Re: cork flooring
From: Laura Fitch (
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 06:16:20 -0800 (PST)
Ceilings are much more important for sound dampening than floors.  Do them
first, and then if you still need more treatment, then think about the
floors.  Cork is a nice material and does hold up fairly well.  If you are
applying it directly to concrete slab, better check with the manufacturer
for cleaning concrete surface and adhesive - I've seen this fail  in
commercial installations.

Again on ceilings:  My understanding is that the best bang for your buck, is
Armstrong's "nubby" panel (1" thick fiberglass panels, held in place with
wood battens).  Some groups shy away from this because of fears of
fiberglass fibers - but the panels are covered on room side, and installed
where they are not disturbed.  Masks should be used by installers.

Laura Fitch, AIA, LEED
Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc
110 Pulpit Hill Rd.
Amherst, MA  01002
lfitch [at]

-----Original Message-----
From: Mac Thomson [mailto:mac [at]]
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 8:48 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ cork flooring

We built our CH in 2000 and installed a cork floor in the dining room
(did it ourselves).  Our dining room is very good acoustically (i.e.,
not too much noise given all the noise that's generated).  Some folks
attribute it to the cork flooring.  I personally believe that it has
much more to do with all the Tectum (sound absorbing) panels we used
for the ceiling and some wall space.

The cork flooring has held up pretty darn well.  There are a couple
places with water damage (just below the sink where kids get water and
below the skylight that's been left open during a couple of rain
storms), but even those places are pretty unnoticeable unless you're
looking for them.  It's a very pretty floor and is not too hard to
maintain -- some kind of refinishing / waxing about once a year, I
think.  (I've never been in on that job.)  I think everyone's pretty
happy with our cork floor.


Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just
be happy."
        - Guillaume Apollinaire

On Jan 22, 2008, Mary English wrote:
> Trillium Hollow Cohousing  Portland is going to remodel our common
> dining
> room. Would value knowing your experience with cork flooring
> Our next door neighbor put in cork flooring. It is very attractive
> but a much more fragile surface than many, and if what you are
> considering is anything like theirs, I would question its ability to
> stand up to heavy common house use.

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