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Re-staining faded cork floor

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Has anyone had experience with successfully re-finishing and staining a cork floor?

The reason I ask, is that the issue of fading has come up for some of our neighbors. Cork, like wood or carpet, will fade with prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays. Some installers they have spoken to have indicated that re-staining is not possible, due to the thinness of the top layer of cork. However, since cork flooring has been around for more than 100 years, it seems to me that this must have come up before now.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Ok supposedly you can strip of the varnish and sand the top layer of the cork to get past the faded portion and youll have unfaded cork that you just reseal... no staining involved.

I tried this but it didn't work well. The main reason was that you had to strip off all the varnish or wax to get to the cork. That alone was a major pain. Then the sanding had to go much deeper than i expected, and on a 3/8" piece of cork there isnt much to work with to begin with. Thenm there is the whole issue of refinishing. If its wax you have to repolish and finish it. Beond that when your done it does not match the rest of the floor anyway.

I suppose you could strip it then try to add color to it but my feeling is ou wont get it to match.

So I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort and found a source that can replace the cork with the same shape and cut.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Thanks Bryan. I too have heard that the actual layer of cork is so thin as to make it difficult to sand w/o going too deep. Then there is the whole issue of how it accepts the stain -- Rougher areas will accept more of it than will smoother areas, leading to blotching. This is the same dilemma that occurs when trying to refurbish the wood paneling, or so I have heard.

I'd still like to hear any stories, good or bad, that are out there.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

By the way do you know how your floors are finished? Mine are original and should be waxed but sometimes im not so sure.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

They have 3 coats of polyurethane. (Not my floors, which are ceramic, but the neighbors who are having this problem).

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 31 2003

It seems that no one has a good solution to the fading problem with cork floor. We put in our cork floor only about 1 year ago but those large windows just let in too much light so very significant portions of our newly installed cork floor have visibly faded. We were told that cork floors are best suited for Eichler. But unless there is a good solution to the fading problem, I would recommend others not to lay cork floors if you are planning to change your floors. If you have good solutions including staining varnished cork tiles, please let us know.

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