) Cancork Floor : I have found them….
(09:35:44) Cancork Floor : Did you see the response above?
(09:36:04) Cancork Floor : Traditions Malibu = 12mm Autumn Leaves
(09:36:39) Cancork Floor : Burl Latte is close to 12mm Creme Royale Marble and Ceramic Marble.
(09:36:49) Cancork Floor : The closest colour = 12mm Bleached Birch.
(09:37:03) Cancork Floor : In a basement, the amount of change should be minimal.
(09:37:52) Cancork Floor : And while we are on the subject of pricing and comparison, the floors you are looking at are 10mm thick. Our versions are 12mm thick.
(09:38:44) Visitor 70961544: Ok I’ll check it out. So to be clear do I need the cork underlay as well as a poly? What’s the difference in using both?
(09:39:10) Cancork Floor : Cork underlay is not *needed but it certainly a nice way to heat up a cold basement.
(09:41:04) Cancork Floor : The thinner floors, like Torlys would do very well with cork underlay
(09:41:21) Visitor 70961544: Ok thanks. Would you mind sending some samples of the colours you suggested please? Unless there’s somewhere in Saskatoon I can go see them myself.
(09:41:21) Cancork Floor : The poly sheeting is the vapour barrier and is a requirement whether you use cork underlay or not.
(09:41:34) Cancork Floor : Sure…please send an email asking for some samples
(09:42:03) Cancork Floor : Have you had a chance to view them?
(09:43:17) Visitor 70961544: Not yet 🙂
(09:48:02) Cancork Floor : Go ahead and have fun.
(09:48:20) Cancork Floor : Send an email once you have finished browsing or go ahead and order them directly from on-line.
(09:55:55) *** Cancork Floor left the chat ***
(10:17:05) *** Visitor 70961544 left the chat ***

A Little Info On Cork Flooring, Density, Finish, Thickness

Cork functions as one of the foremost floor coverings on today’s market. It’s appeal lines in its attractive countenance while carrying a rating worthy of champions, and is equitably priced. Also as a result of its unique cellular structure, it is warm and comfortable to walk on too. Add to those outstanding qualities the fact that cork is also ecologically friendly and you’ve got a product that can set the par in its field.

logan cork floors modern kitchen design island cabinets

logan cork floors modern kitchen design island cabinets

Take a moment to understand why this flooring is unique unto itself and consider what its nature-given properties can bring to you and your home life. Cork works on several levels, fending and defending itself in nature translates to an interesting material that has managed to do what few others of its ilk can. Sound inhibition, thermal insulation, fire retardant, water, mold and mildew resistant are just a few of its qualities, but as the actual floor here’s but a bit of what it brings.
DENSITY – Product density is determined by the size of the cork granules used. Larger granules have fewer voids to be filled by binding agents and therefore produce a higher density cork. Large cork granules, with high density, are used as the top layer of all Natural Cork floating floors and parquet tiles to ensure the durability of the floor. Lower density cork is only used on the bottom layer of the floating floor plank for added thermal, acoustical, and mold resistance properties.
FINISH – Cork flooring can be purchased unfinished, however it should be finished upon installation to guard against wear and tear. By insuring protection for the investment made, you’ll receive a longer product life. Though paste wax is still available, the most common finish today is polyurethane. This not only protects against scratches but also against liquid invasion.
THICKNESS – The thickness of a cork wear layer has less to do with durability than with density, as each mm of thickness corresponds with improved insulation both acoustic and thermal. A good standard thickness is 6mm for glue down tiles, while a 3 mm top layer and 2-3 mm bottom layer is good for floating floors with an HDF core. Cork tiles can range up to 12mm for optimal results.
Most cork decorative patterns are made of thin veneer laminated to a cork base. Failure to maintain the finish can effect irreparable damage to this pattern layer. The longevity of the finish can be directly related to traffic intensity and quality of floor care. When a cork floor starts to show a traffic pattern and signs of wear, it is time to renew the finish.
A new coat or two of polyurethane will shine up the floor and prolong its lifespan. The entire floor will need to be gently abraded and thoroughly cleaned before applying one or two coats of high quality water based polyurethane. The finish will then need to set for approximately 48 hours before replacing furniture or receiving heavy traffic. Under normal use in a residential setting, a polyurethane finish should last between 3-7 years between refinishing.
Consider cork flooring for your home today.

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.

Why Humidity control is SOOO important for Flooring

The winter replica cartier ring is upon us – at least in the Northern hemisphere – and the heating season is in full swing.  That same season also means it is the time of the year when the air in our homes dries out.  In some situations the reduction in humidity is so severe it causes our finishings and our furnishings to change shape.  This is the case for almost all interior grade home products.  Our floors are no exception.

Cork flooring, which is wood, is just as susceptible to changes (perhaps more so) as traditional hardwood and softwood products.  In fact, a cork floating floor is one of the most dynamic floors on the market.  Over 25 linear feet, it can expand and contract as much as 1 full inch.  The expansion occurs in summer (higher humidity – no heat sources turned on) and the contraction occurs in winter (reduced Relative Humidity together with heated spaces).  Winter is the “shrinkage” time of the year.  And if the air in the home becomes TOO dry, your finishings will let you know – and some of them are none-too subtle about it.

A case in point.  I recently had (today in fact) a client reach out to me to inform me her 1 year old cork floating floor had seam cartier love bracelet knock off
separation.  Right in the middle of the living room.  This occurred over a few days…maybe the weekend.  Not the point.  The change was sudden and upsetting.

Usually there are several issues at play – but the biggest factor can and will be humidity.  Relative Humidity (RH) is THE defining requirement for warranty.  As soon as RH is OUTSIDE the warranty requirements, all bets are off!  No one will offer warranty replacement once the RH drops to low or pops too high.

