Refinishing old cork floors

How to replace an old cork tile to the newThe main drawback of cork flooring is its instability to mechanical damage. In other words, it’s easy to scratch this flooring. Let’s talk on refinishing old cork floors with your own hands.

Scratches on the cork floor

After the laying, the cork flooring is usually covered with several layers of lacquer. So, with the appearance of scratches, you can grind the damaged area and re-apply varnish. Small scratches on the surface of the cork are almost not visible, but if they are, you should buy a special kit to repair the flooring. These kits are sold in specialized stores.

Repairing of damaged segments and polishing

Cork requiring restorationIf your coverage has more large scratches, they definitely need to be deleted. In this case, you will need to perform the replacement of the tiles that are damaged. For this, the damaged tiles are to be cut using a grinder. Do this very carefully in order not to damage the rest of the coating. Then, on the surface for a future new tile put the floor-applied acrylic latex adhesive. The same composition is applied to the cleaned surface of the floor. After applying the adhesive, the tiles must be put in place and pressed with the proper load (a very thick book fits!). In this position, it should be left at least 48 hours. After the glue hardens, the load is removed, and then the resurfacing of the cork flooring is performed. Then you should apply 2 layers of primer.

IT IS IMPORTANT! In-between the applying of the first and the second primer layer, the coating must be left for at least 4 hours. After the primer is completely dried, perform the finishing work. To do this, you can use a regular colorless nail polish or hard wax.

Restoration of old cork flooring

The upper layer of cork may lose its pleasant appearance over the time. In this case, you must perform a recovery of cork floor. To do this, you need to perform sanding (with regular sander) to remove the old layer of varnish. Then you should clean the surface from dust and apply 2 new layers of varnish. If the surface of the cork flooring hadn’t been covered with varnish and polyurethane for some reason, it is necessary to prepare and apply it to a new layer of polyurethane. The polyurethane is applied as varnish – with 2 layers.

Cork floor after varnishingSome homeowners use wax coating as an upper layer. The old wax must be scraped from the surface of the floor to apply the new one. If the surface of the cork flooring was originally covered with wax, replacing it with lacquer or polyurethane is totally impossible, because wax, unlike other materials, penetrates the stopper. If you apply a layer of polyurethane on the surface covered with wax, the new finishing will never be fixed – it’s like trying to make water stay on the glass!

As you can see, repairing cork flooring technology can not be called too simple. For this reason, the proper care of this coating includes covering it with wax or varnish, as varnish recovery is much easier than replacing cork panels. Make sure that heavy furniture in the room with cork flooring has special soft leg pads. 

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