Cork Flooring Frequently Asked Questions

Materials

Is DuroDesign cork flooring available in custom colors?

Yes, of course. We can custom color match any color sample you send us. Contact one of our flooring specialists and we'd be glad to help you find the perfect color for your new DuroDesign cork floor.


What sizes does cork flooring come in?

Our cork flooring tile, used in glue-down applications, comes standard in 12" x 24" or 12" x 12" sizes. Both are 3/16" thick.

Our cork floating floors come in 12"x36" click-together panels, which are 1/2" thick.


Where does cork come from?

Cork is actually the bark of the Cork Oak (Quercus Suber). We use the finest cork from traditional, family-owned plantations in Portugal and Spain. The bark is harvested approximately every 9 years without causing any harm to the tree. As a result, cork is a truly sustainable flooring product.


Why is using cork good for the environment?

Firstly, using cork supports local farmers and protects the Cork Oak in its native habitat in arid areas of primarily Spain and Portugal. The preservation of cork oak forests is also important to the survival of thousands of species in this rare ecosystem.

Cork forests also play a vital role in combating soil erosion by wind and rain.

Cork oaks are also naturally resistant to forest fires and play a vital role in protecting delicate landscapes from devastation.

Cork production is entirely sustainable and renewable- Cork Oak trees are not harmed in the harvest of their bark for cork, and cork forests have been harvested for a thousand years.

Cork floors are resilient, tough and long-lived. A floor that can last over 50 years is definitely a responsible choice for the environment.

DuroDesign cork floors are easy to maintain, further lessening the environmental impact of your floor over its lifetime - needing only routine damp-mopping with water and a simple re-coat of our MP765 low-VOC water-based polyurethane every 5-7 years (in average residential use).


Is DuroDesign cork flooring prefinished?

No.

Prefinished floors have two big draw-backs; they tend to look synthetic and the seams between tiles are left unprotected leading ultimately to black lines and lifting tile corners.

The DuroDesign cork floor is site-finished with 4 coats of our MP765 low-VOC polyurethane varnish for the ultimate in optical definition, clarity and durability. All seams between tiles get sealed and protected for a long-lasting, easy to clean floor.


What are the unique properties of a cork floor?

Many of the special qualities of cork derive from the fact that it is actually the bark of the cork oak. Its role as a protective barrier for the tree also means that it is also naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Cork, because of its micro-cellular structure, is very resilient - cushioning blows, resisting dents and absorbing sound. Cork is also beautifully warm underfoot because of its high insulation value.

In short, a cork floor can simultaneously reduce echo and sound transmission, make a floor feel warmer, be easy to maintain and promote an all-round healthier living environment!


Is cork well suited to commercial use?

Yes. Cork is an extremely resilient and durable material, and when coated with our MP765 polyurethane finishing system is designed to resist heavy commercial traffic- with less maintenance than other conventional resilient floor finishes such as vinyl or linoleum, and a longer lifespan. Long life, durability and ease of maintenance, make DuroDesign cork a sound investment for your commercial flooring needs.


Can you pre-cut designs in cork?

We can custom pre-cut cork tiles to our customer's specifications for a small fee. Your floor designs will arrive pre-glued and ready to install!

Simply submit measured drawings of your floor designs or a list of required tile sizes to our sales staff for a quote.


Does you cork flooring off-gas or contain VOC's?

No. DuroDesign cork flooring does not off-gas and our adhesive and varnish are low-VOC (low enough to qualify towards LEED credits)


Does cork flooring fade?

Like any natural material, cork flooring fades with exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight.

Although we use the highest quality fade-resistant dyes and stains available, the natural material itself fades with exposure to sunlight over time until the effect stabilizes. The use of UV-protective films on existing windows, or installing Low-E filled windows in new construction and the judicious placement of area rugs will minimize the effect of the sun on your floors.


I have allergies- can switching to a cork floor help me?

Cork flooring is naturally hypo-allergenic. Cork is anti-microbial and is resistant to mold and mildew. A cork floor doesn't hold a static charge, hence can't hold dust and is easy to keep clean. Our cork floors do not off-gas and the adhesive and varnish are low-VOC, for the best in indoor air quality.


Is DuroDesign cork flooring also available in a low-gloss finish?

Yes, we sell cork flooring in a satin/semi-gloss finish (35 units at 60°) as well as a matte/eggshell (20 units at 60°) polyurethane finish.


What is the difference between glue down tiles and floating tiles in terms of availability of colors and patterns?

None- you can any color and any pattern in either floating clic cork or glue-down cork tiles.

Installation

Can I put cork in my kitchen?

Absolutely!

Protected by our MP765 finishing system, cork, a naturally resilient material is ideal for use as kitchen flooring.

Spills are easily dealt with - DuroDesign cork is easy to wipe clean.

You'll be more comfortable - cork is soft and resilient underfoot.

You'll break fewer plates - dropped items tend to bounce off a cork floor and have less chance of breaking!


Can I put cork in my bathroom?

Yes you can.

Cork is so warm and comfortable underfoot that it will transform your bathroom.

Cork is naturally resistant to humidity, mold and fungus.

Although water drops and spills wipe up very easily and won't damage a cork floor, be sure not to leave large amounts of water on the floor for hours as this can potentially damage almost any floor.


Can cork be used over radiant heating?

