PREPARATION / ACCLIMATIZATION
Open cartons must be at job site for 48-72 hours prior to installing floating floor planks. During storage and cork floor installation, maintain temperature and relative humidity to level consistent to conditions that will prevail when building is occupied. With improper acclimatization, the floor could expand or contract after installation. Rooms and sub-floor temperature should be between 65-85°F. All substrates must be clean, dry, and dust-free prior to floating floor installation. All holes, cracks, and joints must be patched with a Portland cement based compound (follow manufacturer's instructions). Compound must be properly cured before plank flooring installation. If it is necessary to increase acoustic absorption of impact noise, AmCork underlayment is available in 3mm (1/8"), 5mm (7/32"), 6mm (114"), 8mm (5/16"), & 12mm (1/2").
INSTALLING ON CONCRETE
Cork floating floors can be installed over concrete on or above grade. When installing a floating cork floor on concrete substrate, the use of 6-mil polyethylene is required for a vapor barrier. Polyethylene sheeting should cover the entire surface and have an excess of %" on all sides to extend above the height of the floating cork planks. Sheets should overlap 8" and adhesive tape should be used to join them. Concrete must be sound, smooth, and level with a maximum variation of 1/8" in 10 feet. Any abnormality in subfloor may be transparent through cork floating floors. Test concrete substrate with a calcium chloride moisture test. Moisture cannot exceed 3lbs. in a I,OOO-ft2area within 24 hours.
INSTALLING ON WOOD
Plywood must be smooth, level, and structurally sound. Sand uneven areas as needed. New plywood should be 3/8" or Yz" thick with one side finished. Basements and crawlspaces may affect subfloor temperatures and humidity. The use of 6-mil polyethylene is recommended over the earth.
INSTALLING OVER RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS
AmCork floating floors are only compatible with hot water radiant heating systems. Do not install cork planks over electric radiant heating systems. Floating floors tend to expand and contract as a unit and therefore are recommended. Prior to floating cork flooring installation, you will need to turn the system on, regardless of the time of year, for 4-5 days. Maximum surface temperature should never exceed 85°F.
- Allow 1/4" expansion space between finished floor and all walls, thresholds, water pipes, and other vertical surfaces. Use a silicone sealer near bathtubs, commodes, etc.
- Planks should be installed parallel to the direction of the natural light entering the room. Thus, joints are rendered less noticeable. Begin installation from one of the comers of the room, usually parallel with the longest side, with tongues against the wall and grooves facing the center of the room.
- If the wall is not straight this will prevent the planks from fitting properly, and therefore they should be trimmed to follow the contour of the wall.
- The last plank of the first row should be fitted with the aid of a pry bar. The remaining length of the plank will be used to begin the second row, provided that its length is not less than 6".
- The second row is installed by fitting the tongue and groove to the first one. Fitting of the planks to each other is carried out using a hammer and tapping block.
- The last row should be fitted with the aid of a pry bar. Upon completing installation, expansion joints need to be removed from the entire perimeter. The baseboard can now be installed. The baseboard must be greater in width than the expansion joint and allow movement of the cork planks beneath it.
COLUMNS, PIPES, AND DOOR FRAMES
- Drilling of pipe access-holes can be accomplished with the use of a compass saw or a drill equipped with a center bit for boring holes. The diameter of holes should be 114"wider than the pipes that will pass through them.
- When planks come into contact with protruding surfaces such as comers, columns, etc. the planks should be cut, bearing in mind the perimeter expansion joint.
- It may be necessary to trim doors and their frames to fit the flooring beneath them. This could be done with a flexible saw. A 3/16" gap is recommended between doors and the floor. When adjoining another floor, transition strips should be used.
APPLICATION OF POLYURETHANE
In order to minimize damages to your cork flooring planks
and to prevent dirt and liquid spills from penetrating through the joints the use of polyurethane is required. Bona Kemi's "Traffic" polyurethane or Dura Seal's "X-terra" polyurethane is required under our 25-year warranty. Residential applications require 2 coats and heavy residential or commercial use requires 3 coats. See containers for manufacturer's instructions on use.
CLEANING & MAINTENANCE
Sweep and/or vacuum floor regularly. Never saturate the floor with water when mopping. Damp mop (only) floating floor tile as needed. Use wide casters or felt tips under legs of furniture. Cork flooring, like any other wood floor, will fade if exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Use of drapes or other systems is recommended to protect the floor.