5 Tips for Installing Cork Tile Flooring in the Bathroom
Putting cork tile flooring down is becoming more and more popular in today's world. Cork is very popular with the green movement and more homeowners are going with it than ever before. Cork is quiet and warm underfoot and it also provides you with durability. Many people are now going with it as an option in the bathroom. The best type for the bathroom is the cork glue down tile. This tile, once glued and then sealed with two coats of polyurethane, is 100% waterproof and will look great for decades! If you are planning on installing cork in the bathroom, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind.
1. Pull The Toilet
Some people try to get by with leaving the toilet in while they install flooring. When you install cork flooring, removing the toilet is really the best way to do it. You will want to set the toilet back down onto the top of the flooring after you install it. This will give you a finished look and it will help you seal up the cork better when you are done.
2. Acclimate the Cork
Before you install the cork, make sure you acclimate it to the surroundings. Being a natural product from a cork tree, cork flooring can expand and contract based on the temperature and humidity in the room. You will want to make sure you allow it to acclimate for 24 to 72 hours prior to trying to install it. This will ensure you keep your manufacturer's warranty and that you will not run into problems in the future.
3. Expansion Gap
Around the outside perimeter of the floor, you need to leave an expansion gap. This expansion gap provides room for the floor to expand and contract over the years. You will need to put baseboards or quarter round moldings in the corners to conceal the gap. Where it meets the bathtub, you may have to use caulk so the joint remains flexible.
4. Care at the Joints
There are a number of specialized glues on the market for installing cork flooring in a bathroom. Check with the company you buy it from to make sure what will work best. When installing them, you have to make sure that the joints between the tiles are tight. Align the tiles properly, careful to applying pressure only when the fit is snug through. You can then use a small J-roller to press down on all the joints. If you end up with gaps in the installed floor, however, a bit of cork dust mixed with a little urethane will provide you with a paste to fill the crack. A touch-up stain can even be added if a better color match is needed.
5. Center the Tiles
When working in a small space like a bathroom, it will usually look better if you center the tile in the room. Get a tape measure and determine the exact center point of the room. Then snap a chalk line so you know exactly where to start from. Work from the middle out and put your cut pieces of cork up against the wall.