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Cheap cork?Posted by Jeffrey Rous at February 03. 2005
The house on the cover of the most recent Dwell (March) has cork floors. But instead of using the 12x12 squares, the sheets are much larger. My guess is that they used 2'x 3' sheets of cork underlayment as the finish floor. From ifloor.com, this stuff is 1/4 thick (thicker than typical solid cork tiles) and costs about $1.25 per sq. ft. (as compared to $3.00-$5.00 per tile).
Any reason this would not be a good option for a cork floor?
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Sara R. Sage at February 03. 2005
I just found out that ifloor.com does not have the best prices.
In our case, we found our chosen cork flooring product $1 lower per s/f at other sites. We're thinking about purchasing Westhollow brand because it is very easy to install. Also, there is no need for underlayment. The planks are 12 x 36 and about 1/4 thick.
or just google the brand name.
I just checked out www.floorshop.com and they sell the 2'x3' sheets for $.75 per sq. ft. I might actually consider the click-lock panels (I could install myself), but I still sort of prefer the solid cork. Even at $3 per sq. ft. for installation, these 2'x3' sheets are a better deal than almost anything else I have seen? But I have to wonder whether the 2'x3' sheets are not of the same quality as the 1'x1' tiles.
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Brockway Dubois at February 03. 2005
I don't see any for $.75. Which brand is at that price? I see them around $3 - $4.
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Christel Kelsey at February 03. 2005
Is it really 3$/sq. ft to install? How difficult is it to install yourself?
It is not easy to find. If you do a search for cork underlayment you find several options, including this one:
It does not give the sheet dimensions, but every place I have found sheets of cork underlayment, the dimensions are 2'x3'. It also comes in rolls. I just wonder if the underlayment sheets are less durable than the solid cork square tiles. The click-lock stuff may still be cheaper if I do it myself, but it sure seems like an interesting option.
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Gregory La Vardera at February 03. 2005
The underlayment cork may be intended as a pad under other finish flooring. It may not have as dense a wear layer on the top. Best thing to do is call them and see what they say. You can always polyurethane the cork if it will help it wear better.
Calling them was my next step, if the LiveModern crowd didn't seem to have a good answer. I have learned that I cannot always trust people who sell their products to know much more about them than I do. I actually trust the people on this site much more than the average salesperson.
E.g., I had a lighting sales person at a lighting store (not HD or the like) who claimed to have 30 years in the business try to tell me that I could not use a ceiling mount fixture on a wall because it was designed for a ceiling and I would have bulbs lasting only 1/2 as long as they should. I had to keep from laughing. He also told me that if I did not get a fancy copper/brass distressed looking thing for over the dining room table putting out at least 300w that we would never be able to resell our house.
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Splatgirl at February 04. 2005
Since it's cheap, why not try making a few sample boards? I agree with what Greg said about the wear layer...naked cork is going to be porous and not very washable or durable. You're also losing the stabilizing layer of whatever the cork is laminated on to with the plank or tile. Just guessing, I think you'd definitely need to seal it with a lot of coats of something serious or it's just going to get absorbed and not sit on the surface like you'd want...what about an epoxy coating?
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Steve Schafer at February 04. 2005
My guess is that cork underlayment is going to have a consistency more like a bulletin board than a cork tile. Tiles are much more solid; the individual granules are very tightly compressed together, and there are fewer voids. A coat of polyurethane would certainly help, but it might not be enough to keep the material from crumbling.
Re: Cheap cork?Posted by Sara R. Sage at February 04. 2005
Some of those cork flooring products come sealed nicely. I think sealing it with polyurethane or epoxy cancels out some of the healthy qualities of using cork in your home.
Here's a good product substitute: [url href=http://www.afmsafecoat.com/Techpdfs%20/5006%20Polyureseal%20BP%20data.pdf]Green Polyurethane[/url] from [url href=http://www.afmsafecoat.com/]Safecoat[/url]