Floor & Wall Coverings BU

Floor & Wall Coverings BU



What are the environmental advantages of cork?

Cork is without peer an environmentally sustainable form of packaging, a matter of increasing importance to consumers and retailers, especially in Europe and the United States. 

Cork is natural, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.

Almost nothing is wasted – each part of the cork tree serves an ecological or economic purpose.
Unlike alternative closures, cork stoppers require little energy in production and capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Cork forests support a unique and fragile ecology that provides a habitat for endangered species. They contribute to a mixed agrarian economy that has sustained farmers for many centuries.

The cork oak is well suited to the hot, arid conditions of southern Portugal and helps protect the soil from desertification. It is far less susceptible to the wildfires that ravage eucalypt and pine forests in the north of the country from time to time.


What is cork used for?

Every part of the tree serves some useful economic purpose (in addition to its ecological value).

The most valuable part of the tree is the bark.

More than 50 per cent of the cork bark goes into stoppers. Other uses exploit cork’s exceptional properties as sound, thermal and vibrational insulation as well as its lightness and resilience.

Bark from the tree's first two harvests (known as virgin and secondary bark) is used to make corkboard insulation and cork tiles.

Cork from the third and subsequent harvests (known as reproduction cork) is used for natural and technical cork stoppers.

Corkwood that is unsuitable for wine stoppers is used in granulated cork products such as memo boards, handles of fishing rods, gaskets, hockey and golf balls and floor tiles.
Cork is also combined with rubber for gaskets, valves and insulation in buildings and railways. It is even found in the nose cone of the space shuttle.

All of the cork bark is used in production - nothing is wasted. As cork waste is generated in the production process, it is granulated and returned into the process as re-works. Even the fine particles of cork dust are collected and used as fuel to heat the factory boilers.


What factors determine the price of cork?

As with any product, price is determined by supply and demand. Visual grade (thickness, porosity, defects) affects price paid for individual lots. More recently, sensory-related performance also plays an important role in establishing raw material prices.


What factors determine the amount of cork harvested each year?


The size of each year’s harvest depends on:

  • Climatic conditions;
  • Genetic/Biological conditions;
  • The number of harvestable trees, which in turn depends on the 9-year harvest cycle of each tree;
  • Individual farmers’ forestry management and commercial practices.

Does the quality of cork differ between countries?

The genome of the Quercus Suberus L is the same, regardless of its origin, so there are no significant differences whether the raw material is sourced from oaks in Portugal, Italy or any other country. Individual differences, however, are noted from tree to tree.


What is the productive life span of a cork oak?

The average lifespan of a cork oak is between 170 and 200 years.
In its lifetime an average cork oak tree will generate enough closure-quality cork for 17 harvests.


What is the total production of cork and where is it produced?

Cork oak forests make a substantial contribution to the economy and ecology of several Western Mediterranean countries—Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

There are over 2.2 million hectares of cork forest.

With around 730,000 hectares, Portugal has a third of the total land under cork forests; these forests represent 23 per cent of the country’s forested land.  Portugal accounts for over half of global cork production.

Annual global production is around 340,000 tons a year.

Cork production is growing all the time. For example, in Portugal, the area under cork is growing by around 10,000 hectares a year, thanks to a reforestation program supported in part by the Portuguese Government and the European Union, but also through the efforts and investments of countless individual cork growers. 

New technologies are also helping to improve our utilization of the natural resource, for example with the introduction of technical corks.

It is estimated that there is enough harvestable cork in Portugal to meet market demand for the next 100 years. So there is no shortage of cork for wine closures. 








730 000



500 000



410 000



340 000



100 000



99 000



90 000



2 269 000


Source: Direcção Geral das Florestas DGF (National Forestry Services) Year: 2004


Average Annual Production *





185 000



88 000



20 000



18 000



15 000



9 000



5 000



340 000


*Source: APCOR 



What are the chemical and physical properties of cork?

Cork’s unique cellular structure, which technology has not been able to replicate, is the secret of cork’s outstanding technical properties as a cork floor coverings.

Cork is light. It weighs only 0.16 grams per cubic centimeter. Most of its volume consists of an air-like gas.

Impermeable to liquids and gases
Thanks to the suberin and ceroids in the cell walls, cork is pratically impermeable to liquids and gases. Its resistance to moisture enables it to age without deteriorating.

