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Concerns with Globus cork samples

Posted by JBGB (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 22, 13 at 14:05

Heard about Globus glue-down cork floor tiles here (Williamsem, I think?) & was very excited. Loved the number & types of colors available as well as the many tile sizes & shapes - I'm hoping for color and pattern (more than simple checkerboard) in our kitchen floor, but don't want ceramic tile. I ordered 8 samples (all in "Nugget" texture), received them (Yayyy - neat colors!), & ran the tip of my thumbnail over one (not too hard, & my nails are woefully thin). YIKES!!! Immediate incised line in the tile. Pressed, again not too firmly, with the end of a knife handle; result was clear indentations. I hoped that all these marks would magically disappear because the cork would "heal itself", but a week later they're all still there. Here are 2 photos (I hope):

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

I've read such great things about cork floors - is a casual fingernail swipe more than it should take to mark these tiles? We don't have pets, but I've seen posts where people with dogs say the dogs' nails don't damage the cork - how can that be?

By the way, we've also thought a bit about Marmoleum (we're going for a Craftsman-inspired feel; QS white oak cabinets/soapstone counters), but don't want sheet product (want more pattern) & the Marmoleum tiles are 13" square, I think - larger than I want & I REALLY liked the idea of combining Globus shapes & sizes. Those of you who are planning or considering cork tiles: may I ask for your thoughts and wisdom? Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I have no answers for you but wanted to say "wow." And thanks for sharing. I, too, wanted cork but was cautioned by a salesperson. Seeing is believing because that looks horrible.

Sorry you're back to square one.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I have Wicanders cork throughout the basement and it does not mark like that even with our 80 lb dog, kids, and crazy cat. My floor is the floating style in the original color, I believe that they do offer glue down too. I pulled out one of the extra pieces and even pressing very hard with a fork leaves minimal marking. If you really like cork try samples from other companies and see how they compare. One thing to know is that various looks of cork are actually a veneer on top of the more standard cork base and some colors can mark up more easily than others. One reason that we picked the original color/ style is because it is the same cork all they way through and with no stain the color could not be damaged.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Lovetodream, I haven't totally given up on this; I have that weird feeling that I must be missing something - but it's not looking good!

Athomeinva, excellent idea to get other samples to compare. The color is a big issue, though, since we're not inclined to use natural cork color in our kitchen. But now I'm really curious to see how others perform against my mighty thumbnail!


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Have the exact same concerns here.
Someone else said they really had to push hard with a bottlecap to make a mark, but my fingernail made a permanent mark in Globus, Duro, Nova and even Wicanders.

Very concerning and I don't know what to do...


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I would email the Globus people through their website and include the pics. They were very responsive to my questions. I do know another two coats of sealer go on after install if I remember right. Not sure how samples are treated vs finished ready to install tiles. They could tell you that, I'm sure.

I'll have to bring my samples in from the car tomorrow. It's frigid out there tonight! I was more concerned about the color scratching off, which it really didnt. I was able to mar the finish layer with some effort, but I would assume a recoat would fix that. I can mark hardwood fairly easily, so I really didnt try much once it didnt scratch through as that was my concern.

If anyone lives in the NYC area, there are some public places with Globus cork. I'm dying to visit to see how it holds up, but it's almost 3 hours each way! I just sent an email to see if they would provide some businesses that can be visited. I might have to take a road trip after all, I would love to see a real cork floor and how it holds up.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Globus told me their floors are installed in the modern art section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have a good friend who is an art buff so I asked her to check it out. She says she is in that museum all the time and SHE thinks that room is carpeted. So go figure. You really want to drive 3 hours for that?


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

We have the Wicanders planks, and there is a topcoat on it that makes it feel smooth/hard. We cannot press anything into it- it's very much like the Alterna LVT samples we brought home, but much 'springier' to stand on.
It may have something to do with the topcoat that the Globus sample has- is it possible that for samples they don't have the coating? That wouldn't make sense, but it's worth an ask.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I have cork in my basement, a floating floor. Lots of it.. The brand is Natural Cork. It is 7-8 yrs old. Lots of rough and tumble wear from my kids and probably saved me more than a couple of concussions.

