Cork flooring comes in many different styles, designs and colours. Now you can have white cork flooring that will suit any room in your home. At Forna we are proud to present out white cork flooring in several different patterns. White cork flooring is perfect for the minimalist in you. Picture your kitchen all white, walls, counter tops, cupboards and flooring. Use our white cork flooring tiles as your backsplash, or maybe a bar front, the possibilities are almost endless. Let the decorating diva in you come out use your imagination with our beautiful white cork flooring today beautiful white cork flooring.
White Cork Flooring Whiter How
So many people ask if they can making white cork flooring whiter and spruce up their floors by adding colour to the finish that I’ve had to investigate this ourselves. I’ve relied on the expertise of Loba-Wakol to guide me through the benefits and pitfalls of adding tints to their finishes. According to Loba-Wakol, Mixol Pigments can be added to the Loba 2K Supra AT without changing the characteristics of the finish. That means you can add a pigment to their polyurethane without worrying about adhesion or wear changes. At Cancork, we worry about wear and changing the characteristics of Loba’s amazing new product the 2K Supra AT. As homeowners you are most likely worried about your floors fading or the white cork flooring slowly yellowing with age.
I have just done some tests to find out how to add white to our white cork flooring. Using Mixol #25 Oxide White in 3 different concentrations I’ve managed to achieve several different variations of “brightening”. I produced subtle brightening without disturbing the back pattern using 100:1 ratio. The 50:1 ratio partially obscured the pattern while producing significant whitening effects. Our third mixture of 10:1 almost completely eliminated the pattern of the cork to produce a “painted” appearance.
Remember, these mixtures are what I’ve tested in small batches on sample planks of flooring. It is always best to apply our mixtures to off-cuts of loose planks before moving on to coat your floor in product. Once you apply the finish there is no going back! Adding white pigment to a floor is a tricky business that requires plenty of trial and error before deciding on your own creative mix. Do not take these levels for the absolute truth. Take them for what they are: helpful suggestions that give you a place to start. Read multiple times to decide on what you are looking for as an end result. Then work backwards to find out what was the starting point. This is the easiest way to solve a maze – start at the end and work your way to the start.
My tests revealed the 100:1 mixture of Loba 2k Supra to Mixol #25 Oxide White changed the back ground patterns the least. This level of mixture also produced the lowest level of “brightening”. In other words, a single coat did nothing to the back ground pattern while producing a very subtle tone change to to the white. A second coat at this intensity allowed the floors to brighten a bit more while leaving 95% of the background pattern unchanged. The 100:1 mixture is an excellent choice for our “marble” patterns. The beauty cartier love bracelet knock off
of the pattern is unaffected while the subtle brightening reduces beige and pink undertones. Because this application is very subtle be prepared to do two coats. Before you start a second coat, make sure you test your mixture on a previously coated test plank. Again, you will need to decide if the first coat is “good enough” for your situation or if you are willing to risk another coat.
The next ratio we tested was the 50:1 (100:2 = double the amount Mixol Oxide White in the 100:1 ratio). This produced a significant change in the brightness of the white compared to the 100:1 ratio. The biggest change came in the loss of background pattern. The background pattern of our “marble” white cork flooring were reduce by as much as 25%. In other words almost a third of the pattern was lost. This is a significant change compared to the 100:1 mixture. When applied to our “white beach” or “granite” patterns the results were less remarkable because the pattern is not significant in these floors. “White Granite” floating floor produced a startlingly strong white yet still maintained the sublte back ground blue hue of the original floor. The beige of the “White Granite” glue down tile was reduced without disturbing the overall appearance of the cork. A second coat at this intensity may not be an option in most cases. If you are a happy with a single coat of 50:1 but wish a bit more improvement of the “white” I would suggest applying another coat at the 100:1 ratio. This subtle addition of brighter white does not affect the overall appearance of the floor. It is pleasing to the eye without having a negative impact. Applying a second coat of 50:1 risks the chance of having your cork look “painted”. It is an unattractive look which should be avoided.
The third mixture was 10:1 Loba 2K Supra AT to White. This produced the most abrupt changes over all samples no matter the background pattern. The application removed most of the pattern in all but the “Ceramic Marble” glue down tile. All of the patterns took on a “painted” look which would be considered unappealing in all but the rarest of circumstances. The only floor that appeared to benefit from this intense mixture was “White Granite”. Because of the negative results with this mixture, I would restrict the use of this to “White Quartz” and only in certain circumstances. I would reserve this level of coverage to “correcting” areas that appear to have come from different dye lots or if the owner is thoroughly displeased with the floor and demands a “perfect white floor”. Other than these two situations, I would not choose to use the 10:1 mixture on anything but the most severe situations.