Elastic and Compressible
It can be compressed to around half its thickness without losing any flexibility, and recovers its shape and volume as soon as it is released. It is the only solid which, when compressed on one side, does not increase in volume on another; and as a result of its elasticity it is able to adapt, for example, to variations in temperature and pressure without suffering alterations. 

Thermal and acoustic insulator
Cork has low conductivity to heat, noise and vibration. This is because the gaseous components contained in cork are enclosed in small impermeable compartments, isolated from each other by a moisture-resistant substance.

Fire retardant
Cork is also a natural fire retardant: it burns without a flame and does not emit toxic gases during combustion.

Highly abrasion resistant
Cork is extremely resistant to abrasion, and has a high friction coefficient. Thanks to it honeycomb structure, its resistance to impact or friction is greater than that of other hard surfaces.

Because cork does not absorb dust, it helps protect against allergies and does not pose a risk to asthma sufferers. It also has an unchangeable constitution that guarantees efficiency.

Odour, Touch
As of its odour, an invisible yet extremely important dimension, whether in its natural state or in the shape of a finished product, cork’s characteristic odour is non-intrusive and reminiscent of dry wood. The natural texture of cork combines softness and flexibility to the touch with a naturally uneven surface. The variable degree of irregularity is given by the type of cork used and the finish chosen.


What is the chemical composition of cork?

Cork consists of a honeycomb of tiny impermeable cells made from suberin, a complex fatty acid, and filled with an air-like gas.

There are on average about 40 million cells per cubic centimeter of cork or around 700 million cells in a single wine cork.

The average chemical composition of cork is:

  • Suberin (approx 45%) is the main component of the cell walls; almost completely impermeable liquids and gases, it is also fire and insect resistant and unaffected by water; responsible for the resilience of the cork
  • Lignin (approx 20%) – the binding compound responsible for cork’s unique structure
  • Polysaccharides(approx 20%) cell components that help define cellular structure
  • Tannins (approx 5%) – polyphenolic compounds
  • Ceroids (approx 5%) – hydrophobic compounds that ensure water imperviousness  
  • Remaining compounds are normally called extractable and are organic components of cork’s cell walls, although they are not considered structural compounds of cork 

What is cork and where does it come from?

Cork is the outer layer of the cork oak tree, Quercus Suber L.

The cork oak tree is native to the Western Mediterranean Basin, where it finds the ideal growing conditions:

  • Sandy, chalk-free soils, with low nitrogen and phosphorus, high potassium levels and ph of 4.8 to 7.0
  • Rainfall 400-800 mm (16–32ins) a year
  • Temperature between -5º C and 40º C
  • Altitude 100–300 meter (330–990 ft) 

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How do I replace a damaged tile in my cork flooring?

When using a floating installation which does not require any glue, you can simply remove the damaged piece and install a new one. This is one of the many advantages of Corkloc floating installation methods. When replacing glue-down cork flooring, it is a very different and more complicated situation.

You should contact your manufacturer or a professional installer for further instructions based on your individual situation.


Should I roll my floor after installing glue-down cork and what should I use?

Yes, you should roll the floor after it is layed to ensure proper bonding to the subfloor. This will also help to ensure proper spreading of the adhesive. Spread small areas at a time from the middle of the tile or plank outwards before the working time expires.
To do this you can use a 100/50Kg professional roller. Before you finish make sure that all the edges are down flat. If you cannot get an edge to stick set some weight on it until it sets.


What kind of adhesive should I use when installing cork tiles?

We recommend adhesives specially developed for ease of use, safety and quality of the application.

Water based contact Adhesive for cork floors with cork backing: This adhesive should be applied to the subfloor and also to the tiles.

One-side Adhesive for cork floors with vinyl backing: This adhesive should be applied to the subfloor with the recommended notched trowel.

For the correct use follow the instructions on the packaging labels of each product, as well as the information from technical data sheets.


What residual subfloor moisture is permissible to ensure successful glue down floor laying?

The subfloor is usually made of cement or anhydride. Some subfloors may also contain under floor heating.

The residual moisture of a cement screed is 2.0% (for unheated) and 1.5% (for heated) Calcium Carbide (CM) Test, less than 75% RH or less than 3 lbs/1000ft2/24 hours (USA and Canada) calcium chloride moisture tests.

The residual moisture of an anhydride screed is 0.5% (for unheated) and 0.3% (for heated).

If there is any doubt about the level of residual moisture (e.g. in a new building), an accurate concrete moisture measurement must be made because excessive screed moisture would certainly damage a new laid floor.