It is beautiful and it was not cheap. But, it has not been durable like the hardwood I have upstairs. Lots of dings and gouges.

I would not use it again.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I've read the thread on cork flooring that you started, olivertwist, but at first hadn't focused enough because you had said that you were looking for planks (I'm not) & seemed to want wood-look (I don't). But no matter what, we all want a durable floor! I will contact Globus, williamsem - and I'm in New Jersey so at some point may go for a "look-see" if we continue to pursue cork idea. Red lover, avoidance of concussions sounds like it might be a reasonable trade-off for some marring of a basement floor (even a fancy basement!), but sorry to hear that you wouldn't use again. Thanks for sharing your experience - sounds so different from athomeinva's, which again may be due to brand characteristics. My husband is ready to forget the whole idea of cork, but I keep looking at the Globus pattern ideas and all those neat colors! Getting our one-&-only kitchen floor wrong would be a really big deal, however. Thanks for your inputs and would be glad to hear more.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

When I emailed them I asked if I should come into the Bronx or just look for a local dealer. I don't think they have a showroom because they didn't invite me! They gave me 2 names of "local" installers. I called one and the guy had no idea what I was talking about. He told me to go to Armstrong flooring and buy some cork and install it myself. He actually said that.

At this point, hubby is waffling on the wood look or not, but I agree with you that the bottom line is whether this stuff is going to hold up or not.

I forgot to mention that the guy in the floor store this past weekend told us that to prevent the fridge from marking up the floor if we ever have to move it we should LIFT IT UP and not shimmy it across the floor. OK, yes, I am Wonder Woman so it should be easy for my Superman husband and I to LIFT the fridge!


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I have no answers for you but wanted to say "wow." And thanks for sharing. I, too, wanted cork but was cautioned by a salesperson. Seeing is believing because that looks horrible.

Sorry you're back to square one.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I just have to throw out there that I have read many, many people say that they grew up in houses with cork floors in the kitchen and that the floor is still there, going strong. I don't think that would be the case if it were really as fragile as implied here.

I think that cork would be used in public buildings if it were so delicate. Also, I think that the darker the stain for the cork, the more easily you'll see the scratches.

A blogging friend of mine recently purchased glue-down cork from Globus and I can't wait to hear about her experience. She's still at the beginning remodel phase, so it will be a while though.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Amandapadgett, I wish we could fast forward and hear your friend's experience! Do you happen to know if her installer has experience installing glue down cork or if they're just going to take a gamble?

I spoke to KD yesterday. They installed one cork floor (floating), but he told me it would be no problem to do a glue down. He didn't seem worried.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Can someone, anyone, please tell me when Globus became the be all and end all in cork on Garden Web? I don't get it. To me it seems cheap and thin. It's no thicker than the cork underlayment you can buy at the big box stores. How much "cushion" do y'all think it's going to give you? And like mentioned, it seems to marr easily plus show all imperfections on whatever it's glue to.

With floating cork, you have 2 different layers of cork- on the bottom AND the top. It actually has give (hence the floating aspect) and if installed correctly and sealed, it will last. If you're worried about the mdf or whatever middle layer, the additional poly sealing will protect the seams and you won't have issues.

Try some different brand samples. I honestly wish I could afford to take out all my hardwood and replace it with cork- it holds up better and it's easier on the back, but for now I have to settle with just the kitchen.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Actually, I'm not married to Globus at all but it doesn't seem like anyone has a strong opinion about any brand one way or the other. But I do want to stick with glue-down.

I have a whole bunch of samples in my kitchen right now and honestly can't tell the difference one way or the other.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I have samples of other glue down- to me it has the same issues- thin, marks easily and will show every single imperfection in the subfloor, be it wood or concrete.

Maybe I should ask why so set on glue down?

