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Cork and Wood Flooring Installation


Thank you for choosing WORLD FLOORS DIRECT™ CORK OR WOOD FLOORING. You must follow the installation and maintenance guides to receive the maximum benefits/lifetime of your flooring.


Make sure you have enough cartons to complete the job, always add 5% for waste. Place the unopened packages of FLOORING in the middle of the room 24 to 48 hours prior to beginning installation. Do not open cartons until you are ready to begin installation.

To get the best appearance and utility; we recommend you randomly mix panels from various cartons.

Color Difference between individual panels or packs are normal consideration in Natural Flooring, therefore to maximize appearance it is always wise to install the flooring in natural light (laying at night is not recommended).

Cork and wood are both products of nature. Difference in the structure, color, and patterns (even in the same carton), are all part of the natural beauty of the material.

Cork or Wood Flooring is not suitable for damp and steamy rooms.

Inspect all panels prior to installation. It is your responsibility not to install defective panels.

All End-Joints of Panels should be staggered 8″ from joints of the previous row.

As with all products from nature sunlight may cause color variations.

An expansion space of at least 3/8″ must be used throughout, not only between walls and other flooring, but also around door frames, pipes, or other fixed objects. With a room size of more than 33′(planks laid length wise) or 26′ (planks laid crossways), expansion joints must be included. The buildings own expansion joints must be taken in consideration. These expansion spaces can be covered with baseboard and/or trim.

Subfloor Specifications

The surface of the subfloor must be sound and level within 1/8″ in an 8-ft. radius. The subfloor must be clean and dry.

Concrete subfloors must not contain more than 3-lbs. moisture (1.5 lbs. with radiant heat systems) on a dry-weight basis (calcium chloride test). Moisture content of wood subfloors should be between 6-10% Moisture Content (MC).

Relative humidity range at the job site should be 45% – 65%; Room Temperature setting should be between 65F-80F degrees.

Job Site Evaluation

Before installing inspect the job site thoroughly. Determine if the grade, subfloor and subfloor conditions are acceptable. In homes with crawl spaces, foundation vents must provide cross ventilation with no dead air space. Vents should be located throughout the foundation with opening area equal to 1 ½% of the square area within the crawl space. If excessive moisture exists underneath the home, you must lay a 6-mil black polyethylene or foam underlayment moisture barrier (available for purchase on this site on the ground in the crawl space below the installation area.


Inspect the subfloors to make sure they are sound and level.

Wood subfloors: Inspect the wood subfloor to determine that it is sound and level. Make any required repairs and remove or set any protruding nails, staples or screws. Re-nail any loose areas or areas with squeaks. If the subfloor sags, inspect the joists below for twists or other weaknesses and repair. Sand or plane any high areas, fill any low areas. At this point, door jambs should be undercut to avoid difficult cuts. Also make sure to leave proper expansion under door jambs.

Concrete subfloors: On or below grade concrete subfloors are generally acceptable if an effective moisture barrier is installed. Be sure that, as a minimum, any concrete subfloor is at least 50-60 days old before installing a cork/wood floor over it. Check moisture content by taping a 2-ft. x 2-ft. square of polyethylene film to the slab in three or four locations and, if possible, place a lamp or other heat source over the poly for 24 hours or conduct a calcium chloride test. Signs of excess moisture include: discolored concrete, cloudy film or actual water droplets on the underside of the poly. Fill any voids or low spots in the subfloor with a self-curing leveling compound. Make sure it is fully cured before proceeding with the cork/ wood installation. 15-lb. Roofing paper is also appropriate for leveling minor depressions in the floor. Cut to the shape of the depression and stack in layers to level the area.

Other subfloors: Cork/Wood Floors can be installed over a variety of existing floors including: vinyl sheet or tiles, rubber tiles, linoleum, terrazzo, ceramic tile, or other wood floors. The same leveling and moisture requirements apply and the existing floor must be sound.

Prior to begin laying CORK/WOOD Flooring in a below grade installation (basements, etc.) a 1/64″ (0.2mm) polyethylene film must be laid Overlap the film by 6″ and seal the seams with duck tape. Also, in below grade installations wrap the film up the wall.

Begin Laying

Measure the room, this allows you to determine if the last plank in the first row is going to be shorter that 12″. If this is the case, the first plank in row should be shortened to maximize the overall stability of the flooring.

If the starting wall is not straight, spacers or batten should be used to insure the first row is straight. After laying the first three rows these spacers can be removed (however, you should always leave a 3/8″ expansion space).

Lay the first plank in the right corner of the room with tongue-side towards the wall. Don’t forget to use spacer wedges along all walls or other fixed points in the room. Insert the endjoint of the second plank precisely into the endjoint of the first plank. This purpose, it should be done at an angle of approximately 20°-30° lowering with light pressure the panel in place. Continue installing the first row.

With the second row, start with the leftover piece of plank from the previous row if the plank is at least 12″ long (Note: Stagger end joints in adjunct rows by at least 8″.. If not a new plank must be cut. Always maintain the spacing from the wall. Using the leftover plank from the first row, starting on the right, lower this plank in place at approximately 20°-30° angle with the one in the first row. Lower the next plank in this row in place at the same angle. This is accomplished by lifting up the front side of plank by approximately (3″-4″) – together with previously laid plank from the same row – then lay in place with slight pressure with the planks from the previous row. After the fitting the entire row, use a tapping block (lightly) to close any gaps between panels. Preceded with the laying row by row. Do not excessively hammer or use extreme force to install as it can break the uniclic locking system and will void structural warranty. If you are having problems installing, please contact technical support.

If you used spacers or batten to keep the first row straight, after the 3-4 row remove them, still leaving the required spacing on all walls.

Make sure the spacing is kept around fixed points (walls, doorframes, etc.). The flooring must float freely.

If you can not engage the joints of planks under door frames, kick plates, etc. and pull bar can be used.

Remove all the spacers and install all base boards and trims making sure that the floor can move freely underneath.

Never attach base boards or trim directly to the flooring.

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