Subfloors to be covered with Glue-down floors (almost vapor-proof) require sealing (insulation) against rising damp if there is no cellar underneath (basement). Water-repellent concrete, crawl spaces, or similar materials are not sufficient to prevent the migration of damp into the subfloor.


Can cork be used over radiant floor heating systems?

Yes, cork flooring can be used over radiant floor heating systems.

Due to the insulation properties of the cork floor will heat up more slowly than conventional laminates or wood floors, providing a slower release of heat over time. The surface temperature of the subfloor must not exceed 28°C (82°F).

Remember that rugs or mats placed on top of the floor may function as heat accumulators and will increase the floor surface temperature more than the maximum surface temperature recommended (must not exceed 20 – 22oC)


What should I do before I begin to install my cork flooring?

Before installation, the sub-floor must be properly cleaned of dirt and debris, dried, and leveled. Failure to properly prepare your subfloor can cause problems in the future.

Packaged tiles and adhesive should be acclimatized at job site in dry, well-ventilated area for a minimum of 48 hours so that flooring may acclimate.

Remove tiles from packages just before starting laying.

During storage and installation, maintain temperature and relative humidity to a level consistent with the conditions which will prevail when the building is occupied. In most cases, this means maintaining temperature range of 18oC to 28oC (65 F to 82F) and relative humidity range of 35% to 65%. In order to reach this climate, use heating or air conditioning in the appropriate length of time prior to beginning installation.


Can I install cork tile over an existing ceramic tile floor?

If the ceramic tile is firmly attached, without cracks and is stable, you certainly can.

This type subfloors of are non-absorbent. All soiling (e.g. grease, waxes, soap, etc.) must be thoroughly removed mechanically and with detergents, especially if floors like this have already been in use for some time. Any loose tiles must be re-fixed. Subfloors of this type have to be roughened (e.g. by sanding, brushing with wire brushes, sandblasting), primed and leveled with coat of a Portland cement based leveling compound. Or, you can simply install a floating cork floor directly over the existing ceramic tile.


I like the visual of cork wall covering; can I install it on the floors?

No, due to the density of wall coverings we do not recommend to install it on the floor.


I like the cork floor visual, can I install it on the walls?

Yes, Glue down floors with PVC backing you must use a neoprene contact adhesive (solvent based).

Glue down floors with cork backing you can use a contact water based adhesive.

Substrate must be level, permanently dry, firm and free of cracks, dirt and adhesion-inhibiting substances.

Old chalk, adhesive and oil paint residues must be roughened with a steel brush in order to obtain an absorptive substrate. Oil residues must be removed completely with an alkaline detergent.

Floating floors installing on a framed wall


How much cork flooring do I need to allow for waste?

It depends on the complexity of the layout and the skills of the installer.

Measure the length and width of individual room. Multiply the length by the width of each individual room to get the total square meters/footage. Waste and cuts depending on your skills level and the layout of the area. Diagonal layouts or floors with curved walls may require more careful calculation of the quantity required. As a rule, add an additional 5-10% of the total square meters/footage to cover the waste factor.


Can I install cork floor myself?

There is wide variety of floating cork flooring available that offers easy installation for a self installer. These simply lock together and do not use any adhesive.

Glue-down installation methods require more patience and special tools. Glue-down installation methods usually require a little more attention to preparation of the subfloor than floating.


How cork floors are normally installed?

Cork floors are available manly in two installation methods, planks or tiles, glue-down or floating installation methods. You can install half break, break or random installation. There is no design to match in the installation process.


Where can I install cork flooring?


Cork flooring can be installed virtually anywhere on, above, or below grade. Never leave pooling water on cork floor. This can cause swelling of the seams.


Can a cork floor be re-finished?

Yes, Varnishing is as simple, and all our products are low-VOC, water-based and low-odor. For varnishing we recommend a range of varnishes, which will give pleasant results. For the correct use follow the instructions on the packaging labels of each product, as
well as the information from technical data sheets. For Glue-down floors, you should wait 24-36 hours after installation of the floor, to allow the flooring adhesive to dry completely.


The renovation of an old, used floor cannot be recommended if we don’t know the history of the floor especially the kind of maintenance products which have been used. If we know all about maintenance products and we can guarantee that all maintenances products are removed completely we can apply one coat of recommended varnishes. Residues of maintenance products will cause lack of adhesion.