At least I've come up with a use for all the cork samples I've got. The floating samples are being used for coasters. The glue down is going to get covered with the tile samples and used for trivets. (can you tell I've got lots of both?)


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

My mine reasons for glue down are these:

1) less likely to swell up with water due to MDF, esp in the kitchen
2) theoretically more eco-friendly because no MDF layer
3) less likely to have bulges or uneven areas or expansion/contraction of tiles. (Have seen this with laminate floating as well).

I know many folks here are happy with their floating, what those were my take-home messages when I tried to read about the differences.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Went to a new floor store today. They sell Capri tiles and they have lots of pretty designs. I haven't heard of them before. They wanted $19.75 per sq foot to buy and install. Is that reasonable? I have no idea what a normal floor costs, nevermind a cork floor.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Labbie and luckymom, it's so nice to hear that you're happy with your cork floors! Both are floating plank floors, I gather. Luckymom, may I ask which brand you have?

I did e-mail Globus & sent photos from above, and got a quick & courteous response. They said that my tests weren't representative of real-life floor usage, but that I should wait longer to see whether dents healed; that pads should always be used on furniture feet; and that their cork is indeed used successfully in high-traffic commercial/institutional installations. I've asked for info on which area(s) of Met Museum and/or FAO Schwartz store in NYC have their flooring, and I'll report back here what I hear.

Like olivertwist, I wish that I could time-travel to the future to see how amandapadgett's friend's floor works out! I know that many give glowing reviews, which is why I'm so confused by my little tests.

We specifically homed in on the Globus glue-down tiles because of the options to mix colors, shapes, and sizes to create a customized "quilt-like" design. I know that it wouldn't appeal to many of you here, but I've swooned over true encaustic and cement tile (e.g. Granada and Mission tile companies) patterns, and this true encaustic floor does that "heart sing thing" for me:

From Drop Box

But both encaustic and cement tiles are hard floors, more expensive, and (I think) much trickier installations than cork. We've also thought about end-grain wood blocks, which are available in many species and a variety of block sizes/shapes depending on species. Not sure about more wood in kitchen, though; we're planning lots of quarter-sawn white oak cabinetry and are leaning toward a different material for floor. End-grain blocks are rather "different", however - here's a photo from the Elmwood Reclaimed Timber website of antique heart pine blocks in a herringbone pattern:

From Drop Box

We first saw end-grain wood block flooring used in a hotel lobby in Quebec City a few years ago, and it was gorgeous. Apparently it has a long history of use as factory/industrial flooring, and even as street paving - so it SHOULD be durable! If I get samples I'll report on those also.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I actually had never heard about Globus until I saw this floor online and tracked it eventually to Globus
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Then they had a good variety of colors and sizes, plus reasonable pricing. Plus installed floors in several very high use places. I had a hard time finding glue down tiles. I also found the Wicander site very confusing, hard to tell what products come in what format/finish as their codes are not defined. Plus until about a month ago no dealer anywhere even remotely close.

I am just really excited about the cork floor! I hope I love it to pieces so we can put it in some other rooms. I'll be so crushed if we end up not liking it.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

My current floor is AmCork- we actually got samples from several places and AmCork had some I fell in love with- shiny finish pearly coatings. OMG! It was gorgeous, but I knew with our lifestyle, no way. We're to much "slobs" for a shiny texture. We called to speak with them and actually talked with the owners. Really nice couple- when I said how great the pearl finishes were, but I was afraid of them with dogs- the told us they raised Great Danes and had 8 puppies running on it- it held up great. I went with a satin finish- then went a step further and for the final coats Bona Kemi has a new matte finish poly. I love it, feels like walking on silk. I should be embarrassed, but it's been down since Thanksgiving week and I stll haven't needed to mop it. Have't even needed to sweep it that often. THAT is one of the best parts of cork. It doesn't show dirt. I do have 3 dogs, but none shed, so ymmv on that...

Can't remember who made the old cork floor- I can say we just used a water based poly- I think it was Varuthane or something like that...


