One Day I'm Gonna.... #1: USE MORE CORK

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Blog entry by Thuan posted 12-14-2007 07:49 PM 1405 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of One Day I'm Gonna.... series Part 2: Re-Finish What I started »

Audrey is from Oklahoma, slender, gray haired and bearded, looks to be in his 80’s. He is in fact barely 60 but his life experience added years to his look. We were having lunch, his usual hard candies and cigarettes and me, a burger with a helping of second hand smoke.
I told him I had this great idea about gluing cork boards on the floor of my kitchen. I got the idea because the insert of my handcrafted shoes were made of cork, and it’s great on my feet all day. It’s supportive yet cushiony. The cork boards self-repairs after you put a pin in it. It doesn’t rot from water because they use it to cork wine bottles and it must be acid resistant because wine doesn’t dissolve it. So it should handle all the abuse of the kitchen, and by bare feet will love it.
Audrey lit up another cigarette and spent the next 20 minutes going into detail about the proper care of cork flooring because they were using the stuff since the turn of the century. I’m talking about the 1900s! It just needed to be stripped and wax once a year. Then Linoleum was the big thing, then no wax vinyl took over and that was the death of resilient flooring. Residential use of cork was dead for decades as housewives and husbands forgotten how to wax a floor.
I think I’m born too late. I looked up cork flooring on the Internet and it’s huge with the green movement. Hypo-allergenic, Fire retardant, natural insulation, self sealing, good for your joints, all this and it’s good for the environment. All this from a tree!
So I made my own cork flooring, 99 cents cork boards, glued to the slab with resilient flooring glue, four or five coats of polyurethane and two coats of wax. Now, I have have no idea how to get pictures to this blog so you’ll have to to my blogspot to get the pictures.

So here’s some ideas for the LumberJocks. Go to Rockler, Office Depot, get a roll of cork and line those tool boxes, knife holders, tool handels and maybe even the floors. I’m thinking about veneering the top of a writing desk with this stuff one day.!

-- Thuan

7 comments so far

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4668 days

#1 posted 12-14-2007 08:11 PM

Thanks for the info and the answers. I was curious and now I’ll go look at the pictures. And try to improve your diet, burgers and second hand smoke, definate health risk in there somewhere..

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4324 days

#2 posted 12-14-2007 09:30 PM

Interesting, I’ll admit I’d never heard of it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4676 days

#3 posted 12-15-2007 01:09 AM

I would of never thought of that one.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4427 days

#4 posted 12-15-2007 06:22 AM

Thaun I just went to your Blog Spot and you are a very interesting craftsman – I mean that in a good way. I do like your work and total lack of fear at trying something new. Many of us could benefit from your tool philosophy also, and I am the first to admit that. I like your analytical approach to buying a new tool and then your inner resolve to pass on it in favor of a tool you already have. How many times have we all bought a tool that we may (or may not) use one or two times and it sits on the shelf from then on.

I personally like your cork floors, although I doubt I could talk my wife into covering her Pecan hardwood floors up with cork. I do like your unconventional approach to woodworking and hope to learn some personal restraint from your blogs. Thanks for posting.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 4224 days

#5 posted 12-15-2007 12:32 PM

Beauty job, Thuan. I have been thinking of cork for my kitchen as well. I have seen it in Architectural Digest and have been pricing it out. I wondered how the cheaper squares would finish out. Now I know. Thanks.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 4179 days

#6 posted 12-15-2007 08:14 PM

Dusty: You really do get what you paid for. The manufactured cork floor is much denser, has less pits and has a great finish on it and comes glued to the water resistant green MDF board with another layer of softer cork on the bottom for additional insulation. Where as my cork board floor has none of that, though it is thicker and has more cushion. I filled in the larger pits with fillers and there are so much variation in the colors, no one can tell. This makes for easy repair when, I drop a knife and any water leaks in the kitchen will not affect it since there is no MDF. This is the lesson I learned, use the manufactured floors for the rest of the house, (you actually save time and money). Make your own in wet areas of the house and places that will need repair from abuse.

Cajunpen: Talk about restraint; I bought two pens from you this year! SMALL WORLD this community is. Actually, I only paid it for a friend, but you guys are AWESOME! You can’t beat the price, Great Service, Fast Delivery.

-- Thuan

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4454 days

#7 posted 12-15-2007 09:46 PM

Thuan, I just finished laying a cork floor in a family room a month or so ago. Went down fine, looks great and you gave me a terrific idea for how to use the leftover pieces I have. Thanks!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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