Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons

 
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:34 PM   #21
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


She's not looking at cheap cork tiles the ones she like are like $7 a tile the cost really isn't the issue. I was reading that the glue down cork was better for the bathroom as opposed to the snap lock because the snap lock has a wood backer. Correct me if I am wrong, cork is new to me I just want to make sure the product is suitable for the bathroom and that I choose the right type to install.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:22 PM   #22
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


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Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
Exactly.

I look at it like this. Wine bottles don't leak so there's obviously some moisture resistance.


They dry the corks down 0% moisture content, and place them into the bottles. They gain moisture and swell to seal the bottle.

Cork shrinks and swells , just like wood.

I don't know of any cork manufacturer that Ok's cork in a bathroom.
I know Natural Cork, APC and Torley, don't recommend it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:00 PM   #23
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


I have seen it used in the UK in many bathrooms. Not sure how well it held up but it started to become very popular again for some strange reason. I cant stand the stuff.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #24
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Cork is a high end flooring product and I would consider it a premium flooring product and demand a premium price structure.

There is nothing wrong with cork in a bathroom - keep in mind it's naturally resistant to mold, it's naturally resistant to water, most cork likes a little higher humidity level anyways and a bathroom is going to provide that.

I don't know of any manufacturers that say you can't put cork in a bathroom. The only thing I ever see them say is to just take an extra step and silicone the perimeter expansion joint.

Is it the best material for a bathrooms? It all depends on the criteria of the customer. There is nothing wrong with tile, stone, carpet, linoleum, hardwood, cork or any other flooring product in a bathroom as long as the material meets the customer's expectations. There are some materials that will offer more longevity or more mold resistance or be cheaper or be more expensive, but as long as the material is what the customer wants how can it be wrong?

Take for instance carpet - it's probably the one product that almost everybody would say is an easy one to say doesn't belong in a bathroom.

We had a handicapped customer once that needed carpet. He had a history of falling in the bathroom 3-4 times a year. He needed a material that was the least harsh on his body which was carpet.

Hardwood is another one that is easy to say doesn't belong in a bathroom due to the issue that water splashed out of a tub or an overflowing toilet will pretty much damage it quickly.

However, we've had many customers who have big houses, empty nesters with 5 bathrooms in the house and only care what it looks like, don't have kids etc... if they want hardwood and I've done my job telling them about it's properties then so be it, write the check and it goes in.

Think about travertine - it isn't hard to come up with a few reasons why it's probably right up there with one of the worst materials you could put in a bathroom. However it's one of the top high end products going into them. Sure I've had a lot of customers who have started out wanting travertine and ended up with porcelain. Not from me trying to talk them out of it, but from me telling them the properties of them both and asking questions about their lifestyle and expectations and allowing them to understand which product might fit them the best. But if they want travertine, it's going in.

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Old 03-07-2010, 10:47 PM   #25
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


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Originally Posted by BuildersII View Post
I've actually seen this done before, and I'll say that the results were horrible. It was an old fraternity house restroom that used some kind of cork composite tile. Under the sink and around the toilet, the tiles had curled up and away from the floor, and from what I'd heard, the floor was only 16 years old.
This is hilarious!! Old fraternity house;how many bottles of borrowed beer passed through in that restroom over the last 16 years ,what would you expect?
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:42 PM   #26
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Maybe it's vomit that causes that reaction
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:51 PM   #27
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Quote:
Originally Posted by Floordude View Post
I don't know of any cork manufacturer that Ok's cork in a bathroom.
I know Natural Cork, APC and Torley, don't recommend it.
You got me curious, I spent some time on Torley's site. I couldn't find anything where they said they don't recommend it in a bathroom. -- (But I could have missed it.)

I did find in their installation guide they specifically address an installation in a bathroom. They like most others have the same recommendation to silicone the perimeter.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:16 AM   #28
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
You got me curious, I spent some time on Torley's site. I couldn't find anything where they said they don't recommend it in a bathroom. -- (But I could have missed it.)

I did find in their installation guide they specifically address an installation in a bathroom. They like most others have the same recommendation to silicone the perimeter.

I looked too. What I found interesting was APC said to only use glue-down in a bathroom whereas astor says he uses floating. I didn't see on Torly's site which they recommend.

