10 Oct Installing the Natural Floor, Part 2
Managing flooring heights and ensuring floors contain no urea formaldehyde mean extra work on this job
The homeowner had selected three styles of cork flooring that were almost ½-inch in thickness; prefinished solid hardwood that was ¾-inch; and the tile, the first flooring to go in, was sitting at 1-1/16th inches in height once installed.
To complicate the job further, the cork was a floating floor, meaning that it does not get glued or nailed to the subfloor, which typically requires transitions, such as T-molding, where it meets up with other floors like tile and hardwood.
So, we decided on a modified transition.
First, we would need ½-inch plywood to install underneath all of the cork flooring to raise it to the correct height, then some customized shimming for the cork and hardwood to make them flush with the tile in the bathrooms and mudroom.
It only took me about three hours between going to two indoor lumber yards to confirm that our plywood did not contain any added urea formaldehyde, meeting CARB 2 requirements, even though it is exempt from this standard.
These details were readily available for the cork and hardwood. The cork for the foyer and kitchen is digitally embossed to look like Travertine Tile. The first choice had been Wicanders Artcomfort that looked like marble, which was a perfect complement to the kitchen counters, but one of competitor USFloor’s styles had colors the suited the overall aesthetic more in the final selection.
The only carpet in the home was to be chemical-free wool on the stairs down to the basement.
In our region of the country, the flooring products going into this home are an unusual combination.
Every day, all eyes were watching. Especially mine. ©
— Nancy Kibbee is technical director and editor at naturalinteriors.com