How to Color Cork Tiles

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Cork floor tiles create a natural, soft, sound-absorbing covering. Cork flooring tiles are inexpensive, lightweight, easy to install and are typically sold unfinished with a plain, natural tone. Take advantage of the potential of this raw material by coloring the tiles. Cork tiles can be colored any color using water-based wood stains. Use all one color, or use more than one color to create patterns or borders. Stain the tiles prior to or after installing and before the final urethane coat is applied to the floor. Cork tile flooring already coated with urethane cannot be stained.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based wood stain
  • Staining pads
  • Sweep or brush the tiles to remove any dust.

  • Use a stir stick to mix the stain thoroughly. Stain can separate after sitting for a while. Scrape the bottom of the can while stirring to get the stuff at the bottom.

  • Test a bit of the stain on a scrap tile or in an inconspicuous area to ensure the color is to your liking.

  • Apply an initial coat of stain with a stain pad. Dip one edge of the pad into the stain and apply in long, pulling strokes. Cork absorbs stain well, but quickly sponge up any drips or pooling.

  • Leave the first coat to dry for at least two hours, or until dry to the touch.

  • Apply two to three additional coats as needed to darken and even out the coloration.

  • Allow the final coat to dry overnight before installing or walking on the tiles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear old clothes as getting wood-stain on clothing will cause permanent stains.
  • Wood stain has noxious properties. Wear latex gloves to prevent skin absorption and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

References

  • Photo Credit NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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