It is recommendable to make an adherence test between the old and new coat, on a small area before the final varnishing.

Do not clean the floor with water or detergent, for about two weeks, after applying the varnish. After this period use the Wicanders recommended maintenance products. 

For the correct use follow the instructions on the packaging labels of each product, as well as the information from technical data sheets.


How to move heavy objects (fridge or stove) over my flooring?

If possible, you should lift and place your object into the location you want it. If you cannot do this, lay down a hard surface such as plywood and create a path to the location your fridge or stove will be placed. Please make sure the plywood is thick and large enough to disperse the weight of the object. You may also want to place a moving blanket under the plywood to prevent any scratching.


How do I remove dried adhesive from the surface of my cork flooring after installation?

Once adhesive has dried, you can remove any excess by wiping with a soft cloth and mineral spirits.


Can I walk on my cork floor and mop it immediately after installation?

If using a glue-down installation method, you should wait 24-36 hours after installation of the floor, to allow the flooring adhesive to dry completely before walk on or mop your new flooring This helps to avoid shifting the flooring before it is set in place. 

A floating or glue-less installation can be walked on and mopped only with a damp mop immediately.


How do I properly clean and maintain my cork flooring?

Cork floors are easy to maintain. You only need a mild detergent and a vacuum cleaner. For daily/weekly maintenance, you can also use a broom handle with a cloth on the end. The removable cloth has a substance with anti-static characteristics, which will clean all the dust and prevent its settling on the floor.

Before wiping the floor with a damp mop, vacuum, broom or sweep the cork floor to remove all loose dirt. This avoids dirt to penetrate on the embossing and joints of the floor.

Use a damp but not soaking wet mop and water to clean general spills. When deep cleaning the floor, use a damp mop with recommend floor cleaners formulated for cork floors.

Oil Soaps and Ammonia Cleaners - There are many products oil soap based or silicone, wax, or ammonia based cleaning products that will damage and dull the finish of your cork floors. Always avoid the use of harsh abrasives and oil or ammonia-based cleaning products.

Only use cleaning products approved by cork floors manufacturer.

You should avoid excessive moisture, so never flood the floor when mopping.

Where a more shiny appearance is desired, apply liquid floor polish.


How can I maintain my cork floor as new for a long life?

There are several steps that must be taken to help maintain cork floor besides regular maintenance.

  • If works will take place in the room where the floor is installed, protect with craft paper, plywood or hardboard.
  • Place quality walk-off mats at all entrances to collect any dirt, moisture or other abrasive substances that can harm your floor. Avoid moisture on the floor. When mopping use a damp, not soaking wet mop and keep liquid off the floor as much as possible. Liquids can make the seams swell or ruin your subfloor.
  • Using felt pads floor protectors on chairs and furniture legs are always recommended to reduce scratching or gouging.
  • Cork, as a natural material, may tend to fade when exposed to sunlight. Cork and wood, are natural products, color change may be expected when exposed to light over a period of time. Cork will tend to fade while wood tends to mellow or darken. It is important to move area rugs and furnishings to allow for even colour change.
  • Use blinds, curtains or other sun screening system to keep direct sunlight off the cork floor on sunny days when possible.
  • Keep large animals with long nails off the floor as they can scratch and damage the cork.
  • Do not drag furniture across the floor. If you are moving appliances or heavy furniture never slide them across the floor.
  • Office roller chairs must comply with DIN 68131 (Type W1). Use protective office mats under the rolling chairs.
  • Never use latex or rubber backed mats as they can permanently stain the floor.
  • Never use cleaning products with abrasive ingredients or solvent based, e.g. acetone.
  • Never use wire brushes.
  • Place area rugs or mats in front of the kitchen appliances and sink to protect your cork floor from a lot of traffic, water spillages, dropping food, grease, and everything else that can cause premature wear of your kitchen floor.
  • Ideal and healthy room conditions are 35 - 65 % R.H. at 20°C (68°F).
  • When using intensive room heating, the indoor air humidity may drop so low that the floor is prone to dry out. As cork is a natural material, this may causemature w shrinkage of the tiles that will result in minor gaps in the flooring joints. Use a room humidifier to prevent this.

On areas with a high incidence of natural light, which of Wicanders range of products should I apply?

Cork and wood are natural product therefore are influenced by UV and IR radiations. It ́s expectable that color can change due to natural light incidence. All Wicanders products classified as usable in commercial areas are suitable for installation on areas of high incidence of natural light.


