How to Seal Cork Floors

  • 24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Powered floor sander
60-grit sandpaper
100-grit sandpaper
220-grit sandpaper
Water-based floor stain
Water-based polyurethane
Paint roller
Paint tray
Latex gloves
Eye protection
Face mask

If you are all about the environment and going green then consider utilizing cork floors. You may not know it but cork floors are fast becoming a very popular floor choice because it's a sustainable and renewable resource. This fact alone has made it the choice of many builders for new home constructions.

Cork isn't just for wine bottle corks and notice boards. Cork floors retain their cushion while being resistant to water and dents, as well as very durable. Cork floors offer a wonderful insulation to homes as well. Like other floors cork floors also need to be sealed in order to remain protected and looking great. Unlike other floors, however, cork floors are easier to seal, uses fewer materials and does not take long. The article that follows will show you how to properly seal cork floors.

Step 1 - Preparing Cork Floors

Cork floors are very durable but are not completely immune to damage. Take this time to inspect the cork floors for any type of damage. This manifests in small chunks being taken out of the floor, uneven areas on the surface and rough areas. In order to properly seal cork floors you need to take care of these imperfections. Place 60-grit sandpaper on your powered floor sander and take the cork floor down until it is even. Remove the 60-grit sandpaper and replace it with 100-grit sandpaper and sand the floor down one more time to smooth it out. Vacuum up all of the dirt and debris you created. Use a soft brush to remove the debris from the edges of the floor.

Step 2 - Staining

Cork floors can look great without staining them so it is up to you if you wish to apply stain. If you are going to stain cork floors then make sure the stain you chose is water-based. Put on the gloves, eye protection and face mask. Open as many windows as you can as good ventilation is very important when staining anything. Dip the cloth into the can of the stain. Apply the stain to the cork floors using a circular motion. Apply the stain in small sections until you are satisfied with the darkness of the color. Let the stain dry before adding another coat or completely sealing the cork floors.

Step 3 - Sealing

Pour the polyurethane into a paint tray and use the roller to apply it to the cork floors. Apply it in even and long stroked. Be sure to spread the excess polyurethane out over the floor. Once this layer has dried, you can use 220-grit sandpaper by hand to remove imperfections in the polyurethane. Use a clean cloth to remove the dust created by sanding. Apply another two layers of polyurethane waiting for each layer to dry before the next application.