Cork flooring over linolium?

Discussion in 'Cork Flooring Q&A' started by Lock, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Lock

    Lock New Member

    My sistser just bought a home and wants to put snap togther cork planks in the kitchen. The room currently has linolium in it. Can the cork be installed on top ofthe linoliumand either wayis an underlayment required?

    Thanks in advance
  2. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    It is more than likely just fine to go over the existing floor if it is securely glued down and isn't a "soft" vinyl, meaning it's not made of a pvc foam. Just for safety's sake, what is the name the cork brand?
  3. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Sure you can go over the top. Up to you if you want to use a pad or not.
    You might have some height issues at transitional areas though.
  4. Lock

    Lock New Member

    The brand is natural flooring. Sold at Lowes
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Here are the installation and care instructions: CorkLoc® Glueless Floating Floor Installation Instructions :pdf:

    You called your existing floor "linoleum" but many people still refer to sheet vinyl flooring as linoleum They are not the same. However, the instructions say that you can install the cork over resilient tile & sheet vinyl, which likely includes linoleum.

  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    "click" laminates, regardless of what's on the surface layer are MADE to lay over WHATEVER is down there so long as it's fairly solid and flat.

    The whole point is to reduce the labor, risk and mess of demolitions and PERFECT floor prep need for adhesives and a proper bond.

    Get it?
  7. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    Lock, tell your sister that cork is very soft and will not take a beating (kinda like a pine floor). We tore out a cork tile floor last week that had been gouged beyond belief.
  8. pinned

    pinned Pro Member

    I had a cork job a couple years back where the manufacturer insisted for some reason that the lino had to be removed. The house was built in the 60's so it more than likely contained asbestos. My father ended up having a heart attack that day so I bailed on the job. Turns out the next crew they sent into the job also balked at tearing up the lino and for whatever reason the manufacturer changed their stance and said it was ok to install over the existing lino.

    Their reasoning apparently was that the vinyl would 'sweat' and could cause failure in the cork backing. Pretty odd I figure since it's not any different then using vapor barrier is it?
  9. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    You didn't mention if the cork was laminated/click system or directly adhered to the slab or plywood. I wouldn't want to glue cork down over linoleum or vinyl but there's certainly no good reason to demo existing asbestos flooring to install a click system. It kind of defeats it's own purpose as Jake LaMotta would say.
  10. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    The cork we sell has cork on the back of it for the pad. Going over your floor is ok as long as it is flat and no ridges or bumps.
  11. pinned

    pinned Pro Member

    It was a click/lam floor. That's what didn't make any sense. First and only time I'd heard that story.
  12. Old topic but very good question. Cork floating floors (like any click-together system) can normally be installed over any "solid" surface (not over carpet, carpet pad or puff vinyl).

    Personally, I like to see a "little something" between the old floor and the new...but that's just me. It doesn't say it anywhere in the literature...but I'm fond of cork underlay under cork floors. For a little bit of money you can double the amount of cork on your floor...without doubling your purchase price!

    A glue down cork tile is the one with the problems going over old flooring. This is probably where someone got mixed up several years ago thinking the vinyl had to be ripped up even though it was a click together floor.

    Because our floors are finished in polyurethane we like to see kitchen installations receive 2 coats of appropriate finish once it has been installed. This reduces the likelihood that spills will cause damage to the fibreboard core. The polyurethane seals the seams against moisture and prevents spills from reaching the fibreboard. This is why cork "laminate" (floating floor) can be installed in kitchens and regular laminates cannot; cork can be site-finished to produce a water resistant floor.

    And remember...your floor will eventually need some sort of rejuvenation....just like all wood floor finishes. A floor that can receive urethane/polyurethane should receive a fresh coat every 5-7 years. NO FLOOR POLISH ALLOWED!!!

    A floor with Aluminum Oxide or Ceramic nano-beads will REQUIRE FLOOR POLISH every 6 months for the rest of it's life just to keep the warranty. And every 5 applications of polish mean you need to chemically/mechanically strip the old polish and start again.

    Yep. Floor polish using a floor polishing machine...just like gramma! You can see why cork is a specialty all by itself.
  13. hmmm..

    I don't know what all the hype is about cork floors to begin with.
  14. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member can pin things to them real easy.
  15. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Some people seem to think Ceramic hurts their back or feet? Cork is an option, also it is quiet, and visually it is intriguing with the blending of colors and variations, not just the blah pattern.
  16. phil verre

    phil verre Pro Member

    Stephanie @ cancork

    Am I correct in thinking cork has a decorative wear layer on the top and cannot be sanded and finished? Just rejuvinated as you mentioned? I have seen pivot points in kitchens (in front of sink/dishwasher ect.) where the pattern has worn through and you just see solid cork below. I imagine lots of maintenance for an active home with kids and pets.
  17. Hi Phil. I guess 99% of cork flooring is cork-on-cork veneer. Only a very small amount of cork floors are "massive" (same pattern all the way through). The reason: solid cork bark (the stuff used to make the pretty swirls/blocks/ribbons of a pattern) is intensely expensive and widely sought after. This high demand + limited supply = expensive. To reduce costs, most producers produce thin layers of "pattern" (the expensive stuff) and then adhere that layer (like adding sliced meat to a sandwich) to agglomerated (ground) cork (the cheaper stuff). If there is a stain added, it is added prior to the floor being finished with polyurethane. The colour is only skin deep.

    The layers are glued together and then 3 coats of polyurethane is then applied on top. Like all wood surfaces, polyurethane will slowly wear away...which is what it is meant to do.

    If wear through is being seen it means the refreshing coat was a bit late. If you wear through the colour AND the veneer, you've missed the maintenance by several years.

    I've seen cork floors take plenty of abuse and only require "maintenance" coats every 5-7 years. Kitchens might need 2 coats applied every time instead of just 1 coat. The best "colour" for abuse = natural colour. The best pattern for abuse = ground up cork look = the pattern and colour go all the way through.

    Of course, cork flooring will accept abuse...but it also depends on what is "acceptable" to the owner. Many people want a floor that is bullet proof, doesn't scratch, and looks "new-out-of-the-box" for 25 years....but they don't want ceramic/porcelain tiles.

    I guess the answer is: maintenance is maintenance which requires a bit of investment every 5-7 years. This is not much different to a site-finished engineered hardwood.

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