I also am curious why experienced installers are contradicting each other.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:59 AM   #29
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Just talk to Wicanders Cork. One of the family has the glue down variety installed in her horse stable. They give the horses baths on it. Just hose them off. If installed and sealed correctly Cork will work great in a bathroom.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:11 AM   #30
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


I have installed cork in couple of diffrent houses
One of them being a house I lived in
I put it in the kitchen and dining
Seemed to wear like wood
soft on your feet
It does not seem to handle water well
Since it is soft every time you walk across the joints you unseal the finish
So if you spill water it goes down the joints
The cork soaks up the water
Then the finsh starts to fail at joint
Just my experience
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:04 PM   #31
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Regardless of what a customer "thinks" they are putting down as flooring in their bathroom, I think as professional and someone that is supposed to have an understanding on products where they apply and where they do not- regardless of the what the Manufacturer says!- I would strongly emphasis the word- NO! A customer wants hard wood flooring in their bathroom and some of you would go along with this-can I ask why? you have got to be kidding me I won't do it-period,and would strongly recommend why that is not suitable and I would not put that cork crap in either- get someone else! why would I say that,,because when something goes wrong with it after you shut that door,, and it will, it's not a question of if , but when- guess who they will be calling, who is to blame,,,,is it the customer fault or the installer? doesn't matter - you went along with it, you say-"yea, I think we can get away with it" and it's going to come back to haunt you later-guaranteed. If it were me as the customer after this cork crap went in, and problems begin- I would want you to be liable-you said it was OK, and now I have to do it all over again- "the write way" and I am paying double - why didn't you recommend something to me more suitable- now look at the mess I have.


From my professional experience, customers look for someone they can trust and that guide them in the write direction as far as materials/ design and suitability.
Prime example- Manufacturers of engineered flooring say you can install their product in a kitchen- I have seen what they look like after wear & tare- pots being dropped- water spilled on the floor near the sink area/refrigerator-kids spill things on the floor,,and the seams curled and separated- it looks awful and fake,,,they thought "at the time" they were saving money , now they have to spend twice as much for the same area. there is no repairing with EF- There is with Tile or natural hardwood flooring, keep that in mind
Manufacturers are out there to sell there products- plain & simple. I have one estimate out now with this EF crap-Kitchen, he said basically the same exact thing that I explained above- had I known what problems can occur with this- I would have "never" chose this flooring. I said "was this the flooring you wanted at the time",,, "yes",,,," did he explain all the specifics of the material to you ,pro/con",,,,,-"no" ,,,. Guess what - it all has to come out now and a new Hard wood flooring is going in- not stained- natural toned hard wood flooring- that is the only product that i will recommend to my customers if they want hard wood flooring in their kitchen - in any room , with the exception of bathrooms and basements- forget it, that is not happening!
try getting a warranty approved for hard wood flooring that you installed in a bathroom- I think not. Something you want to do on your own house- knock your socks off, but your house is no different- wood and bathrooms do not get along to well
I have to admit , I am more than prejudice on flooring trying to be something it can never be- they want that engineered crap in their dinning room/hallways/bedrooms- fine- whatever, that includes that god awful cork crap- and yes I think it is crap- period!
Bottom line, I don't trust it , it looks awful/fake and I would never recommend it to any of my customers, I can come up with a much better product with some longevity ease of maintenance, easily repaired and will add plenty of character & style to the room,,,for many years to come, In my opinion just an over all better solution for the project on hand. Will they have to spend more money - absolutely. But ,we are talking about a bathroom- not buying band-aids- you get what you pay for-so if some of you want to hand out bumper warranties installing wood products in bathrooms, be my guest.
As a professional-that is one product that should not be recommended in a bathroom, any bathroom. Why some of you think it's OK-I don't get it,why would you go along with what the customer wants,,,where is the guidance in that?. Ceramic tile/natural stone/concrete- something more suitable with longevity and style not being compromised- the sky is the limit as far as design goes, I'll even say linoleum (god that hurt- I absolutely despise that material) JMO
Sorry Mike, ,no offense - but I am not comfortable supporting and installing wood products in interior areas of high moisture/high humidity- they don't behave in these situations
Brian

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:48 PM   #32
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrestigeR&D View Post
Regardless of what a customer "thinks" they are putting down as flooring in their bathroom, I think as professional and someone that is supposed to have an understanding on products where they apply and where they do not- regardless of the what the Manufacturer says!- I would strongly emphasis the word- NO! A customer wants hard wood flooring in their bathroom and some of you would go along with this-can I ask why? you have got to be kidding me I won't do it-period,and would strongly recommend why that is not suitable and I would not put that cork crap in either- get someone else! why would I say that,,because when something goes wrong with it after you shut that door,, and it will, it's not a question of if , but when- guess who they will be calling, who is to blame,,,,is it the customer fault or the installer? doesn't matter - you went along with it, you say-"yea, I think we can get away with it" and it's going to come back to haunt you later-guaranteed. If it were me as the customer after this cork crap went in, and problems begin- I would want you to be liable-you said it was OK, and now I have to do it all over again- "the write way" and I am paying double - why didn't you recommend something to me more suitable- now look at the mess I have.


