Forna Peel & Stick Cork Wall Panel Installation

Tools and supplies needed:

  • Protective eyewear or safety goggles
  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge or Speed Square®
  • Pencil
  • File or sandpaper
  • Miter box (manual or powered)
  • Jig saw (if cutting for power or light receptacles)
  • Level (2′ to 4′)
  • Caulk gun and adhesive (if using method 2)
  • Latex Primer such as Zinsser®or KILZ® (or similar products) and paint roller or brush (if using method 1)(most primer will take about 7 days to dry, we recommended method 2)

Before you begin

Installing Forna peel & stick cork wall panel is a simple, exciting project that adds instant style to your kitchen or bath. We have deliberately over-explained the tile installation. Have fun with this project. It’s going to be easy and look great!

Read this installation manual in its entirety before you start.

If you have doubts about doing this installation, you should contact a qualified contractor, carpenter or professional installer.

As with all real wood products, Forna@ peel & stick cork wall panels will react to the climate in your home and to seasonal humidity changes. We highly recommend the following preparations to ensure your project satisfaction.

  • Remove all panels from the carton and let acclimate to your home’s environment for at least 48-72 hours.
  • If your installation will run from floor to ceiling we recommend leaving a 1/4-inch gap at both the very top and bottom.
  • HVAC systems must be operational and controlling site temperature and humidity. The area to receive Forna cork wall panels must be properly conditioned at normal occupancy temperature (60-70ºF), and humidity levels (35-55% humidity), maintained for a minimum of 72 hours prior to installation as well as during and continuously following installation. Do not install in areas subject to moisture.

Note: As with any cork product, there will be some variance in the cork thickness and depth. This may result in small gaps between rows or tiles. We believe these imperfections add character to any ceiling or wall installation. However, if you desire to conceal gaps, you can cut a sliver from another tile or fill gaps with matching wood putty or even a matching caulk. Be sure to wipe off excess material if the latter products are used.


Due to manufacturing variations, we cannot guarantee an exact color match from lot to lot. Prior to installing Forna cork wall panels to your wall, please unpackage & lay out all purchased product to ensure color consistency. If you encounter unreasonable color variation, please give us a call at 1-877-998-1198 (9am-5pm  M-F) so that we may assist you with your project.

Failure to follow recommended surface preparation instructions may void the warranty. Forna is not responsible or liable for any labor costs or damaged product incurred as a result of improper installation. All product defects are covered under our 5-year limited warranty.

Installation Methods

Method 1:

The adhesive on the back side of the Forna cork wall panels is engineered to stick to flat, primed, smooth walls. Allow the tiles and substrate to come to room temperature (65°F to 100°F) before installation. If you are using installation Method 1, proper wall preparation is required. Aspect can be installed over most structurally-sound substrates if they are clean, flat, smooth, dry and free of dust, wax, soap scum and grease. Acceptable substrates are drywall, plaster or clean, smooth tile (glazed, porcelain-type tile; not porous or textured). Any damaged, loose or uneven areas must be repaired, patched, leveled and primed. Fill cracks and irregularities with wallboard compound or spackling, then sand smooth with fine-grade sandpaper.

Method 1 – The adhesive on the back side of the Forna cork wall panels is engineered to be aggressive and pressure-sensitive

The substrate to which you are applying Forna cork wall panels must be primed with a fresh coat of latex primer such as Zinsser® or KILZ® (or similar products). Ingredients in “paint & primer in one” products can cause adhesion failure; as such, be sure to use a stand-alone primer. See below for Method 2 if you prefer not to prime the surface. To hide any gaps, we recommend that you tint the primer a dark brown or black color before priming the area to be covered. The paint desk at your home center can easily add and mix the primer tint. Make sure the primer dry to install  Forna cork wall panels. Most primer will take about 7 days to dry.

Method 2:

If you do not intend to prepare, sand and prime the surface, an additional adhesive should be used. We recommend a high-quality polyurethane construction adhesive be applied to the back of each tile. Be sure to remove the release film on the back of each tile before applying additional adhesive. Apply some pea-sized dots of adhesive to the back of a full tile (see right). Keep the adhesive a half-inch from the edges. Firmly press the tiles into place. If adhesive squeezes out around the tiles, be sure to wipe it off before it dries.

Recommended Adhesives




PL Premium®


PL Premium Advanced®


PL Premium®


Method 2 – Using high-quality polyurethane construction adhesive
Method 2 – Using high-quality polyurethane construction adhesive


Measure the first area to be covered by Forna cork Peel & Stick Tiles. We recommend you lay out the entire project on a flat surface, like a counter top, table or floor before adhering to the substrate to be sure you have enough tiles and your design and layout is correct. This will also give you good reference as to how the tiles will look on your wall. As you lay out tiles, make sure tile colors (which vary slightly as does all wood) and seams are to your liking. As each project is different, be sure to plan for cutouts, corners or edge treatments before applying tiles. Tile edge seams will be more visible if they are not aligned. When starting a new row, we recommend a random staggered pattern.


Beginning from inside corner on left, place the first tile.


Installing first tilePlace the first tile

Here’s where the fun begins. Be sure the substrate is clean and dry. Remove the adhesive liner from the back of the tile. The first tile and all other tiles that abut an inside or outside corner will need to have the overlap notch cut away so there is a straight edge. Use your miter saw to cut the notch and create a straight edge. File and/or sand the cut edge smooth.

Working from lower right to left, make sure the overlap notch is always in the upper left position as shown in image 1.

  1. Beginning from inside corner on right, place first tile.
  2. Install next tile as shown.
  3. Continue the process for the remaining tiles.


Do not apply pressure to the tile until you are sure of your placement. If alignment is true, apply pressure to the whole tile. The aggressive design of the adhesive does not allow for repositioning after the tile has been pressed in place. If the tile is affixed but not aligned properly, see the Removing Tiles section, below.


Cutting Tiles

A manual or powered miter saw is the recommended cutting tool for the cork panels. Use a jigsaw for cutting notches or other more intricate cut-outs such as an electrical outlet. Leave on the adhesive liner for measuring, drawing lines and cutting tiles. Measure and layout on a tile where the cut must be made and cut the tile. Take the cut tile (adhesive liner still on tile) to the work space and place it in its intended location, ensuring it fits properly. Cut and install all remaining tiles using the same steps described above. When tiles are installed to your satisfaction, press each again firmly with your hand. This will ensure that the adhesive bonds to the substrate. To cut tiles for electrical receptacles or other cutouts that occur within a single tile, first mark on the tile face the area to be removed. Measure and mark the area to be removed approximately the size of the outlet box. Do not allow the tile to touch the receptacle itself. Use a jigsaw for cutting out around receptacles. NOTE: When working around any electrical outlet, be SURE to turn the power off at your fuse box.


A powered miter saw is recommended for straight cuts.
A powered miter saw is recommended for straight cuts.


A table saw can be used for straight cuts.
A table saw can be used for straight cuts.

Adhering small pieces

Use tube adhesive for small cut pieces of Forna cork panels that is less than 4 inches by 4 inches.

Removing tiles

If a tile needs to be removed, apply heat with a hair dryer to soften the adhesive. Use a putty knife on the back side and slowly apply outward pressure to release the tile from the wall. The adhesive is engineered to not be removed so caution should be taken to not damage the wall. Any removed tiles may be unusable.

Care after installation

Forna cork wall panels should be cleaned, if necessary, using a soft cloth or the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. 

Edge Treatment

Many types of edge trims can be found at your local home center. Wood tile edges sanded smooth look great too. If a cut edge showing exposed cork doesn’t match, use stain to color the edge to your satisfaction.