Absolutely!

DuroDesign cork flooring can be used with radiant floor heating systems.

Cork is a naturally resilient material, unaffected by changes in temperature.

Cork's natural insulating properties help a concrete radiant floor feel warm to the touch even when the heating system is off. A ceramic tile floor, however, becomes as cold as the concrete slab.

Yes, cork slows the transmission of heat slightly from the slab below, but no more than a wood floor. Besides, a radiant floor heating system is not meant to be a fast-response heating system- but based on steady radiation from a thermal mass.


Can DuroDesign cork be installed in a basement?

Yes it can, provided you have tested your basement floor for moisture. Excessive moisture can be controlled and brought within acceptable levels simply with a plastic vapor barrier sheet or special applied coatings.

Either glue-down cork tiles or floating planks can be installed in basements, although in most cases, it is easier to use a floating floor system.

DuroDesign cork floors have been successfully installed in many basements: Contact our technical department for further details about testing and trouble-free installation of DuroDesign cork flooring in your basement.


How do I prepare a floor for DuroDesign cork tiles?

The floor substrate, be it wood or concrete, needs to be flat and smooth. Because of corks' resiliency, imperfections, bumps and holes will telegraph through the finished flooring. If the subfloor isn't sufficiently smooth, troweling on a skim-coat with a cement-based patching compound is essential for professional results. We recommend using Ardex SD-F W.W. Henry Feather Finish, Mapei Planipatch Plus or Mapei Ultra Skim Coat.

For large or very rough areas, using a self-leveling cement-based product (by Mapei or Ardex) may be preferable.


Can I install a DuroDesign cork floor myself?

If you are handy, you probably can. Floating cork floors are literally a snap to install since we use a clic system. Cork tiles require a little more attention to preparation of the sub-floor, but can be installed successfully by the handy homeowner. Varnishing is as simple as carefully mopping a floor, and all our products are low-VOC, water-based and low-odor.


Can you recommend installers for DuroDesign flooring?

If we have qualified installers in your area we will gladly put you in touch with them.


Can I install DuroDesign cork flooring over my existing ceramic or vinyl floor?

Yes, choose our clic floating cork floor and you can install directly over your existing flooring with very little surface preparation.


Can I put cork on stairs?

Yes, you can install cork flooring on stair treads and risers. However, a hard stair nosing (metal or hardwood)needs to be installed.


Do you also sell transitions or thresholds to go from a cork floor to a carpet or tiled floor?

We only sell transition molding profiles for our bamboo flooring- available in colors matching our cork flooring colors.

Typically, carpet layers or tile setters will install reducer trim as a part of their floor-covering installation.


Are there installation instructions included with the cork flooring?

Yes, and if you have additional questions about cork flooring installation- just give us a call and we'll help you out.


Can I install cork tile over an existing ceramic tile floor?

If the ceramic tile is firmly attached, without cracks and is stable, You certainly can.

You first need to flatten the floor with a skim coat of a Portland cement based patching compound. Or, you can simply install a floating clic cork floor directly over the existing tile.

Maintenance

How do I maintain my cork floor?

Vacuum and damp mop when necessary to keep dirt and abrasive particles from dulling the finish. As with a hardwood floor, you should avoid excessive moisture, so never flood the floor when mopping.

A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up the occasional spill.

Occasionally you can use floor cleaners formulated for polyurethane finished hardwood flooring diluted in water (i.e. Bona X by Bonakemi, Squeaky Clean by Basic Coatings, Finitec Hardwood Floor Cleaner, etc.)


Can a cork floor be re-finished?

Yes, easily.

Using our MP765 water-based polyurethane varnish, all you need to do is lightly scuff-sand the floor with 220 grit sandpaper, vacuum, and apply two light coats of varnish with a synthetic applicator mop.

Each coat dries in about one hour and leaves no residual odor.


How often should I re-finish my cork floor?

Our general re-finishing schedule is as follows:

Apply two coats of our MP765 water-base polyurethane:

-Once per year for high traffic retail

-Once every two to three years for low to medium commercial traffic

-Once every five to seven years for residential cork flooring applications

Watch high-wear areas such as stairs, hallways and in front of kitchen sinks for the first signs of dulling of the finish- this is an indication that it's time to re-finish those areas.


I have pets- will they damage my cork floor?

Cats and small dogs are usually not an issue at all with cork floors. Large dogs, however, can damage the surface of almost any floor, especially hardwood.

Cork has the advantage over hardwood since it is resilient, absorbs impact and doesn't scratch or gouge as easily as hardwood. Protected by DuroDesign's MP765, cork also has excellent abrasion resistance.

Ultimately, your pet's good behavior and keeping their nails trimmed will help keep your cork floors looking beautiful.

Ordering

How do I order Duro-design cork flooring?

Contact us at 1-888-528-8518 or by email and we'll put you in touch with your local Duro-design cork flooring representative or showroom.


What is the minimum order quantity when I buy Duro-design cork flooring?

There is no minimum order.

You pay only for what you need and we ship you the exact quantity of flooring, glue and varnish you require. You save money and there is less waste material to deal with when the installation is over.


How much extra should I order to allow for waste?

It depends on the complexity of the layout and the skill of the installer.

As a rule of thumb, add 8% to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area. Diagonal layouts, or floors with curved walls may require more careful calculation of the quantity required.