From my professional experience, customers look for someone they can trust and that guide them in the write direction as far as materials/ design and suitability.
Prime example- Manufacturers of engineered flooring say you can install their product in a kitchen- I have seen what they look like after wear & tare- pots being dropped- water spilled on the floor near the sink area/refrigerator-kids spill things on the floor,,and the seams curled and separated- it looks awful and fake,,,they thought "at the time" they were saving money , now they have to spend twice as much for the same area. there is no repairing with EF- There is with Tile or natural hardwood flooring, keep that in mind
Manufacturers are out there to sell there products- plain & simple. I have one estimate out now with this EF crap-Kitchen, he said basically the same exact thing that I explained above- had I known what problems can occur with this- I would have "never" chose this flooring. I said "was this the flooring you wanted at the time",,, "yes",,,," did he explain all the specifics of the material to you ,pro/con",,,,,-"no" ,,,. Guess what - it all has to come out now and a new Hard wood flooring is going in- not stained- natural toned hard wood flooring- that is the only product that i will recommend to my customers if they want hard wood flooring in their kitchen - in any room , with the exception of bathrooms and basements- forget it, that is not happening!
try getting a warranty approved for hard wood flooring that you installed in a bathroom- I think not. Something you want to do on your own house- knock your socks off, but your house is no different- wood and bathrooms do not get along to well
I have to admit , I am more than prejudice on flooring trying to be something it can never be- they want that engineered crap in their dinning room/hallways/bedrooms- fine- whatever, that includes that god awful cork crap- and yes I think it is crap- period!
Bottom line, I don't trust it , it looks awful/fake and I would never recommend it to any of my customers, I can come up with a much better product with some longevity ease of maintenance, easily repaired and will add plenty of character & style to the room,,,for many years to come, In my opinion just an over all better solution for the project on hand. Will they have to spend more money - absolutely. But ,we are talking about a bathroom- not buying band-aids- you get what you pay for-so if some of you want to hand out bumper warranties installing wood products in bathrooms, be my guest.
As a professional-that is one product that should not be recommended in a bathroom, any bathroom. Why some of you think it's OK-I don't get it,why would you go along with what the customer wants,,,where is the guidance in that?. Ceramic tile/natural stone/concrete- something more suitable with longevity and style not being compromised- the sky is the limit as far as design goes, I'll even say linoleum (god that hurt- I absolutely despise that material) JMO
Sorry Mike, ,no offense - but I am not comfortable supporting and installing wood products in interior areas of high moisture/high humidity- they don't behave in these situations
Brian


Brian i am with you on the Cork, i do however disagree with your inflexabilty concerning the customers requests. Call me unproffessional but if a customer wants to side there house in Paper Mache. I will advise them that there are better alternatives, and that there siding will probably fall off after the first rain, But if they insist, i will ask what color, and be there on Monday with newspaper and Elmers Glue. The way i see it, if they are dead set on something, and someone is going to make the $, it might as well be me, GMOD
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #33
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


I agree, but as long as they understand the ramifications of what they want- I just would not want them coming after me- I totally understand,,I read mikes post, I understand what he is saying as well- I have just been around long enough, heard horror stories about this - customer was insistent , and now I am liable - It has never happened to me - and it will stay that way- i would definitely have them sign a waiver, something in writing acknowledging the fact that the Contractor objects to the material being installed and is not liable - but that sounds bad also for the contractor- you know what I mean?
Anyways,
I agree- what they want is what they want- we have to make a living - I totally agree Gmod. I would just hate to have it come back and bite one of our own- thats what worries me. There are other alternatives that would best be suited for that specific application, if not ,Just protect yourself and get that made very clear in the contractor or an addendum, something.,,
I usually will win their trust with facts-data, then they think twice, that situation doesn't happen that often- , but when it does- I have to inform them and try to suggest the proper materials and why I am suggesting them-the costs are not that more substantial in most cases, but not all, but none the less-I educate them as much as I possibly can- the ultimate decision is theirs- hopefully I have done a thorough job in the presentation and earned their trust in me through factual information and they come to their senses. So thanks Gmod for clearing that up , I probably sound like a prick, I'm not- We have to pay bills and live for god sakes- your correct!
Brian
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #34
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Quote:
Originally Posted by Floordude View Post
I don't know of any cork manufacturer that Ok's cork in a bathroom.
I know Natural Cork, APC and Torley, don't recommend it.
here is the link of their installation instructions:On top it is very CLEARLY in plain English:Torlys Cork Floor well suited for all residential rooms including bathrooms. Please do not write before confirming.Here I assume Torley=Torlys
Cork Installation Instructions
__________________________________________________ ________

