How to Refinish a Cork Floor in a Bathroom
LESLIE: Bill in New Mexico is working on a bathroom remodel. How can we help you with that project?
BILL: Well, thank you for taking my call. I have a project in my bathroom. We have cork flooring and it was installed professionally.
BILL: And with the cork, you can still see the seams and such and I’m concerned about getting out of the tub, out of the shower and the water landing on the cork flooring.
TOM: Well, first of all, cork was a very, very good choice for a bathroom. I mean it lasts indefinitely. I’ve seen cork in homes that are 40 or 50 years old and still in good shape. Cork stands up very well to water, so that’s why it makes a great choice for bathrooms.
In terms of finishing the cork, it’s really quite simple. Today, we just use polyurethane. So, a light sanding and then a couple of coats of polyurethane is really all of the refinishing that needs to be done to that floor.
BILL: So when I do a light sanding, the color in the cork, is it going to change? Is it going to get lighter? Is it going to …?
TOM: It may, depending on how much of that color is dirt and grime and how much of it is the original cork.
TOM: So, I would just do a little bit at a time and do it evenly and just kind of watch what’s happening and monitor as you go.
BILL: A brush? Roller? Spray?
TOM: Actually, the easiest way to put on polyurethane is with something called a “lambswool applicator.”
BILL: Oh, yes. I see. Uh-huh.
TOM: Yeah, it’s kind of like a mop. But in a bathroom, it’s so small that you might just find it easier to brush on. I don’t know how big your bathroom is but if it’s your standard 5-foot-by-8-foot bathroom space and you have to go around all the fixtures and cabinetry, if it was me I’d probably just use a 2½- or 3-inch brush.
So does that answer your cork question?
BILL: It certainly does and I’m going to get some and put some polyurethane down.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Bill. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.