Cork Underlayment OK for vinyl planks?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by hellen, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. hellen

    hellen New Member

    Is it OK to lay down 1/2" cork underlayment for Vinly Planks? My subwood floor is made of plywood. I want to lay down the cork to have the best soundproof between downstairs and my floor.

    The plank will be glued down and professionally installed. My questions are:

    1. Is it OK to use the cork sheet as an underlayment for vinyl planks?
    2. Is it easy to replace a few planks later off from the cork underlayment?
    3. A contractor showed Tarkette Nafco vinly planks. I read here that Armstrong and Mannington may make better vinyl planks than Tarkette Nafco.
    Any suggestion on the brand for vinyl planks?
  2. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    You need a solid and smooth under layment like plywood.
    Vinyl is a lot quieter than any wood floor.
    If you need sound proofing, then you will need to look into a whole different type of floor.
  3. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    Hellen, pass on the Nafco. The quality has dropped off the map.

    There are lots of other vinyl plank products available out there, but the most important thing is to have a properly-fastened underlay with treated seams, then have the plank fully-glued to the underlay for maximum performance.

    Forget the cork, someone is leading you down a nasty path.

  4. hellen

    hellen New Member

    Thanks a lot for the reply!

    Wow, I am so glad that I asked the question here. Otherwise, I might have gone down that path.

    In the other thread under "the best soundproof underlayment", someone advised to put a cork and then luan. Then glue the plank to luan. I read that some manufacturers won't warranty for luan as an underlayment. What do you think of using (cork+luan) as an underlayment?

    Is there a good soundproof underlayment if not (cork+luan)?
    Or is there a better vinyl plank than others with respect to the sound?
  5. Incognito

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

    Just use a minimum 1/4 inch plywood, UNDERLAYMENT GRADE over the cork and it should work nice. Luan is too thin and too low in quality generally to work for your purposes and the difference in price isn't worth invalidating the warranty.

    I've never actually used cork under a floor for soundproofing. But I have seen it done on many hotel projects where I was involved in other aspects of the flooring------so I'm not sure how you fasten the plywood, unless you're over a wood substrate that you can shoot staples or pound nails into right through the cork.

    I'm sure there's a solution someone else here might have used.
  6. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    I am wondering what issue has directed you to wish to include soundproofing. I can understand it under laminate, but under a vinyl plank floor, which is relatively quiet to walk on, it would be unnecessary IMHO.

    Luan is not available here, we end up using particleboard, 1/4" is called Proboard, but most commonly the 3/8ths K3 is used. Hate the stuff, cringe every time we put glue to it.
  7. Bearman

    Bearman Pro Member

    Yes you can use cork, and Corkplus 250 is a good one. Just make sure your cork underlayment is made for this!!!
    Amorim | CFD Commercial Flooring | Florida
    #1 Yes
    #2 Yes
    #3 Amtico, Centiva, Karadean are highly rated Commercial & Residential
    More & more municipalities are requiring sound limits for apts, and condos now.
  8. Omnipotent

    Omnipotent Flying Dutchman

    In januari we did 500 square yards vinyl planks from tarkett in a nursery. We used 2mm corkment from forbo as underlayment. it went right over a computer floor. So far i haven't heard of any call-back.
  9. toomuchpink

    toomuchpink Member

    This is an old post, but just for future reference to anyone reading -- all of the cork underlayment specifically tested with vinyl is in the 1-3mm range, which hardly adds any thickness.

    Vinyl planks with attached cork underlayment (which is usually only 1mm- 1.5mm thick) is also a slightly thicker vinyl plank than normal vinyl. Flooret, for example, adds 1.5mm to the vinyl plank itself and then 1.5mm cork attached backing for a total height of 8mm. The normal Flooret Modin floor is 5mm. I assume the greater plank thickness increases the rigidity of the vinyl over the cork. Normal 5mm -ish LVP with a thick cork underlay is probably a disaster waiting to happen.

    Rubber Flooring lists the AcoustiCork R60 and the Eco-Cork version of R60 as suitable for vinyl, however the official manufacturer installation instructions only mention hardwood and laminate floating floors. This makes me believe that the description including vinyl is probably an all-inclusive cut-and-paste marketing ploy on Rubber Flooring's part.

    Though if someone wants to be the guinea pig with 6mm+ thick cork under floating vinyl plank, I'd love to hear the results.

    Now why can't they just make 10mm vinyl plank to match the height of other floors?

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