Can I install a cork floor near a ‘’fireplace’’?

Installation of cork floor near fireplaces must be avoided. A safety distance should be guaranty.


Do cork floors contribute to LEED points?

Yes. Wicanders products are designed to meet the rigorous criteria required to earn points. Based on the LEED framework, Wicanders products contribute points towards achieving the following credits:

Materials and Resources- MR Credits:

  • MR 4.1 (1 Point): Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of the post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes 10% of the total value of the materials in the project.


  • MR 4.2 (1 Point): Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of the post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes an additional 10% (total of 20%) beyond MR credit 4.1 of the total value of the materials in the project.100% of the cork content in all Wicanders Cork products is recycled from other cork pre-consumer manufacturing processes.


  • MR 6 (1 Point): Use rapidly renewable materials and products (made from plants that are typically harvested within a ten year cycle or shorter) for 2.5 % of the total value of all building materials and products used in the project.

Indoor Environmental Quality- EQ

  • EQ 4.4 (1 Point): Use Low-Emitting Materials (wood or agrifiber products) that will reduce the amount of indoor air contaminants that may be potentially irritating and/ or harmful to the comfort and well-being of the installer and occupants. Wicanders Cork products have no added urea-formaldehyde resins as stated under this credit.

Innovation and Design Process- ID (1-4 points)

  • The intent of this credit is to provide design teams and projects the chance to earn additional points for exceptional performance above the LEED requirements. Cork’s natural characteristic such as its cellular structure provides sound proofing properties. The transmission of vibrations from mechanical equipment can be reduced using cork flooring and underlayment. All Wicanders Cork products qualify for one category, or more, under LEED credit program.

Is it more comfortable to walk on cork floors when compared to other flooring solutions? Why?

Cork floor is resilient, therefore more comfortable to stand on than harder and unyielding floors.


Why should I choose HPS or WRT finish?

WRT finish are recommended for domestic and moderate commercial areas. For areas with medium or heavy traffic HPS finish should be used.


How can I know if your products have good acoustic properties?

All Wicanders floor products are tested in official lab. Impact and step sound are evaluate. Cork floors have good behavior in both characteristics.


What means the gloss parameter?

Gloss is an optical property, which is based on the interaction of light with physical characteristic of a surface. Lower is the value lower is the gloss.


What’s the meaning of the symbol in the level of use?

Those symbol follow the European standard (EN685) that identify the levels of use:

  • House – product suitable only for domestic areas
  • Building – product suitable for domestic and commercial area
  • Factory – product suitable for domestic, commercial and light industrial

The number of human symbol indicates if the product is recommended for low or heavy use.


For which level of use do you recommend Wicanders products?

Wicanders range has products suitable for domestic application – moderate to heavy, commercial application – moderate to heavy, and moderate industrial application.


Is the cork floor fire resistant?

All Wicanders range products are tested following EN ISO 9239-1.

The fire resistance is classified (EN 13501-1) based in energy (flame) and smoke contributions. In what concerns energy contribution for floor covering the best classification is A1 (no flammable) and the worst is D.

Smoke contribution is classified in two levels – s1 and s2- being s1 the best.


What means R10 for slip resistance?

DIN 51130 is used for testing shoe-trafficked areas over a surface lubricant, where a person walks back and forth on a platform (in a laboratory) covered with tiles. The angle of inclination if the test area is steadily increased until the person begins to slip. The angle at which the person slips is recorded and averaged out over a number of tests. The higher the rating, the more a tile may be considered anti-slip. DIN 51130 then relates these R ratings to particular fields of use. Generally, R9 is the accepted minimum for use of a tile in public areas.


How durable is Linoleum floor?

It is extremely long wearing because its colour and construction go all the way though a thickness of 2mm


What means CORK LOC®?

That means that the product is a floating floor with a glueless system. Wicanders products have a loc system patented by Välinge.


Can I install cork flooring in an external application? Around a swimming pool?

Wicanders cork flooring products are recommended only of interior applications.


Can I install a cork floor in commercial areas or areas with high traffic?

Wicanders has products suitable for commercial areas with heavy traffic like corridor, department stores, lobbies, schools and open plan offices. No Wicanders products are recommend for multi-purpose halls and counter halls.


Can I install a cork floor in commercial areas or areas with high traffic?

Wicanders has products suitable for commercial areas with heavy traffic like corridor, department stores, lobbies, schools and open plan offices. No Wicanders products are recommend for multi-purpose halls and counter halls.