It is true that the manufacturers push their products to sell.But ultimately the warranty responsibility is with the manufacturer. If they do not believe into their quality, they would not recommend it,after all bathroom market is relatively small in their overall market.
As I have earlier stated I tell my clients that I would not recommend cork flooring in high humidity areas, but the humidity in powder room or guest bathroom is not much different than LR-DR. I warrant my installation labor-not the product I install.
The reason why I prefer Torlys cork is Uniclick joints.Once locked, these patented joint system is so strong that it takes 450 lbs of force to separate two pieces. I prefer floating system because the tiles/planks expands and shrinks as a whole. Also in case of flood, it is easy-fast to replace.
The sample given above for engineered flooring also assumes all the engineered floors are same, there are engineered flooring which has 3-4 mm top layer,same as solid flooring.Mirage,Lauzon are the top brands that can be installed in kitchens. I always recommend a mat in front of the sink when we install wood in the kitchen.
Of course you can pass the opportunity of service to someone else if you are not comfortable providing.But I can not force someone to accept something they do not want.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:03 PM   #35
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


I saw your avatar- your work? - very nice- I am impressed Please don't take this personally- I admire what you do- OK
My personal opinion about that material is not favorable- that is just my personal opinion.

factually, based on "THEIR" instructions and information"
,,,,,In that installation manual - it says "bathroom" -meaning "Any Bathroom" , it did not stipulate 1/2 baths only-it claims "ANY Bathroom",,,,,correct.
It also says that the floor is "never" to be "wet moped" .

So after digesting that- water,bathrooms, humidity? why would they say the material is suitable in any bathroom if you know these conditions are going to come to fruition?? It will get "wet"- " there will be "high humidity" in the environment-period. This is exactly what I said earlier about manufacturers try to make their products more accommodating to many applications, but the " limitations" and "warranty" area are not clearly spelled out- "together".If it gets wet- apparently - it ain't good
you put these 2 statements together ,taken write from your hyperlink,,,-

"well suited for all residential rooms, including bathrooms ,,,read to the far right corner,,,,,,,,""NEVER "wet" mop"" your TORLYS Cork floor. ,,,,,,,, maintain a healthy humidity between 40-60%
,, so ,I want you to think about that, you sound intelligent,, what do you think now,,, is a * "bathroom",,,, generalized by the way they worded these instructions, is a bathroom still an acceptable application for this product? you tell me


I say no

And again, no offense Astor- I like your work -you do nice work my freind
Brian


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Old 03-08-2010, 06:55 PM   #36
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Hi Brian,
Thanks for your kind words.I take pride in my work. We are here to exchange our knowledge and experiences, so I do not take anything personal.
Actually any wood, cork floors should never be wet moped. There are special wood floor cleaners for to clean.Wet mopping is not the way to get the wood/cork floor clean.
Torlys has no problem us installing in any bathroom,but personally I only install 1/2 baths or full guest bathrooms where the humidity does not fracture a lot. Also the lifestyle of the client is a factor. If there is a quite amount of spillage in bathroom floor-no mats etc-I would be upfront with the client that it is not the product for them. I would not install in a Finnish sauna of course.I would not install cork in a bathroom of fraternity house!or a home where young family of 6 has one bathroom.
For me, Torlys has been stand behind their product.Since 1987, they had a few flaws like any, but all replaced with no cost to clients.
As you said, this is a personal choice,maybe because the homes that I work are high-end homes who has interior designers etc.I get to run clients that they want this.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:03 PM   #37
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrestigeR&D View Post
I agree, but as long as they understand the ramifications of what they want- I just would not want them coming after me- I totally understand,,I read mikes post, I understand what he is saying as well- I have just been around long enough, heard horror stories about this - customer was insistent , and now I am liable - It has never happened to me - and it will stay that way- i would definitely have them sign a waiver, something in writing acknowledging the fact that the Contractor objects to the material being installed and is not liable - but that sounds bad also for the contractor- you know what I mean?
Anyways,
I agree- what they want is what they want- we have to make a living - I totally agree Gmod. I would just hate to have it come back and bite one of our own- thats what worries me. There are other alternatives that would best be suited for that specific application, if not ,Just protect yourself and get that made very clear in the contractor or an addendum, something.,,
I usually will win their trust with facts-data, then they think twice, that situation doesn't happen that often- , but when it does- I have to inform them and try to suggest the proper materials and why I am suggesting them-the costs are not that more substantial in most cases, but not all, but none the less-I educate them as much as I possibly can- the ultimate decision is theirs- hopefully I have done a thorough job in the presentation and earned their trust in me through factual information and they come to their senses. So thanks Gmod for clearing that up , I probably sound like a prick, I'm not- We have to pay bills and live for god sakes- your correct!
Brian
You're way over thinking this.

