Cork is a high-quality, rapidly-renewable resource material for nearly any home. It can be used to cushion, insulate and control the noise from walking on floating, engineered wood floors. Some condominium associations are now requiring cork underlayment where floating floors are installed. Loose-lay underlayment installations, which are common for floating floors, require only a small amount of adhesive around the perimeter of the room. Less glue means less odor and an easier installation versus a fully-bonded underlayment.

cork underlayment and woodTools Required

  • Small pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • 2-inch-wide straightedge
  • Cork flooring glue containing urethane, rubber latex or acrylic
  1. Remove baseboards with pry bar, if any exist.
  2. Unroll the cork underlayment and turn it over so curled edges are facing toward the floor to prevent material from curling up.
  3. Lay a 2-inch-wide straightedge on the underlayment. Align the outer edge of the straightedge with the edge of the cork. Cut 2-inch-wide strips of cork off the edge of the unrolled underlayment by drawing a utility knife along the inner edge of the straightedge to make clean, straight cuts.
  4. Apply cork flooring adhesive to one long, narrow edge of a 2-inch-wide cork strip.
  5. Place the cork strip on the floor against the wall with the glued edge touching the floor and the remainder of the strip extending up the wall. The position of the strip corresponds to where a baseboard would typically be located. Continue around the perimeter of the room with glued strips of cork. This creates an isolation barrier, which helps reduce the sound of walking on the floor.
  6. Position the unrolled cork underlayment against the wall, abutting the edge of the underlayment against the isolation barrier.
  7. Continue laying the cork underlayment around the room in this manner, until the entire floor is covered. Be sure not to overlap the cork material at the seams.
  8. Trim excess cork as necessary.

Tip: Trim excess cork from the isolation barrier after the floating floor is installed, and before installing baseboards.

Original content can be found: