Step 1: Prep Steps

Prepping the room for cork floor installation.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Look for any vertical trim that will need to be cut away to allow the new flooring to slide beneath it. At doorways, place a cork plank atop the saddle (the threshold) and butted to the door stops. Using a flush-cutting backsaw, trim the stops—but not the jambs—]on either side of the door above the saddle. Carefully pry up the saddle before installing the flooring. Also cut the casings on the wall around the door, using a cork plank to judge how much to trim them.

In a kitchen installation, remove the cabinet toekicks if possible so you can run the cork under the cabinets. If the kick is stationary, plan to install the flooring up to within ½ inch of the toekick. This gap can be hidden in the finish step.

Installation over concrete, such as in a basement, requires the removal of any baseboard so you can cover the slab with 6-mil polyethylene sheeting and run it 3 inches up the wall. Overlap the sheeting's seams by 8 inches and seal them with tape.

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    Tools List

    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge and clamps
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw,
      to cut flooring
    • ryoba saw
      Flush-cutting backsaw,
      or ryoba saw, to trim door casings
    • mallet
      Hammer or mallet
    • flat prybar
      Pry bar
    • miterbox with saw
      Miter box and drill/driver,
      to cut and install shoe molding)

    Shopping List

    1. FLOORING

    Measure the square footage of your space, then add 10 percent to that number to account for off cuts.



    2. MOLDING

    to mask the expansion gap



    3. 1/2-INCH SPACERS

    You can make these by cutting up a scrap piece of plywood.



    4. 4D FINISH NAILS

    to fasten the show molding



    5. POLYETHYLENE SHEETING

    to act as a moisture barrier if youa re installing the flooring over concrete