#1 if the manufacturer will warranty the product based on where and how you installed it you have installed it correctly and in a correct place. The manufacturer determines correct installation not you or I.

Problems down the road? See #1.

There are no liablility issues of any sort of the test passes #1.

Now on another note if you make a personal judgement call based on too much hassle, not worth it, don't like the product, hey... so be it that's a personal decision.

But - cork in a bathroom? Hardwood in a bathroom? Tile in a bathroom... squished monkey farts mixed up with mashed potatoes....?

See #1.

Hardwood in a kitchen? Not in my house, but if a customer wants it. Just hope their insurance is paid up. Rock on.

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:22 PM   #38
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


wow, holy crap......no need to beet my ass,,
Astor & Mike,,,

Manufacturer says "*BATHROOMS" ie: all,
but further down the instructions- NEVER - WET-MOP - MAINTAIN ,,, HUMIDITY - I didn't write that- they did- please, come on- play nice,,,
Can you see where I would have a problem with this----don't you? ,,,,,, and someone wants to put this in a main bathroom?????????????. Astor did it in a 1/2 bath- That's sounds reasonable, seriously, in-fact I am impressed with the flooring, I never knew it could look so unique- nice work again Astor,,,
but a main bath- again- read above- per their wording-not mine, so - I didn't intend the boxing match and I don't want one-I like you guys, I think we are a lot more civil here, thats why I enjoy it and I sincerely respect all of you,,even If I think your wrong and you think I am,,-It's all good,,,,,lets just keep it civil
but IMO again, so all I am saying is - do you see how contradicting those statements are- seriously, please have an open mind, can you see where there could (will) be a serious problem? -
Thanks for being civil to me
Brian
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:41 PM   #39
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


hope their insurance is paid up????I am not worried about that Mike-I have 0 claims Mr. Mike ,,,0 , why- I know what I am doing , and if I don't feel comfortable doing something-I stop, I don't do it- period , I hope the cork floor installer is insured as well my friend cause when that Cork floor gets lathered up with some H20- repeatedly- your going to need it ,,

So what do you have in your kitchen,,,let me guess,,,TILE great! I still don't know what I am going to with mine, might do that or some oak,ash or maple, or combine the 2, I would like the blood wood but, I have to think about it,, but either or- it's all good Mike, however,,,not all HW is good for kitchens, surprisingly- cherry? who would have thought

Hardwood flooring is an acceptable flooring for kitchens......., depending on spices and grade. I am sure you are well aware of this. IMO- Kitchen areas are not bathrooms- totally different environments - with similar attributes, but by how much , there in lyes the le-way? So you think HW in a kitchen is wrong- ??? I am all ears mike seriously, why do you say nay to the HF in a Kitchen?
thank you
Brian

Last edited by PrestigeR&D; 03-08-2010 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:52 PM   #40
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Re: Cork Flooring In A Bathroom? Pros & Cons


Not trying to beat you up in any way and I apologize if it comes across as that. I have read many of your posts and you no doubt are accomplished at what you do.

The never wet mop I think is them trying to say, don't introduce water to the product that you don't have to. I think the same precautions are with hardwood too?

But anyways, me personally I don't like hardwood in a bathroom or in a kitchen. I don't like cork in a bathroom either. I wouldn't put any of them in my bathrooms or kitchen cause I like tile and I like the bullet proofness and stupid proofness of tile.

I don't know what the numbers would be but I'm betting that payouts on damages caused by broken icemaker lines in kitchens with hardwood floors has got to be in the top 10 of insurance payouts.

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