Glue-down cork 12x12 over perfect floating vinyl plank floor?

Discussion in 'Cork Flooring Q&A' started by motorapido, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. motorapido

    motorapido New Member

    Can I glue down 12x12 cork tiles directly on top of excellent condition vinyl plank floating floor? The vinyl floating floor is level with perfectly tight seams and is in excellent condition. I would hate to have to tear it up or apply sub floor over the vinyl, but I don't want to cut corners and do something stupid and pay for it in the long run. Thoughts? Advice?
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    No, don't do that. Floating floors must be removed before any new flooring can be installed.
  3. Jim's on it. Even if your vinyl was a glue in place product, you would have to remove it. Today's cork adhesives are ALL water based contact cement products (if you don't have that...please ask the sales person why you don't have it).

    These water based products do NOT like anything other than:
    1) smooth side up plywood (screw heads and joints properly sunk, patched with portland based cement and sanded flat)
    2) AT OR ABOVE grade concrete (cement backer board works well too). If concrete is "at grade" you MUST test for moisture/alkalinity/RH of the slab

    Once you have the vinyl removed, you will need to find out what type of subfloor you have. These adhesives do NOT like fibre board. They do NOT like OSB. These water based contact cements are VERY sensitive to "other products"...such as the waxes and adhesives found in OSB.

    Once you floor is installed, remember to SITE FINISH it with a manufacturer-recommended polyurethane (2 coats is normally all you need). This makes the floor impermeable to standing water (a few cups of standing water...not the 3 INCHES of rain water over the entire house) as well as it prevents dirt from getting in to the seams causing the adhesive to fail in 10 years. The site finishing also prevents the cork from 'shrinking' away from the seams....

    I've seen full floor failure inside of 15 years when a glue down cork tile is not site finished. The cork shrinks, the dirt/water gets between the seams and the adhesive begins to fail. I've seen it as quickly as 7 years in Las Vegas or as many as 15 years in Seattle/NY city (high humidity prevents the cork from shrinking as quickly as in a desert).

    Just a little FYI for a DIYer. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about your cork, the adhesive and the WATER BASED polyurethane you will need to complete this job. I'll help the best I can. I would need to know the manufacturer of the cork. I can take it from there.

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