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How to cut cork tiles

Updated September 27, 2018

Cork flooring tiles are available in several colours, and range in size from 12 to 18 square inches. The natural properties of cork provide soundproofing and insulation due to the dense material that absorbs both sound and moisture. Cork tiles install on a subfloor with an adhesive and press into place. Cutting the tiles is necessary to adjust their size on the edges of the room and to place them around obstacles on the floor.

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  1. Measure the space for the cork tile that needs cutting with a measuring tape. Subtract ½ inch from the length or width to leave a ¼ inch expansion joint on all four sides. For example, if the floor space for the tile is next to a wall and needs to be cut to decrease the width, and the space measures 6 inches, subtract ½ inch to obtain 5 1/2 inches.

  2. Lay a cork tile on a wooden board. Transfer the cutting measurement to the tile and mark it with a carpenter's pencil next to the measuring tape.

  3. Cut along the line with a utility knife starting at one end of the tile and working to the other end. Cork tiles will cut entirely through with one pass of the utility knife.

  4. Tape two sheets of notebook paper together side-by-side. Lay a cork tile on top of the paper and trace around the edges. Remove the tile and cut along the lines to obtain a sheet of paper that is the same size as the tile.

  5. Place the sheet of paper in an area of the obstacle, such as a pipe in the floor. Measure the pipe size and its position on the tile. For example, if the pipe is 2 inches in circumference and is 4 inches from the top of the paper, draw a 2-inch circle on the paper starting at 4 inches from the top. Cut along the lines on the paper with scissors. Set the template into place to make certain it is correct.

  6. Lay a tile on a wooden board with the paper template on top of it. Hold the paper template in place with one hand and cut along the lines with a utility knife through the cork.

  7. Tip

    Remove cork tiles from the box and scatter them throughout the room randomly at least four days prior to installation. This action allows the cork to become room temperature and adjust to the humidity levels. Dry fit cork tiles into a room, without the adhesive on the floor, to position them for the least amount of cuts possible to fit. Cut cork tiles in the same manner to fit on ceilings and walls.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Wooden board
  • Utility knife
  • Notebook paper
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors

About the Author

Mary Lougee

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

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