Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

How to Install Glue Down Cork Flooring

When installing glue down cork flooring, ‘water-based contact cement’ adhesives are commonly recommended as they are known to be among the most reliable and effective. They work well for cork flooring because cork is a porous material that allows the water in the adhesive to evaporate, thus creating a strong bond. An added plus, contact cement is easily available in nearly every hardware store.

As always, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application of any adhesives you decide to use. These instructions will guide you on how to go about applying the appropriate amount of adhesive. They will also advise on which applicators to use (i.e. trowel, brush etc) to achieve the best results. For adhesives to be used with a trowel, make sure you use the proper trowel size to ensure the correct amount of adhesive is applied. Manufacturer’s instructions will also tell you how to determine drying and cure times based on existing conditions at the time of installation.

It is often suggested that you install one or two tiles with your adhesive in a low visibility area to check its bonding ability.

Time to install

Along with manufacturer recommendations, here are some tips you can follow for installing glue down cork flooring tiles:

  • Using a new short nap roller, apply the adhesive to the floor; to make things easier, use a paint tray to carry the glue
  • Apply adhesive to as much area as you think you can get done in one day. Allow the adhesive to dry for about half an hour. There should be a slight gloss on the floor. You may have to apply two coats if the cement is very porous
  • Make sure that you brush dust off from the back of the tiles before you install them because any debris on the back of the tiles will eventually result in an uneven surface on the cork floor.
  • Line up the edge of your squares with guideline and set the cork tiles down. Apply pressure only when the tiles are aligned as applying pressure before aligning may cause the cork tiles to stick firmly and further movement will not be possible.
  • To avoid gaps in your floor, make sure that the joints between the tiles are tight. Then, using a small hand J-roller, press down on all the joints. If you do have gaps in the installed floor, you can fill them by mixing cork dust, a little urethane, and some touch-up stain.

If you’re unsure about a glue down cork flooring installation, it’s always helpful to talk to a professional. Get in touch with a contractor or feel free to contact a knowledgeable BuildDirect product expert. Call 1-877-631-2845 or email sales@builddirect.com, we’d love to hear from you.