Cork Glue & Water Based Polyurethanes

Suitable Cork Glue and polyurethanes for Forna’s Cork Flooring Products

If you live in the USA, count yourself lucky. You shouldn’t have any problem finding “appropriate” water based contact cement adhesives. Because of your country’s mandates regarding building materials, the producers of flooring adhesives and floor finishes have been forced to produce “green”, or water/latex based, products to meet these laws. In Canada, we have to wait for our turn at the trough, so to speak. We have to wait until building supply companies catch on to the fact that people want solvent-free finishes in their homes.

cork glue wakol water base polyurethane loba
cork glue wakol water base polyurethane loba

Disclaimer: We DO NOT recommend, nor endorse, one product or manufacturer over another. We are merely passing on information other clients and professional installers have “stumbled upon” over the years.

Cork Glue – What to look for:

  1. Water based, water based, water based!!! If you are unsure or if it the words “Water Based” don’t jump out at you…put it back!
  2. Clean up instructions should read: “…clean-up is with water while the product is wet…”.
  3. Water based contact cement cork glue designed for wood flooring is our number one recommendation for the glue down installation.
  4. 3M Green cork glue  has produced contact cement for wood flooring. This is a premium product so expect to pay the premium price tag. Word on the street says it’s as much as 4 times the price of the Cork Glue Wakol D3540. One gallon of the 3M will give approximately the same coverage as one gallon of theCork Glue Wakol D3540.
  5. Lepage Green Pres-Tite contact cement is another example of a big name producing a water based contact cement. Price on this product varies widely depending on the point of sale. Word to the wise: the big box chains charge the higher price on this product.
  6. If you can not find water based contact cement then you can move on to the next best thing: wood flooring adhesive; specifically a wood flooring adhesive that is designed for wood parquet flooring tiles. The adhesive should be appropriate for cork underlayment. Use the trowel size/depth indicated for the cork underlay.
  7. If you go for the “wet stick” you have to be diligent about using a 75 or 100 lb tile roller. Because the wet-stick does not hold the tiles on contact, the possibility of the tiles lifting before the glue cures is much higher.

Water based Polyurethane:

Canadians: If you thought that trying to find water based contact cement was difficult, wait ‘til you try finding the water based polyurethane! Apparently the “North’s” hardware companies, especially the old boys still running the show, have yet to jump on the “Green” band wagon. Don’t be upset if you come across many a blank-faced salesman when you ask for this product. Move on, or better yet look it up on the internet and then phone your local dealer to see if their shop carries it.

  1. Not all polyurethanes are water based! If it does not jump off the can screaming “Water based”, it probably isn’t. Many a person has been fooled by the “Polyurethane”. 2
  2. Water based, water based, water based!!! We can’t say it enough.
  3. Clean-up instructions should read: “…cleans up with water while product is wet…”.
  4. Look for a wood flooring water based polyurethane. Try to stay away from the “Oil Modified” versions. They will work, but there is some questions as to whether or not they will cause yellowing over time.
  5. Varathane produces a Water Based Polyurethane. Several clients have come back to us stating it does just fine. The product line between the “Polyurethane” and the “Water Based Polyurethane is very subtle. Make sure you have the correct can before you head for the check-out.
  6. Minwax produces two types of water based polyurethanes: “Oil Modified Water Based Polyurethane” as well as the “Water based Polyurethane”. Again, the packaging is subtle and it can be deceiving when shopping for this product.
  7. If you don’t know if it is appropriate, send us an email with the name of the product and a link. We will do the best we can to discern if the product is appropriate for our cork floor.