In a nutshell, here is what I found most pleasing and most appropriate without producing a “painted” finish:
100: 1 = White Marble, Ambrosia Marble, Ceramic Marble, White Leather (heavily patterned white cork flooring ) all benefit from this subtle application; 2 coats is an option that does not radically distort the pattern. Tests should be done to prove a second coat would be benefical.
50: 1 = White Granite white cork flooring, Ivory White white cork flooring, White Beach white cork flooring, White Quartz white cork flooring, Ceramic Marble brighten significantly. Background beige, pink, yellow reduce significantly. A second coat is an option but care must be taken to stay away from the ‘painted’ look. White Granite floating white cork flooring and White Quartz white cork flooring benefit greatly from a second coat of this mixture.
10: 1 = This mixture should be reserved for White Quartz to correct installation mistakes or to please a disgruntled homeowner. All other patterns appear painted and should be considered a negative appearance.
Up next, adding “white wash” to natural coloured cork floors.
White Cork – The Trials and Tribulations
White Cork flooring is all the rage and cork is no exception. Forna has produced 5 different white floors ranging from an ivory “marble” to almost paper-white. Each has its own character. Each its own role to play in the market. It has taken more than 3 years to finally produce a white that is “good enough” for today’s aesthetics. Cork is magnificently difficult to produce grays and whites which means we have heard all the comments such as, “That’s not white! How can you call that white?”, to “The gray looks muddy. Why can’t you make a better pattern in gray?”
First off we are using “stains” instead of paint which means we have to turn something the colour of a pumpkin into something the colour of white chalk or cement gray. If you can image applying the thinnest lime whitewash to orange stone and then cartier love bracelet knock off
insisting it become a “perfect” white, you get the idea of how difficult our task has been. Now image the same task master saying, “Oh. And I want you to keep the pattern visible.” Covering the orange means we have to use “high solid” stains (very similar to paint) which means the patterns get covered in “white”. That is to say, the patterns we produce get covered in white paint. The same is true for gray but much more difficult.
Now that we have a decent array of whites and a few acceptable grays it is now onto the task of keeping these floors looking their best for as long as possible. Because cork starts out orange and the stain on top determines the final colour it means the colour is only skin deep. It is possible to scratch past the white or gray to reveal the true nature of the beast below = pumpkin orange.
To say this is disturbing would be an understatement! The “perfectionist” client who insists on “perfect white floors” is not someone who is going to enjoy the patina of scratches caused by the perfect white fluffy dog named Peaches! Not on your life! Which means extra care must be taken when working with white cork (gray as well but the visual isn’t as disturbing as with white). We have begun to highly recommend using Loba 2K Supra AT polyurethane with white cork because of the outstanding anti-scratch properties associated with this finish. We have also experienced very limited yellowing with this finish. This fits the bill when it comes to applying a protective finish on cork. The same cannot be said for other “money saving” finishes available at the corner “Big Box” store.
Many if not all off-the-shelf products can turn white floors a light yellow. Even the water borne or water based finishes can still cause yellowing. We know this. We have experienced the heartache together with several of our clients because of locally available products. It turns out the concept of saving money on floor finish when working with white flooring is a bad one. Several of our clients have learned the hardway that white cork is special and it needs special attention and special resources. It is like a thoroughbred race horse. It can’t be exposed to the dog and pony show at the local home improvement store before it turns off its feed and stops running.
Site finishing a factory finished floor may sound odd to many but it makes perfect sense with cork. Cork floors have the ability to be sealed or site finished. It’s what makes them water proof or water resistant (glue down tiles vs. floating floors respectively). Its what seperates them from laminate or engineered hardwoods. This same ability to be site finished also makes protecting white cork very simple – stick with the product that has the proven track record. The problem comes in when our advice to use the high-end, high-priced, appropriate product is ignored in lieu of a cheaper alternative.
The cheaper alternative ultimately costs the homeowner the price of a replacement floor. Imagine the heartache of coming home to find your white floor had turned yellow because of a product purchased off the shelf. Now imagine the heartache of being told by us and the “cheap product” producer that there is no compensation other than being reimbursed for the cost of the can of finish. The refund of $60 – $85 isn’t going to come close to the cost of ripping out the floor and purchasing more.
A cork floating floor doesn’t necessarily have to be finished immediately after install. We know this. At Forna, we try hard not to sell anything other than what is truly needed for your floor. If we highly recommend your white cork be sealed with a Loba 2K Supra AT, please listen to us. We’ve seen the circus that ensues when white cork isn’t treated with the respect it deserves.