Do the cork floor finish crack if a heavy object falls?

Wicanders has products with different impact resistance, depending of wear layer. The surface damage will depend of the object and height of fall.


Does cork flooring promote a health indoor environment?

Yes! Bacteria, dust and dirt do not embed themselves in cork flooring as they do in other flooring options. Simple regular maintenance, such as dust mopping, sweeping or vacuuming keeps cork floors sanitary.


What does it means: HPS finish?

High Performance Surface – This finish is based on the strength of nano-bead technology. HPS® works by embedding a fine shield of nano-beads atop the surface layer to protect and preserve floors from scratches, scuff marks, dents, abrasions, stains, and UV damage. This fine layer of nano-beads has a lower gloss level for a natural look and provides excellent traction to prevent slipping.


What does WRT stand for?

Wear Resistance Technology – A multilayer UV cured finish that due to its composition of ceramic beads confers to the cork flooring a high resistance to the abrasion, scratches and stains, without changing the natural texture of the flooring.


Is cork flooring a good choice for soundproofing?

Absolutely, cork is being widely used for sound reduction in buildings. It is a very effective way to meet building codes for sound control.


Will my pets damage my cork floor?

You are the best judge of your pet’s behavior. You know what the habits, activities, and potentially destructive actions of your pet better than anyone else. Cork floors are coated with a finish that could be scratched by the claws of cats and dogs running on the floor. However, because cork is resilient and will move away from pressure the surface will be less subject to abrasion than a similarly treated hardwood floor. Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed will help keep your floors looking beautiful.


Will my cork floor fade in the light?

Yes, exposure to UV light as well as sunlight will cause color variations to cork; typically a yellowing. This is normal and not a manufacturing defect. Area rugs and large furniture will block light exposure and cause uneven coloration. To minimize, furnishings and floor coverings should be moved periodically. Covering large exposed windows will help as well.


Can cork floors be dyed or stained with specific colors? Can cork floors also be stenciled?

Yes, cork floors can be stained any color. Our offer covers a wide range of colors and in special situations other can be available.


Is the color of all cork flooring consistent?

Cork floorings are high quality, natural materials and should be recognized as such. Some shade variation due to raw material nature is an inherent and attractive characteristic of all natural products, whether cork, wood, or bamboo. Exposure to sunlight can also result in shade change.


I thought you couldn't walk on cork, especially in high heels. Also doesn't furniture damage the floors?

Cork flooring is produced in a density high enough to withstand heavy traffic and weight. One of the characteristics of cork is that it has a "memory" and therefore recovers well from compression, very much like a wine cork stopper being pulled out of a bottle expands. A durable surface finish further protects the cork and allows for easy maintenance. Nevertheless, just like other flooring materials, we recommend the use of protective pads under furniture legs.


Why should I purchase a cork floor?

Cork floors are as durable as most other floors. In addition, they are a natural product, environmentally friendly, and produced from a renewable resource (bark of cork oak tree when peeled does not damage the tree). In addition cork flooring is antistatic, sound absorbing, insulating (both heat and cold), and a relief for those with allergies. No other flooring material combines these benefits. When maintained properly, cork flooring can last for generations.


Are cork floors new or have they been around and I just haven't heard about them?

Cork floors have been used since early in the last century. Europeans are particularly familiar with cork flooring. More recently cork floors have become very popular in North America and Australia and are now sold virtually around the world. Amorim Revestimentos is recognized as leader in quality, innovation and unique solutions for interior design. Superior quality products that provide innovative solutions for decoration and unparalleled performance compose our offer. By combining know-how, traditional production methods and the latest technology, Amorim Revestimentos produces solutions of different decor, stylish, durable and comfortable using a material with characteristics that science can not overcome: the cork.


Should I be installing the Floating Floors or the glue down floors?

The shape of the subfloor is usually the deciding factor. If the subfloor is in poor condition with many cracks, old vinyl tiles or sheet vinyl, grimy or dirty the use of floating floors would be recommended. The use of a floating floor over poor subfloors avoids the need to prepare costly subfloors as long as the floor is reasonably level. Also, if there is any risk of moisture migration from a concrete slab than a floating floor properly installed with a moisture barrier is also recommended.

The glue down cork floors can be used over any subfloors (wood or concrete) which are dry, clean and free of dirt, grease, wax or anything that would hinder a good bond and where cracks have been filled.

