Completing Our Kitchen’s Cork Floor Installation

Hootie hooo! The cork floor in both the kitchen and the laundry room is complete!

Well, except if you count the fact that we still have to add shoe molding, thresholds, and seal it all. Details, details. The point is, we finally get to see the whole picture. Huzzah!

The annoying part is that we still haven’t figured out how to photograph it as true to life as we can (it’s a rich mocha color, and actually looks more like brown leather in person, so the pattern is more like soft movement and less like any sort of obvious shapes or anything) – but the two videos from the last post really are the most accurate depictions of it, although we hope today’s photos are closer to real life than last week’s were. The one above is getting there. We’ll learn the trick someday I’m sure!

When it came to finishing things off in the corner of the kitchen and our tiny laundry room, it was pretty much exactly the same method that we outlined in our kitchen corking post, although we were getting worried that we were running low on cork, so we actually used some remnant planks all along the left wall (leftover cuts from the kitchen) to ensure that we wouldn’t run out.

Thankfully we finished up with about four planks to spare. Not kidding. It was crazy close. So we’re at least thankful to have those as extras, and plan to seal the heck out of these to protect them. Cork can even be sanded, restained, and resealed down the line if it gets worse for wear, so 40+ year old cork floors exist (which is nice to know since cork sounds like such a new-age material). Heck, we’ve even heard from folks who have 100+ year old cork floors that still look great, so here’s hoping!

It’s kind of amazing how much of a difference the new floors make in the laundry room. I mean, we really liked it before since we did so much work on it already (more on the rest of the room’s transformation here), but here’s that room before it got the ol’ cork treatment:

And after:

We enter the house through the door in the laundry room and it’s so nice to walk in and see the rich cork floors whispering “welcome home.” Oh and for those wondering where the laundry basket is, it’s just in the bedroom full of a pile of “flu clothes” that have been washed and have yet to be put away.

Since we already blogged all about where/why we purchased our floor here, and how we installed it (video included) here, this post is more of a big sigh of relief that the last big kitchen undertaking is winding down.

Other than polishing off those last few floor tasks on the list, all that’s left are smaller things like adding some decorative wood molding to the back of the peninsula, deciding if we’ll be adding a window treatment over the sink or painting our stools, potentially doing something fun to the side of the pantry, bringing in a chair and a rug in the fireplace side of the room, etc. And of course we’ll share a ton of before and after pics along with a budget and time breakdown when we finally get to stick a fork in this kitchen (which we’ve been working on in stages since October 5th!).

And remember when we moved in and it looked like this in here?

This shot is a little further back, and a slightly different angle, but it’s semi-comparable. Is there anything better than making a room that feels nothing like you, finally feel like home?

As for our plan with the variety of mismatched wood floors that surround our freshly corked kitchen and laundry room, we’re huge fans of flooring that looks seamless (we upgraded our first house to have the same dark mocha wood throughout the layout for a nice open flow). And sure enough, we plan to eventually refinish the rest of the wood floors in this house in the same rich mocha color as the cork for a much more easy and open look. Although it’ll still be cork in some rooms and hardwoods in others, the same rich tone should really tie things together and not make any of the spaces feel as choppy or broken up.

When it comes to a usability/function update, we have been really happy with it so far. The rich deep color adds so much to the formerly white-washed space, there are no scratches/dings where Burger runs around from his nails, no dents where we drop things, it’s very soft and easy on the back/knees, it should be even more durable once we seal it, it’s eco-friendly, and it’s quiet. We’ll definitely keep you posted as we live with it (and add shoe molding, thresholds, and a few coats of protective sealer). What did you guys do this weekend? We were pretty much laid up on the sofa fighting our little flu battle after finally squeezing in those last few cork boards, but we’re getting a lot closer to feeling like ourselves again! And the finished cork floors definitely have our spirits up. Onward!


  1. says

    I love seeing new angles of spaces we have seen over and over. The second shot teetering between the kitchen and laundry room I had to look at for a few seconds before I realized what I was looking at. So cool. Of course the kitchen looks amazing, but I am floored with how much the cork amped up the laundry room. … pun intended.

