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Remodeling Contractor
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I have a client that is interested in cork flooring. I have done a variety of different flooring but cork is new to me. The installation seems simple enough but I am concerned about the durability and if it is really a suitable floor for a bathroom. I want to make sure I am fully educated on the pros and cons of this product so that I can help the homeowner make an informed decision. I would appreciate if you guys could tell me the good, the bad, and anything else you think is relavant.

I will be ripping out the existing wood plank flooring, leveling the floor joists, and installing 3/4 t&g plywood as a subfloor. I am thinking of using the glue down tiles if they are actually suitable for a bathroom.

Thanks
 

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Wood Craftsman
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Absolutly not!

Plain and simple-NO,,, your asking for problems my friend, do it write, steer them away from a cheep fix - Tile the floor- water will kill that cheap cork flooring. Sounds like they want to go on the low end- do your job and
explain why they need to spend some money here- for good reason, they will thank you for it later:thumbsup:
Brian
 

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No, I would never advise putting cork next to a toilet, sink or shower. That's a real bad idea. You can use this elsewhere in the house or commercial applications but it's not designed for the kind of moisture conditions that would be expected in a bathroom.
 

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Remodeling Contractor
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Discussion Starter #6
I kinda thought the same thing. I have been steering her away and at least got her to pick two ceramic tiles she likes. I brought up about continued maintence and how the tiles could get gouged. The problem is she is into all things green and the environment which is great it just seems that alot of "green" products aren't good for bathrooms. I agree with you guys I would rather tile it and have no worries.

Do you guys have any recommendations for a "green" floor that would be good in the bathroom.
 

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Wood Craftsman
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Gmod,

I was anticipating your creative input- BTW- did you get any full shots of your job-concrete/wood, I forgot where the hell it is- to many threads:rolleyes: very slick GMOD-:thumbsup:
Brian
 

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Can be done.

I have done quite a bit of powder rooms and guest bathrooms with cork.All with floating click cork, no glue down. I would not put in main bath where the humidity levels are very high. I only use cork from Torlys, there is an optional sealer for humid areas.In case of water damage it is easy to remove and replace.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I agree I am not a huge fan of the look of cork and I have been seeing mixed reviews on the water impervious part, that's what has me a little confused.
Exactly.

I look at it like this. Wine bottles don't leak so there's obviously some moisture resistance. However, if you've ever seen the bottom of a cork that's been in a bottle for a while, it gets pretty nasty.

While cork may have some resistance to moisture, I believe its open cell structure allows moisture to penetrate and if left there, will eventually break down the cork. Also, if it will hold moisture, couldn't that be a breeding ground for bacteria?

Finally, cork needs to be sealed, just like hardwood. If you purchase/installed prefinished cork, it will still need to be refinished some day (5-10 years). Can you imagine what a flooring guy would charge to come in a sand/seal a cork floor in a bathroom? :eek:

Ceramic/porcelain tile or sheet vinyl are the only types of flooring I'd recommend in a bathroom.
 

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Wood Craftsman
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Thank you,

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you--- did I mention,,,,,,,thank you- dead on Angus:thumbsup:
Brian
 

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Exactly.

I look at it like this. Wine bottles don't leak so there's obviously some moisture resistance. However, if you've ever seen the bottom of a cork that's been in a bottle for a while, it gets pretty nasty.

While cork may have some resistance to moisture, I believe its open cell structure allows moisture to penetrate and if left there, will eventually break down the cork. Also, if it will hold moisture, couldn't that be a breeding ground for bacteria?

Finally, cork needs to be sealed, just like hardwood. If you purchase/installed prefinished cork, it will still need to be refinished some day (5-10 years). Can you imagine what a flooring guy would charge to come in a sand/seal a cork floor in a bathroom? :eek:

Ceramic/porcelain tile or sheet vinyl are the only types of flooring I'd recommend in a bathroom.
I am not surprised most people think this way.Cork bottle and cork for flooring are totally different things,there is no puddle of wine sitting on the cork flooring we do.BTW, it is not that cheap,it is like $10-15 per sq.ft.installed average.
The cork flooring, specially the prefinished ones has already strong finish which would not allow moisture to penetrate,period.They use the same aluminum oxide finish that is used for laminate flooring.The only moisture penetration would be between seams;that is why a sealer is required in kitchens,powder rooms.No one is going to sell a product that will be home of the bacteria and mold.Not Germans who makes the Torlys Cork anyway.
Anyone like to confirm these facts can go to Torlys site and find out.Check the 25 years limited warranty section as well. Another good manufacturer is Forbo.
Of course there are cheap, low quality cork flooring in the market.
I have done many projects with high quality cork and with almost zero callback.
I always explain the facts to my customers that cork is no different than hardwood when it is installed in kitchen or powder rooms or guest bathrooms.Some people dislikes the cold hardsurface of ceramic, stone, they want to go with cork, nothing wrong with it.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I am not surprised most people think this way.Cork bottle and cork for flooring are totally different things,there is no puddle of wine sitting on the cork flooring we do.BTW, it is not that cheap,it is like $10-15 per sq.ft.installed average.
I got this quote from a manufacturer of cork flooring:
"Cork flooring is actually made from the waste of the cork wine stopper manufacturing process so cork flooring is a recycled product."
You may have found a great supplier that offers high quality cork and doesn't have any of the issues another manufacturer may have. I'm sure that's a great sales tool for you!

However, that doesn't help with the issue of refinishing a floor in a bathroom.

I do not promote the use of wood flooring in a bathroom at all. It's nothing personal.
 

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Astor is right on

Astor is correct. A good quality cork in a bathroom or kitchen is fine. I prefer the floating floor to glue down tiles, and DON't go for the HD/Lowe's/LL cheap crap.

I don't particularly care for the look of cork, but each to his own. Sealing is not an issue with a good quality cork, follow manufacturer directions.

Wood is a much poorer choice in bathrooms and kitchens. Cork is natually resistant to the moisture where wood sucks it up. That's not to say it can't be damaged, any floor can. If there is never a vent fan used and humidity stays at 150% and water is always left standing on the floor there will be problems, even in a bathroom with ceramic on it.

I happen to have bamboo in my master bath. If you are going to use wood in a bathroom that's my recommendation.
 

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- Tile the floor-
Or do both, cork underlayment and tile it.
Over concrete, I really REALLY loved cork underlayment. However, it's been sort of hard for me to find lately...tho I'll admit, I've not looked too hard.
 

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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.
 
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