What are the interior requirements for RH?  The Best Building Practices (which helps set all guidelines for all products) recommends a consistent RH be maintained between 40%-60%.  Some products, such as bamboo or certain species of hardwoods, require a slightly different, narrower range.  Whereas other products, such as cork, have a slightly wider range.  In fact, cork can “handle” a rather wide range of RH.  We require an RH range between 35% – 65%.  This is one of the widest humidity ranges for flooring. 

But for many homes, in the winter time, even the lowest possible RH of 35% is impossible to maintain.  In fact, most homes cannot meet this basic requirement.  What happens if your home falls outside the requirement?  What could happen?  Well, a very dry home (as seen in my example above) will cause excessive shrinkage.  The cork floor will contract so hard and so fast, it can cause the click edge to disengage – essentially unlocking the lock system and allowing the floor to walk itself apart.  This can be compounded by a less than stellar installation (perhaps that seam happened to be less than fully engaged and therefore easier for the floor to make the split).

If humidity is too high, then replica cartier love bracelets the opposite occurs.  The floors will expand beyond the required expansion gap at the wall.  The 1″ gap will be used up, the floor will jam itself against the wall and then the floor will buckle and heave.  It will look like an amusement park ride.

And to add insult to injury, the swings in humidity between the highest of the high and the lowest of the low, can cause the most upset.  A home that pops to 70% humidity in summer time and then drops to 25% humidity in the winter (a change of 45%) will cause the most amount of damage over the long term.  Even though cork can “handle” a range of 35% – 65%, it doesn’t mean it should experience the full range inside of 3 months. 

Consistent humidity is the key.  Consistent means control.  Humidity control comes with a Humidistat that is programmed cartier bracelets into the Heat and Cooling system of the house – and is fully functional.  That is an addition that most people do not own.  A hygrometer (or several) used in the home will help regular homeowners adjust their humidity through less complicated means (humidifier or dehumidifier).

No matter the situation, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain their home to manufacturer’s guidelines.  It is the crux of all warranties.  And all materials have this requirement.  All of them.  Doors, windows, carpets, paint, drywall, flooring, cabinets, and furniture.  Everything hinges on those two little letters:  RH.

OSB and Glue down Cork DON’T MIX!

So my week has been filled with homeowners who have to deal with OSB (oriented strand board) as their substrate or flooring underlayment. This normally wouldn’t be a problem for a floating floor install (click together type of flooring), but the same homeowners have requested a glue down cartier love necklace cork tile as their final floor. Ohhhh dear! Things can go wrong in a HURRY on a job site. And this is one SNAFU that could have been avoided – but it takes forethought by everyone involved – including the homeowner.

Sigh. This is where my job gets REALLY intense. I mean dealing with swearing homeowners already up to their eyeballs in cost over-runs and delays. Boy oh boy does it get intense around here when OSB is the substrate for glue down tiles. Why all the fuss you ask? It starts with how OSB is created.

OSB is a manufactured product that uses tremendous amounts of adhesives (to keep all the wood chips together). It is pressed together and often finished with “wax” of some description. The wax helps keep the OSB moisture and rot resistant (doesn’t always work). Both the adhesives and the wax cause problems with permanent glue down floors. They are considered “contaminants” in the world of chemistry (in the flooring industry the chemistry component of the job can never be stressed enough). And cork is only one of many glue down or permanent floors that CANNOT use OSB as a substrate. It is an issue with so many floors. Not to mention it is problematic with nail down hardwood and bamboo as well.

“So why use OSB it if has so many problems?” Simple. Economics. OSB is CHEAP. And CHEAP is what helps sell homeowners on a project or wins a General Contractor (GC) the bid. The builder who puts in the lowest bid often wins the job. Part of that bid includes cheap surfaces. OSB is one of them. This gets everyone into trouble when the flooring has yet to be chosen (ahem…homeowners don’t have enough information about their build to be able to offer a floor cover), leaving the GC alone in “guessing” at what to use as underlay. When the floor is chosen (in this case a glue down cork tile) Builders are on the hook for a more expensive surface and homeowners are on the hook for a change order (that they didn’t even know cartier love bracelet replica existed). Tempers flare at this point.

The builders (either at the time the house was built cartier bracelet
or at the time of bidding the renovation) will use their best guess when it comes to bidding a project. They will use their own history to price out a job. Part of a flooring job includes underlayment – which means 90% of the time to be OSB (unless specifically stated as something else). That’s how they make money. They use “good enough” materials instead of the better or best materials. Most of the time they can get away with it. But in some cases, like a glue down cork floor, they are bitten by the “good enough” bug. And it bites HARD!

The problem with OSB and glue down materials comes from chemical incompatibility between the adhesives/wax in the OSB and the adhesive required to install these floors. The contaminants in the OSB means it is useless to even try to glue to it. Floor failure can be expected inside of a few weeks. In many cases it shows up the next day. By that time, it is too late. The cork cannot be salvaged, the adhesives cannot be salvaged and the whole thing is a redo. It is better to take the time to remove the OSB or cover it up and then start the glue down process once fresh, subfloor grade plywood has been installed and properly prepared. And properly prepared means the same sort of prep as sheet vinyl or linoleum. That’s a lot of prep. Especially if the OSB has to be removed or resurfaced with something else. The price of the project will climb – steeply.

The moral of the story is: Make sure you know what type of flooring you want before allowing your contractor cartier love bracelet knock off
to lay underlayment. If in doubt, specify subfloor grade plywood – be prepared to pay the extra. Subfloor grade plywood is acceptable in all but a few situations.

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

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 fake cartier bracelet 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 cartier jewelry replica 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 cartier love bracelet replica 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