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How To Install Cork Flooring

Float a Click Lock Floor

Installing Cali Bamboo® click lock cork flooring. Preparation. Before laying your GreenClaimed®™ click-lock flooring be sure to measure the room to ensure that planks in the final row will be at least two inches wide. If necessary, rip the first row of planks to ensure this. Sometimes the first row must be cut to match an uneven wall. Using a block, transfer the shape of the wall to the planks. Note: The use of a moisture barrier is recommended if the moisture level between the floor and subfloor is greater than 3%. GreenClaimed®™ flooring features a glueless, click-lock installation system and should never be nailed, glued or screwed to the subfloor. Be sure to allow a three eighths inch expansion gap around walls and any other fixed objects. Laying the floor. Installing the first row. Beginning in a corner, lay down the first plank with the tongue side of the plank to the wall. Using spacers to maintain a proper expansion gap, connect the next plank’s short end to the first plank, and lay it flat on the floor. Continue this process until you reach the last plank. Cut the last plank to length and install to complete the first row. Use the remainder of the last plank to start the next row as long as it remains at least twelve inches in length. Doing so will maintain a random joint pattern, keeping in mind that all joints should be staggered at least twelve inches. Installing the middle rows. Connect the short end of the next plank to the first plank. Lift both planks slightly and nudge the new plank into position, then lay both planks flat. Smacking the flattened planks with the palm of your hand can help tighten and engage the click-lock system. Continue in this manner to finish the row. Repeat these steps adding rows in a back and forth motion until you’ve reached the last row. Installing the last row. While maintaining a proper expansion gap, measure and rip the last row of planks to the proper width. Install the final row using the same technique as before. Once all planks have been installed, you may remove all spacers and finish off the floor with Cali Bamboo’s wide selection of bamboo baseboards, trim and transition flooring accessories.

How To Install Cork Flooring

Featuring an easy to install glueless click-lock installation system, GreenClaimed® cork flooring lays over any subfloor. Naturally mold and mildew resistant, cork flooring is specifically designed to be installed in moisture prone areas of the home.


Inspection: Prior to installation, inspect planks in daylight for visible faults/damage. Check if subfloor/site conditions comply with the specifications described in these instructions. If you are not satisfied do not install, and contact your supplier.

Tools and materials required: Electric saw • spacers • pencil • set square • PE film • adhesive tape.

Before laying: Measure the room at right angle to the direction of the planks. Planks in the final row should be at least 5 cm wide. For this purpose, planks in the first row can be cut to smaller size. Shuffle planks in order to obtain a pleasant blend of shades. Lay planks preferably following the direction of the main source of light. We recommend laying on wooden floors crossways to the existing floorboard. Planks must not be nailed or screwed to the subfloor. Skirting boards must not be fixed in a way which restricts the movement of the floor.

Expansion gaps: Provide 10 mm (3/8”) expansion gaps to the walls and other fixed objects. Areas greater than 100 m² (900 sq. ft) or 10 m (30 feet) in either direction, transitions between rooms and asymmetrical areas require extra expansion gaps.

Radiant Heat

Cali Bamboo® flooring is only recommended for use over radiant heat systems if the special requirements specified by the National Wood Flooring Association are met (please refer to the NWFA’s Radiant Heat Guidelines). Ensuring stable job site conditions, subfloor suitability and proper acclimation are especially important when installing over a radiant heat system. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure that the recommended environmental conditions are met for installation. Refer to your radiant heat system manufacturer to determine its compatibility with bamboo flooring, and to learn the specific requirements for installation.

