Cork Flooring, Round One {Complete!}

Two hours.

One dining room.

done.

This is MY kind of project!

 

B and I finally decided to install a floating cork floor in this mocha color to cover the kitchen and the dining room.  We began in the dining room because it is square and flat. 

Before (pay attention to the floor, not that terrible light fixure which was one of the first things to be banished around here)… (oh, and note that ivy that no longer exists out the window!)….

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This lovely stick on vinyl is just one of the many “before” flooring layers.  All terribly hideous.

The benefit of the floating floor is that we don’t have to rip this floor up.  We can simply lay the floor down on top.

To start, we cleared the room.  (after painting the ceiling and walls and removing the base moulding that is…)   We then laid down a thin underlayment.  Because the floor “floats” and is not glued, you need this surface to prevent movement.  We stuck the underlayment down and duct taped the edges to the walls. 

Now the fun could begin!

We decided to do a “tester” piece of the floor just to see how easy it was to click in place.  It was moderately easy in one direction… but the locking in both directions of each piece (the long and short sides) is rough. 

There is a solution though.  After our short tester we realized that we had to stop being so damn cheap.  Well, at least for this project anyway.

You see, Home Depot had a tapping block … for $10 bucks!  Seriously, its just a hard plastic rectangular piece with a handle.  For sure we could do without!  Or, at least make our own improvised block….

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Some duct tape, a grouting tool, some scrap wood covered in foam…. nada.  The tapping block has some magic installed within the plastic making it much easier to use.  How, i have no idea. 

One thing we did learn though, after buying the ten dollar probably virgin plastic with handle… do no use a rubber mallet with it.  The mallet is too fat to get much of your power asserted onto the block.  Use the smallest hammer  you already own.  No, this was not another case of the we-are-trying-to-stay-on-budget renovation.  It actualy worked much better.

Where was I before I digressed about our cheapness and avoidance of home depot at all costs ?

Oh, yeah, how awesome our new floor is.  And how easy it was!

Some tricks….

1.  I cut all the pieces on the end of each row of planks with my table saw.  When doing this, cut so that the finished surface is down on the table. 

2.  After you lay down two pieces, put a weight on the first plank so that it does not keep lifting up off the ground.

3.  Its easier with two people.  One person can do the tapping block and hammering bit.  The other person puts pressure on the plank you are clicking into and glides the new plank into place — making sure the tongue is in the right spot to get tapped right into the groove.

4.  Buy a tapping block, but not a rubber mallet.  Unless you live in Seattle.   Then come over and borrow our tapping block, because they really should not cost ten bucks, but are totally worth the time you save.

 

A few after pictures, you say?

Sure, but remember, base moulding is another project all together….

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and because really, we actually do have furniture…

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:)

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