Color: Varies from light to dark; many colors available depending on manufacturer.
Grain: Distinctive look unlike wood—cork is actually the bark of a type of oak.
Species & Grade Variations: Many patterns available depending on manufacturer.
Hardness (Janka): Varies.
Dimensional Stability: Cork reacts quickly, sometimes within hours, to changes in moisture. (Typical dimensional stability measurements do not apply to cork’s composite construction.)
Sawing/Machining: Cork may be cut with a utility knife.
Sanding: Use the finest grit possible to flatten the floor. The following sequences are recommended for use only with a multi-disc sander or a hardplate on a buffer. If the edger is used, fine sandpaper (100/120/150) should be backed with a maroon pad. Small orbital sanders or hand-sanding are recommended for corners and wall lines, as hand-scrapers
may gouge the cork.
- First Cut: 100
- Second Cut: 120
- Third Cut: Not recommended
- Hard Plate: 120 or 150
- First Screen: 120
- Second Screen: 120
Nailing: Cork is installed using adhesive.
Finishing: All surface-type finishes are successfully used on cork (choose a finish that will bend as the cork compresses). Oil-and-wax also is used frequently.
Comments: Pay particular attention to subfloor preparation, as cork is very sensitive to moisture, and also transfers any imperfections in the subfloor to the surface appearance.
Spain and Portugal.