  • Because of the wide variety of systems on the market (Hydronic, embedded in concrete, electrical wire/coil, heating film/mat) each with its own features and applications it is recommended that the user consult with the radiant heating provider for best practices, installation methods and proper subfloors.
  • Typically the floating installation method is the most suitable for use with radiant heat systems.
  • Radiant heat system must be turned on and in operation for at least 6 days before installation.
  • The flooring must be acclimated per Cali Bamboo’s Cork acclimation instruction ( over the radiant heat with the system turned on throughout the acclimation timeframe.
  • The system must be turned down to 65°F and maintained 24 hours prior to installation.
  • Once install is complete, turn system back on and slowly bring back up to normal operating temperature over a period 4-5 days.
  • Floor should never be heated over 82°F. Consult with your radiant heating system manufacturer to successfully limit the maximum temperature.
  • Always remember that rugs placed over radiant heated flooring can increase the surface temperature in that area by 3°- 5°F degrees.
  • Relative Humidity must be maintained between 30-60%. The use of a humidifier may be necessary to achieve this.
  • When turning off the radiant heat system it must be turned down slowly at a rate of 1.5° degrees per day. You should never just turn the system off.
  • For additional information on radiant heating systems please refer to  or the NWFA’s Radiant Heat Guidelines


Step 1

•Start in the corner.
•Turn the tongue side of the plank to the wall.
•Maintain a gap of 10 mm (3/8”) on the short side.

Step 2

•Hold the next plank at an angle against the first one and lay it flat on the floor.
•Complete first row in the same way.
•Cut final plank of the first row to correct length.
•Start next row with the piece leftover (must be at least 300 mm (12’’) long).
•Ensure that end joints are staggered at least 300 mm.

Step 3

• Place first plank of the new row with the tongue side at an angle against the groove side of the plank in the previous row.
• Press forward and lay it flat at the same time.

Step 4

•Place short end of the plank at an angle against the previous installed plank and fold down.
•Ensure that the plank is positioned on the integral locking strip of the plank in the previous row.

Step 5

• Lift planks (together with the previous laid in the same row) lightly up (about 30 mm (9/8’’)), push it against the row in front and then put it down.
• Adjust the distance to the wall to 10mm (3/8’’) when three rows are completed.
• Proceed installation as described above until reaching the opposite wall.

Transport, Storage, Acclimation

• Transport and store cartons in lay down, flat position.
• Remove plastic wrap from cartons and allow flooring to acclimate as close to the installation area as possible for at least 72 hours prior to installation. Watch The Video.
• Room temperature must be at least (65ºF) before and during installation.

Subfloor Requirements

• Floating floors can be laid on top of most hard surfaces (e.g. concrete, ceramics, wood)
• Soft subfloors (e.g. carpets) must be removed
• The subfloor must be even, flat, dry and variations should not exceed 3 mm in 2 m (0.12” in 6.6 feet)
• All type of hard subfloors must be dry (concrete screeds < 2.0 %; anhydrite screeds < 0.5 % – CM instrument)

Moisture Protection:
• All types of subfloors require insulation against moisture
• Use Polyethylene (PE) film with minimum thickness of 0.2 mm = 6 mils (.008 inches)
• On ground/basement subfloors we recommend laying 2 PE film layers crossways for better protection. Lay the PE film, allowing for at least an 8 inch overlapping and tape. Turn the PE film upward 5 cm along the walls. Trim only after the base boards are attached.

Radiant-Heated Subfloors:
• Subfloor surface temperature must not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit
• For detailed information, follow instructions of the subfloor heating system manufacturer/contractor or contact your supplier

Preventive Care

•If work activity will take place in the room where the floor is installed, protect with craft paper, plywood or hardboard.
•Do not drag furniture across the floor, use felt pads on chair and furniture legs.
•Place quality walk-off mats at all entrances to retain tracked in dirt, grit and moisture, never use latex or rubber backed mats as they can permanently stain the floor.
•Avoid moisture on the floor.
•Ideal and proper room conditions are 35-65% relative humidity at 68°F. If necessary use a room humidifier to manage the relative humidity level on a consistent basis.
•Cork as a natural material, tends to fade when exposed to sunlight, use blinds, curtains or other sun screening system to minimize this effect.
•Cork Floating floors are intended for indoor use only.
•Cork flooring products are based on natural materials, and will expand and contract through heating and non-heating seasons, thus experiencing some separation between the planks/tiles at different times during the year. Such separations are not considered a product defect.

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