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Excellent detective work, williamsem! I also find the Wicanders site tough to figure out - don't see a basic listing of plank & tile sizes, for example, but maybe I just haven't spent enough time searching. But I'm SO rooting for you to love your floor - and all your other choices, of course!

And thanks for the brand info, luckymom - will definitely check out AmCork. Sounds like it's working really well for you.

I did hear back from Globus about where to see installations, and was told that there's gray cork in the 1st floor Modern Art area toward the back of the building (same as input from olivertwist; hope it's really there!), and natural nugget tile on the 2nd floor Mezzanine (e-mail said "LAW Mezzanine"; don't know what that means). Also was told that the FAO Schwartz install is probably gone because store was remodeled. Haven't planned a field trip yet.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

JBGB: Those wood tiles are gorgeous, aren't they? I ordered a sample of heart pine from Elmwood and it is beautiful stuff.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

I don't recall who was looking for info on Wicanders- but I ordered samples of their flooring. Just got it yesterday (1/25/13). I had gotten a sample of something last week and didn't really pay attention, just thought someone goofed up with an order. Well, todays was definatey one I would have picked and I do recall not ever seeing this cork before- flipped it over- all 3 are Wicanders from iFloor. I'm guessing Wicander is slooooowwwwww at shipping- since iFloor sent me some of the 1st samples I got (back in October!!)

Anyway, anyone considering Wicanders, I'd get a definate date on delivery/in stock if you're on a time line. I can add, 2 of the samples are the ArtComfort. They don't feel any softer to me.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

luckmom, how dod you like the Wicanders sample? Anything different from anything else?


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

How neat to hear that you looked at the Elmwood end-blocks, deedles! May I ask whether you decided pro or con (sorry, don't recall), or whether you looked into Kaswell &/or Kennebec Wood floors also? (Note that Kennebec Wood is not the same as the Kennebec cabinet company, as far as I know - I think you were/are considering Kennebec cabs? Kennebec Wood says on its website that it puts its end-block tiles on mesh to install more like ceramic mosaic - intriguing.)

Luckymom, thanks so much for the additional info - Oct. to Jan. is quite the delay for samples! But you say Wicanders had at least one that you thought was beautiful - I'd better step it up and start sending out lots of sample requests.


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Now DH has decided he likes the iCork sample that's been sitting in the dining room all week. I haven't heard that brand discussed here at all. Anyone know anything? Website says it has a 25 year warranty. It that's true, it's quite impressive!


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Remember I like floating... These samples are all floating. Color wise they're all a silver grey. I was originally looking for a grey. The 2 Wicanders Art Comfort series samples are from the stone plank collection. To me, in these small 6"x6" samples, it reminds me of old hand scraped wood thats been left outside and weathered.

I'm trying to attach a photo- 3 greys are all together, other 2 for comp. are an off white and a plain natural nugget style. (not the best pic, taken with my phone)

This post was edited by luckymom on Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 9:11


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

DH and I have talked about cork flooring over the years, but no one locally carries glue-down, and I'm not comfortable with a floating floor in the kitchen.

But looking at cork again now, I realize why we both fell in love at first sight with this quartz, linked below:

We haven't seen a counter we like nearly as well, so I guess we'll forgo cork in the kitchen (but the family room needs flooring...)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cambria Somerset


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

any updates here on Wicander or the feel of it? or any other brands? i also prefer to do glue-down in kitchen based on research here (even though it doesn't seem to be a hard and fast recommendation). not sure what other brands have glue-down...I guess i need to order wicander samples and maybe icork/ifloor?


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RE: Concerns with Globus cork samples

Wicander (hard to figure out on the website which ones, I think the store here said the 200 series), USFloors, Globus, icork, expanko, jenilink, WeCork, Am Cork, and I think a few others. I looked at every name I could find in the various threads here and by searching.

My glue down should be installed in 3 weeks! Will post along the way.

This post was edited by williamsem on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 19:02


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