A floating floor is one that is not attached to the substrate. Each plank is secured to those adjoining so that the floor system functions as a single unit instead of as a series of individual pieces. This means that visible signs of expansion and shrinking, normal to any wood product, are severely reduced. Installation of a floating floor is easier, faster and cheaper.


Are cork floors affected by changes of moisture and temperature?

Just like other wood products, cork is subject to the phenomenon of expansion and shrinking in response to climactic changes. Extreme environmental conditions, meaning exposure to extreme heat, moisture or dryness (more than 65%, less than 35% R.H) can cause cork to shrink and make joints more visible. When humidity levels are higher, cork flooring can expand. As a general rule, cork flooring is more stable than wood flooring. When wood expands, it does so only across the grain, so the expansion is concentrated in one dimension. However with cork, any expansion or shrinkage is dispersed in all directions. With proper acclimation, installation, and maintenance, expansion and shrinkage of your cork floor will be less noticeable.


Are cork floors suitable for installation in a basement?

In basements there is a high probability of occasional moisture migration from the slab. Moisture can cause glue-down tile to delaminate and cup. Therefore, tile is not recommended for this type of application. For basements, we recommend installing our Floating Floor over a moisture barrier 6 mil film of polyethylene to be used as. A floating floor is not attached to the sub-floor and will rest on top of the moisture barrier.


Are cork floors suitable for bathrooms?

Warm and soft, cork floors make a very comfortable flooring surface for a bathroom. However, we recommend you take certain precautions because of the high risk of spillage. Floating floor is not recommended for bathrooms, only tiles should be used. After installation, it is important to caulk the perimeter of the room, prior to installing molding or baseboard. This will prevent spills from damaging the sub-floor or walls. An additional protection layer should be applied to completely seal the joints, please use only our recommended products for Care and Maintenance.


Is cork flooring suitable for a kitchen?

Yes, it is very comfortable to stand on cork flooring and is easy to maintain. Place area rugs or mats in front of the kitchen appliances and sink to protect your cork floor from a lot of traffic, water spillages, dropping food, grease, and everything else that can cause premature wear of your kitchen floor. Do not drag furniture across the floor. Use felt pads on chair and furniture legs. Avoid moisture on the floor. 

For maintenance, we recommend regular sweeping and damp moping as dirt and grit can act as sandpaper and damage your finish. 

Once a year or more frequently if there is a lot of traffic and the floor starts to show some signs of wear, you will want to refurbish you cork floor according to the maintenance guidelines supplied. This will reinforce the protective layer and will restore the original appearance.


Will Cork Underlayment "swell" with exposure to moisture and cause finish floor coverings to fail?

No. Because cork absorbs so little water it is very dimensionally stable. When exposed to 100%.
Relative Humidity conditions for 30 days the dimensional change in the grade of materials used to manufacture AcoustiCORK® products is less than 3%. In a 6mm thick piece of material this would represent an increase in thickness of less than 0,2mm.


Where can I find detailed installation instructions of the AcoustiCORK® references? Are they available in other languages?

You can start by visiting the Communication section of this website. There you will be able to download all product files in English, including technical data and installation instructions. Most of these files are translated in your local language (Spanish, Russian, German, Portuguese, etc) and we would be glad to make them available for you. Contact our sales and marketing team for more information.


Ecology and sustainability are becoming increasingly important in my country. Does the company hold any certification?

Cork the raw material of all AcoustiCORK® underlays is a gift from Nature. Amorim Cork Composites adopts sustainable development practices that are unparalleled in the cork industry. The company holds a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain-of-custody certificate as well as several quality certificates like the NP EN ISO 9001:2000, the OSHAS 18001: 199 and the Systecode – CIPR. We are currently in the final stage of implementation for the NP EN ISO 14001.


I am going to install ceramic tiles in one of my projects. Is it totally safe to use AcoustiCORK® under ceramic tiles?

Yes, it is. AcoustiCORK® underlays are safe, tested and designed for use under ceramic tile floors. For the past 20 years, satisfied customers have been successfully installing them in Europe and all over the USA. AcoustiCORK® underlays stop minor cracks in the concrete from showing up in the tile, provide effective impact sound and thermal insulation and use adhesives and procedures approved by ceramic tile manufacturers. The TCA (Tile Council of America) references the product specifications of AcoustiCORK® in its Installation HandBook for Direct Bonding Ceramic Tiles to Cork Underlayment (F(1-35-06).