Another flooring decision

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mansheima
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Another flooring decision

Postby mansheima » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:48 pm

Anyone have experience with cork? We have VAT that has problems in 4 bedrooms. The outside perimeter cracked up when we (very delicately) tried to remove the carpet tacks. In one bedroom there is also actual holes in it (like quarter size).

One living room has beige VAT (anyone have any ideas to put around the perimeter?) that we'll save, just need to be creative around the edges.

The other living room had cork. Nasty old disinigrated carpet padding over it and I don't think we'll be able to save that either; black gunk comes up very inconsistently (some cork looks lovely and new, some just looks crappy with the black).
Kitchen has 70s linoleum that we'll just leave alone for now.

Think we'll recork the one livingroom and 4 bedrooms. What is your experience with the click together planks? We like the herringbone pattern in the existing room but haven't seen it in the planks, probably would have to be glue down anyways; I also think that with the existing floor (and I don't want to rip up the astbestos) the floating floor might be best. Brands? Values? Obvious choice is Lumber liquidators but are there other options that might be better?

Will post pics if I can figure it out

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38847783@N ... 3664378095

Oh, and please be gentle. New and novice.

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Postby jakabedy » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:35 pm

Nice house!

We put glue-down cork in 4 bedrooms, LR and DR back in June. We love it. We opted for the glue-down rather than the plank because I didn't like the idea of the threshold strips at the openings and the big height difference where it would have abutted existing pavers. I also thought the glue-down would be more durable in the long run as it is thicker than the wear-layer of the planks.

We went with a standard brick pattern, but you could easily recreate the nifty herringbone with the glue-downs -- not so sure you could with the planks. We used the ultra cheapo cork from Lumber Liquidators. I think it was $1.49 per square foot and came in tiles that were just shy of 1' x 2'.

Whether you DIY or hire it installed, if you are doing glue-down, make sure there is an understanding of how to install the cork. Because of the compression factor the tiles cannot be shoved together as tightly as vinyl or VCT or there will be "edge peaking." We have a bit of that in some rooms that we didn't catch in time.
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Postby ellejaydub » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:23 am

How does cork wear in the long run? I know some existing cork floors still look nice, but I'm not sure whether the quality is the same in modern cork.

I have a huge dog and I was also worried about what the weight of the furniture does to it!

(Sorry! That's the end of my hijack!)

I like the pattern in there right now, if you could duplicate it. Very cool!

As for the perimeter in the beige living room... What about putting a contrasting color around the edge? Black, maybe?

Your house is fab and has potential to be even better. Good luck!
Lara Jane

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Postby rockland » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:12 pm

I have cork. '62. New cork is 'you get what you pay for'. Just like laminate flooring.
Be careful of some of the 'veneer' type cork.
My entry is aprox 12x20. It gets heavy traffic. 2 big dogs.
Darn good stuff for near 50years old.
And my three years here has put it to the test.

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Postby mansheima » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:37 am

Rockland, just what I was afraid of. Anyone have experience sanding or otherwise rehabbing existing cork? Will try to save what we have. We had a flooring contractor in; he said he could do it but what he did wouldn't really change the black/light problem that the carpet underlay caused. There's also a crack in the cork, small, but there. Flooring guy thought that after he did his thing we'd maybe get 4 years out of it. Is flooring guy an idiot? Came recommended in town.

Thanks Jakabedy and ellejaydub. We love our house, and feel that it's architectually important. We want to do the right thing. We're proceeding with caution (and research) and would rather do this floor thing once. :)

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Postby egads » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:33 am

It's amazing how much damage wall to wall carpet can do. In my house, the VAT was bubbled like barnacles. I was afraid that might be an indication of moisture leaching through the slab. My friend theorized that the moisture may be from repeated carpet cleanings. Having removed and replaced the VAT with VCT, I do think he was right, the flooring just gets really wet with some carpet cleaning methods. One thing to consider is, with most hard surface floor coverings, one has area rugs. That and furnishings may hide the worst.

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Postby mansheima » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:36 am

Egads,

My VAT has bubbles in some places too. My toddler scraped his knee one day and I asked him what happened, he replied that he scraped it on the 'pimple on the floor' and pointed to the bubbled VAT tile.

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Postby rockland » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:10 am


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Postby fwmodern » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:13 am


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Postby dilettante » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:58 pm


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Postby jakabedy » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:18 pm

Ours is 1/4" glued directly to the slab as well. This is the first room we did last fall, when we were deciding if we liked it enough to do the rest of the house. Our cork is the standard, no pattern look. But that is what we wanted. There are some beautiful, exotic corks out there if you want to make the floor a feature of the room. The photo was taken about 6 months after the install.

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Postby mansheima » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:52 pm

The problem with my existing 1955 cork tiles is the crap that's on top of the cork. They used some kind of black carpet pad that disintegrated and is stuck to the cork. We scraped and scraped. We've since put contractor paper over it temporarily and you know what's weird? It looks like some kind of moisture is coming through the contractor paper. Wax? The surface of the cork tile seems waxed but would wax moisture through?

Cork, although not unusual for the time, seems to have been unusual in this area. Most flooring guys I talked to wouldn't touch it. I wonder what an uber light sanding of some sort would do. Then, as this is OLD cork, what would we seal it with?

Glad the thread is answering others' questions as well.

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Postby egads » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:18 pm

I believe I mentioned this in another flooring thread: To test concrete for moisture, place a piece of glass down and leave it for a few days to a few weeks. If there is sweating, then any flooring glued directly will fail. When doing glue down hardwood on grade level concrete, many flooring contractors will glue down cheap sheet vinyl and then apply the actual flooring over that.

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Postby mansheima » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:42 am


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Postby pinetree » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:26 am

I'm also interested to hear if anyone has any experience refinishing (sanding, etc..) cork glue-down tiles..

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Postby dilettante » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:05 am

An article describing cork floor choices and refinishing can be found .

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Postby mansheima » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:57 am

Thanks for the link, dilettante. Good info!

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Postby wbaker911 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:14 pm

I had cork installed after I first moved in and love it; keep in mind it fades quite a bit. I have an awful lot of natural light and it is now many shades lighter in areas.
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We're making progress. Now for brand recs?

Postby mansheima » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:15 pm

Ready to bite the bullet. Needs to be floating due to asbestos tiles underneath.

Lumber liquidators has a mid priced cork floor but I -really- do only want to do this once and have heard a few horror stories about the company and product.

Keep coming up with "Wicanders" but they're pricey. I don't have my heart set on one particular pattern, but would like to go with a company that's been around for a while and hopefully has a better product. Anyone know where I could get closeouts on such a thing? Or any other brands you can rec? We'll be doing all the work ourselves and we're in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I'm certain I'm not the only one going through this.

Thanks!

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Postby markjudep » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:17 am

I recently sanded, stained, and applied a few coats of water-based poly to 1960 cork. Looks great. You treat it like you would a hardwood floor. Furniture indentations seem to be there for good, though.


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