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Natural Cork
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Natural Cork

Cork is a natural product. Just like wood, cork parquet tiles and planks will vary in shade or pattern definition. Also, while not as prevalent as with wood, cork is subject to the normal behavior of minor expansion during periods of high humidity and minor contraction during periods of low humidity (usually the heating season). With cork, expansion and contraction can be kept to unnoticeable levels by stabilizing the building through temperature and humidity control, allowing for proper acclimatization of the product prior to installation, using only approved adhesives, and providing the recommended expansion space mentioned below.

INSTALLING ON CONCRETE SUBSTRATE: Cork Parquet can be installed over concrete on or above grade. Concrete substrates are required to be sound, smooth, level and flat with a maximum variation of 1/8" in 10'. Subfloor should be free of dust, dirt and soils. Any uncorrected irregularities will telegraph through cork parquet tiles. All cracks, holes and control joints must be patched with a Portland cement based compound. Follow compound manufacturer's instructions fully and make sure patches are completely dry and well adhered. Use of gypsum base compounds is not approved. Check concrete slab for moisture. Slab must be properly cured. Check slab with Calcium Chloride moisture test. Moisture content cannot be more than 3 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. per 24 hours. More information on moisture testing can be obtained at www.nofma.org/installation1.htm

INSTALLING ON UNDERLAYMENT-GRADE PLYWOOD OVER A BASEMENT OR RAISED FOUNDATION: Only underlayment grade substrates are approved for installation of cork flooring. Install smooth 1/4" or greater underlayment grade plyboard. Fill cracks and sand uneven areas. Any uncorrected irregularities will telegraph through cork parquet tiles. Subfloor must not exceed 14% moisture content (electrical resistance method). To avoid damage to cork parquet caused by moisture check basements and under floor crawl spaces to be sure they are dry and well ventilated. For buildings with crawl spaces, install ground cover of 6 mil polyethylene sheets, overlap seams 8", and tape the sheets together.

*Cork parquet tiles cannot be installed over any other surfaces than the ones above mentioned.

CORK PARQUETS MUST BE ACCLIMATED: Cork parquet tiles must be stored out of the box at job site for a minimum of 72-hours prior to installation. During storage and installation, maintain temperature and relative humidity to level consistent with conditions that will prevail when building is occupied. Heating or air conditioning should be used for an appropriate length of time prior to and during installation. With improper acclimation, the floor could noticeably expand or contract after installation.

IN-FLOOR RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS: With radiant heat, heat source is directly beneath the flooring and may gain moisture or dry out faster than in a home with conventional heating system. It is not recommended to use Natural CORK parquet tiles over heated floors. However, floating floors move as a unit as they respond to changes in heat and humidity. Therefore, Natural CORK does recommend use of Natural CORK Floating Floors in conjunction with infloor radiant heating.

APPLICATION OF SUBFLOOR PRIMER: Only use of Natural Cork supplied water-based Subfloor Primer is approved. Subfloor Primer must be used regardless of type of subfloor. Pour Subfloor Primer into clean paint tray. Using shortnap roller provided in the kit, apply thin and even coat of Subfloor Primer. Cover subfloor completely. Coverage is 400 sq. ft. per gallon. Under normal temperature and humidity conditions Subfloor Primer will dry in 30 to 45 minutes. Subfloor Primer must be totally dry before application of adhesive.

APPLICATION OF ADHESIVE: Only use of Natural CORK supplied water-based contact cement included in Propack kit is approved. Adhesive is formulated to bond to adhesive-backed cork parquet tile. Pour some adhesive into clean paint roller tray. Using clean short-nap roller, apply a thin coat of adhesive over approximately 50 square feet at a time. Coverage is 400 sq. ft. per gallon. A uniform, glossy film indicates sufficient amount of adhesive. Stay off adhesive while it is drying. Adhesive will dry in 20 to 30 minutes under normal temperature and humidity conditions. Once adhesive is dry, that section of installation must be completed within one hour. Never lay tiles into wet adhesive. Always test for proper adhesion prior to proceeding with the installation. If the tiles do not seem to adhere properly over a very porous substrate, it will be necessary to apply a second coat of adhesive.

LAYING CORK PARQUET TILE:Use any standard laying pattern. For best installation, lay cork parquets with staggered joints. Shuffle cork parquets for best visual mix and identify possible manufacturing defects. Installer must accept liability for installing defective material. Mix cork parquets from various cartons to maintain natural color and pattern variation. Allow 1/4" expansion space between finished floor and all walls, thresholds, water pipes and other vertical surfaces. Failure to provide adequate expansion space will result in installation failure. When moisture level in the environment is low, parquet tile should not be positioned too tightly against one another. To the contrary, when moisture level is elevated, tiles should be installed tightly. When cork parquet tile is properly aligned in place, apply pressure on entire parquet surface. Pressure will cause parquet to adhere firmly and further movement will not be possible.

ROLLING FLOOR: After the floor has been laid, it is very important to roll the surface using a three-part, 100-pound floor roller. Roll entire floor several times from several directions. Floor should be rolled again after sitting overnight.

AFTER INSTALLATION: Allow glue to set for at least 24 hours before walking on the floor. After 24 hours you may install molding, trim, transition pieces, and/or reducer strips as needed.
If dried adhesive is found on the surface of the floor, it can be removed by rubbing gently with a damp clean cloth.

CLEANING THE FLOOR: The entire floor must then be cleaned using a hardwood floor cleaner according to manufacturer guidelines. WET MAINTENANCE IS ENTIRELY FORBIDDEN!

PROTECTING THE FLOOR: Applying Natural Cork’s polish, within the first 3 months and once a year thereafter, in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines will extend the life of the finish. This step is highly recommended for kitchens and other at risk areas.

COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Following installation, the floor must be cleaned with Natural Cork’s cleaner and 1 coat of cork lacquer must be rolled on using Natural Cork’s recommended roller. As signs of wear become visible, this process must be repeated in order to prevent damaging the cork surface.

Installation Material Checklist

Material Received from Natural Cork
   
  To install Parquet tiles
  Glue Down Kit (400 sq. ft. coverage) to include:
      1 gallon Natural Cork Subfloor Primer – Red label
        1 gallon Natural Cork Contact cement – Blue label
        2 short nap rollers and a frame
    Parquet tile backed with contact cement
           
Material to be provided by the Installer
    Paint trays
    100 lbs 3-part roller
    Cutting and measuring tools. A utility knife is sufficient to cut tiles.
    Cleaning supplies
    Mineral Spirits
    Molding/Trim
           
The installer will find an envelope enclosed with this shipment to be given to the end user. This envelope contains:
    Maintenance Recommendations
    Warranty Information