Updating ceramic tile

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It’s been over a year since we put or cork floors in. You wouldn’t notice it at all even if you are standing right at the faded area. The warmth of the cork really works in our family room.

This post has been getting quite a lot of traffic so I wanted to update readers on how they have held up. We have a floating cork floor that encompass or living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway. There really isn’t any signs of wear anywhere on the floor. I tended to baby the floor when we first put it in because I was worried about how it would hold up. The only thing I can see that might be a negative for some is that there is some fading near the our sliding glass door. It just blends right into the darker area smoothly. It’s our favorite place in the house in part because of the floors.

I’d recommend using the square sanders that take the big pads.

You can find these at the big orange and blue home stores, in the rental section. There seems to be some controversy around refinishing floating cork floors.

The glue down tiles are often used in areas that get a lot of water intrusion. You can often find it in turn-of-the-century libraries and churches.

In fact, the Library of Congress has a tile cork floor.

These tiles usually come unfinished so you’ll have to put a coat of polyurethane on them after they go in. The finish seeps into the gaps and seals everything nicely. It doesn’t seem likely that something as soft as cork would be durable but a quality cork product is extremely durable.

Most specs indicate that glue down is not recommended below grade so install in basements may not work unless you get the floor tested for moisture content first. They are better suited to bathrooms and other wet areas than the floating floor. The material tends to give instead of scratch like hardwood.

I do keep felt pads on the feet of all our furniture. Not sure if this is really necessary but it makes me feel better. I may look at the Bona brand floor polish once a year to keep the finish looking as good as it does now. These are thick flexible cork tiles that come unfinished. I used a contact adhesive meant for sheet vinyl floors to stick them down. I’ve broken the post up with the jump links below so you can skip to the part that interests you most. This is expensive, and since we were also doing the kitchen presented problems with clearance for the kick space on the lower cabinets. Tear out all the particle board to see if there is a suitable substrate below and then nail down hardwood.

I have a few scrap pieces that I’ll use to test refinishing when the time comes.

I’m thinking a light sanding to rough up the top coat and then a few thin coats of a water based poly should work just fine.

We were both willing to fudge on this a bit though if we find something we love that isn’t exactly resale value friendly. After checking out the sub floor during the home inspection we found out that the sub floor is particle board. I’m certainly no expert now, but I do know a lot more than I did going in.

Top Cork flooring is actually made from the bark of the Cork Oak tree. About every 10 years or so the bark can be harvested from the tree–and then it grows back. Most cork is grown in the area around the Mediterranean sea. They have an HDF (high density fiberboard) back and a thin layer of cork glued to the top.

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