  2. Gia says

    I am so glad you posted these updated pics! Last week, I wasn’t sure I liked the cork choice because they were reading as orangish/red. But I can definetely see the mocha color now and it really warms up the space! I love the transformation.

    • says

      Aw thanks Gia! It’s so frustrating when our pics don’t look like things in real life! Glad we’re finally figuring out how to shoot the new floor!


  3. says

    Gooooorrrrrgeous! The cork makes a huge difference in both rooms! They both looked great before the floors, of course, but the cork adds another note of sophistication. Do you think it’s a durable enough option for a bathroom too? We’re at a loss of what to do in ours. I’m wary of putting laminate in there with splish-splashy little ones and ceramic tile is cold, hard, and super slippery. We’ve got linoleum tile for the time being, a cheap temporary fix until we figure out all what to do in there.

    One other question – where oh where did you get the fabric for the backdrop in Clara’s 21 month old pic?? It’s beautiful! I saw it and immediately thought, “oooh! drapes!” :)

    • says

      Aw thanks Eve! That fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics (on sale too!) so here’s hoping you can find some! As for cork, it’s recommended in any places except for downright wet ones (a half bathroom or kitchen = great! but a full bathroom or wet basement = beware). It can warp over time if it’s too wet. So sorry! Maybe visit a flooring center just to see your options and that’ll help unlock some new possibilities for ya?


    • says

      Just wanted to chime in on the “cold” floor dilemma…we recently installed porcelin tiles in our kitchen and put a heating element underneath. It was surprisingly easy to install and is SO AWESOME. We love it. Also, there are a lot of textured tile options so you wouldn’t have to worry about a slippery floor either.

      We got a 10×7 heating mat for the center of our kitchen (it doesn’t go under our cabinets or appliances since we didn’t feel the need to heat under there! :) It cost us around $700 and worth every penny. We will definitely install another when we move onto our bathroom reno! (Here is some more info about our heated floors…

    • says

      I used to work in a high end flooring store, and I loved Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) for situations like yours. It is NOT like nasty sheet vinyl; it’s a high quality, thick and realistic looking vinyl that comes in individual tiles or planks, depending on whether you go with a wood look or tile look. And it’s perfectly waterproof! Many of the styles (like Armstrong Alterna) have a nice coating on top so it’s not at all slippery.

      I personally plan on putting wood-look LVT throughout my downstairs; we’re (hopefully) having kids in the next few years and I think it’ll be a durable, quiet solution. We have laminate now and I hate how noisy it is and how it’s susceptible to water damage.

      Anyway, that’s what I would recommend to you if you had come in my store! :)

      I LOVE cork too– it was always so much fun to get a customer who wanted cork. It’s gorgeous, quiet, green, easy on your joints… LOVE the color and style you guys chose, Sherry! Enjoy it for many, many years to come!

    • Beth W. says

      I agree with Kate on the luxury vinyl tile. We put it in our bathroom last year and I love it! We even grouted them, just like real tile, so it’s hard to tell that it’s not, except that it’s not cold and it’s not slippery. I want to put it in our other bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room now!

      Lowe’s carries it- that’s where we got ours. Here’s a link to some of the options they offer:

    • says

      Thanks everybody! The luxury vinyl tile might be the next option… Armstrong had a nifty pseudo bamboo pattern in their sheet linoleum a few years ago that I loved, but I think they’ve since discontinued it.

      And I found the fabric! 6 yards is (hopefully) on its way to me! :)

  4. Krissy says

    Did you do some kind of frost application to your door in the laundry room? If so, did you use a spray? We have some doors/windows I was thinking of doing that with. Thanks!

  5. olivia says

    Love it! Crazy what a big difference it makes in the laundry room! You guys are making me want to buy a house again and redo it all! We moved last year (we moved from Richmond, actually!) and are still renting, but I’m getting the itch to own again!

  6. says

    What a difference the new flooring makes! The before and after pictures of the kitchen are incredible – seriously looks like two different rooms! And it really picked up the glam of the laundry room a notch or two!

    Hope everyone is feeling better :-)

  7. says

    Its looks SO amazing… and pretty. You guys truly out did yourselves in making that kitchen unrecognizeable from what it used to be. Way to go!! Enjoy. :)

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