How to you care for your cork floors?

Kathy RiveraSeptember 9, 2013

My new kitchen floor was installed over the weekend and I love the way it feels on my feet and back! However, I've become slightly obsessed with worrying that everything is going to ruin it. A drop of water - I freak out and run for the towel. A crumb gets caught under my foot and I'm scared it will make a scratch, etc. So, will I get over this fear and eventually just treat it like a floor? What is your daily care routine?

Also, just a sad note, the workers scratched it putting the stove into place this morning. :( Just a little and I'll likely be the only person who ever notices, but it just made me sad and I knew other GWers could relate!

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Glad you're liking your new floor -- and I definitely relate to the slight sadness about the workers scratching the floor. My floor has some imperfections from how it was layed, ones that only I notice, but yeah, there's some wistfulness about how it could be better. I just tell myself it's good it happened early on, so now I can treat it like a floor :-)

I sweep about once a day (or once every other day if I haven't been cooking), and then every other week I go over it with a slightly damp mop. Single drips can stand; a good-sized splash from the sink I'll wipe up. This is pretty much what I did with my old maple floor (maybe a little more sweeping now, but I think that's a function of the new floor's dark color rather than it being cork.)

Enjoy the new floor, and post a photo so we can admire it!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:29AM
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Ditto for our cork! Sweep frequently, anything more than some drops (or that is not just water) gets wiped up, we use a slightly damp mop when it looks like it's needed. We use warm water and squeeze the mop repeatedly until very little comes out.

I did also buy a Bona hardwood kit, which I haven't used yet. When I called the mfg, they recommended Bona Kemi, which I believe is marketed here as just Bona (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!).

Now that construction is done, at least for now, I've relaxed a bit about the floor. I did add felt pads to the chairs.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Would love to see pictures of all of your cork floors.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Kathy Rivera

Thanks! I'm kicking myself for not putting felt pads on the stove. I thought about it while it was pulled out for laying the floor - I should have done it then. :/


Here's mine. Still under construction/no toe kicks/painting not done...And they sent the wrong transition pieces so they have to come back and finish that. I didn't want to try to match the yellow oak I have in the rest of the house - especially b/c it goes in opposite directions on either side of the kitchen - and i didn't want tile, so cork it was. These are planks, but the grain and color I chose give it a pretty generic brown color, I think. I wasn't trying to 'look like wood', so I hope it doesn't...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:32PM
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KathyNY76 -- Love your floor, and the rest of the kitchen looks great too, very bright and homey. My cork doesn't have the plankiness of yours, and sometimes I wish it did. (I still love it though!)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Kathy, I could've written your post myself!
I love the cork, it's warm, soft, gorgeous, and even nice to sit on. But I never cared so much about my floor before and it's making me crazy. I wipe up all the drips. Sometimes just with my sock, but with something. Sweep every day? No way. I don't have time for that. But I have noticed a few gashes already here and there, and lots of dents by the kitchen chairs until we replaced our little pads with bigger pads on the bottom of the chairs. And someone came over wearing kitten heels on August 26 and there are still dents and the pattern of the heel itself. It makes me regret my choice, until I look at the other parts that I love. So time will tell. But if the gashes and dents continue over the next year, I may just totally lose it...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Sounds like cork may be more work than wood floors. Oh well, I may wind up later regretting the decision, but I'm definitely going with cork flooring. It won't be my first 'regret-and-pull-out-at-another-time'.

Justmakeit, ur cork is beautiful. Who makes it?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:55AM
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I have hard wood floors less than 1 year old. There are scratches in the finish and some deep enough to expose raw wood. We knew it would happen. The worst offender on the floor is when little bits of things get under the bar stool legs. Last night DH found a tiny piece of metal, really tiny, under one of the legs. It made deep scratches.

This is life. Don't make yourself crazy. Your cork is beautiful and looks like the pattern will hide most marks. Cork and wood are real. Enjoy it for what it is.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Here's mine, it is glue down squares from USFloors in Tabac Matte

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Here is mine:
Glue down tiles from icork/cancork/forna in "leather":

This post was edited by olivertwist on Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 14:41

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Mags438 -- thanks, mine is from Duro Designs, glue down tiles.

I love seeing photos of everyone's cork floors -- they're all lovely!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I love seeing the photos too -thanks! They look great and is it true that the floor is warmer and softer on the feet?

Justmakeit - yours is so unusual. It is lovely. Makes me want to see the rest of the room :).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 5:43AM
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Justmakeit - I just went to Duro Designs but I am not able to recreate your floor - would you share more specific information on design / color?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 5:54AM
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We are thinking of cork for our special needs son's "playroom". Really a sensory room that has a swing, some exercise balls, etc. It's in the basement so i wanted something comfortable (not too cold or too hard). Another benefit I am told is that it is sound deadening. Can any of you cork owners confirm this?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:37AM
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miruca --

I know, it's a hard website to figure out. My cork is Cleopatra Negra (that's the texture) in Azure (that's the color). And the photo on my monitor is nothing like my floor IRL -- ask for samples! Hope this helps. Oh, and if you google "justmakeit finished kitchen" you should get my finished kitchen thread.

illinigirl -- Greetings from Illinois :-)

I don't know about the sound deadening -- we have good noise control in the kitchen, but I don't know how much is due to the cork and how much is due to the cabinets. It is a wonderful-feeling surface, and definitely a little more resilient than other floors. DH "threw" a coffee cup on the floor (knocked it over with his hand, but WOW did it travel!) and it did not break. I was amazed. I definitely think it would be a comfortable floor for floor time. The only thing that might be a concern is if your basement leaks, seeps or floods. Glue down would be better than floating in that case, but I really don't know how well it would stand up to a LOT of water.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Illinigirl, it is definitely softer (to a degree) and warmer. I hate the feeling of cold tile and sheet vinyl, but the cork has a totally different feel. I have some strange aversion to those floors barefoot, to the point where if I can't have slippers or shoes on, I often turn my feel up for minimal contact. Odd, I know, but one of the sensory quirks that comes with the territory for me. I don't mind walking on the cork at all barefoot, it really is a much different feel for me.

Check with any company you are looking at, all the ones I remember reading recommend floating cork below grade, with an appropriate vapor barrier. I'm not sure why not glue down (which is recommended for areas that may get wet, like kitchens) other than I think it has to do with the adhesive and moisture content of the floor underneath.

You can also get cork wall coverings for sound issues. Look at all the interesting options for walks/ceiling at Jelinek.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Justmakeit-what is the name of your floor and where did you get it? I absolutely love it. It looks like tile without the hardness and the cold that tile will give off. No need for underfloor heating necessary!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Illinigirl, we did a major renovation a couple years ago which included expanding our basement and putting in a gym. We did cork throughout the basement and it was a great choice. We did the floating cork directly over the concrete and the floor is warm enough to be barefoot, even in our Canadian winters. It is quiet and soft underfoot. In the gym area we have dragged benches, jumped around, dropped weights and sweat on the floor and had no issues. Clean-up is with Bona or just a damp mop. I highly recommend!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:37PM
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RoRo67 - if you look two posts above yours ... justmakeit provides the information on her floor.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 3:01PM
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