By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Today a cork wall is more than a display area for a kid's posters and artwork. Designers are using it as a wallcovering to add texture and depth to a room; it's an ideal material for wainscoting. However you might use cork to enhance a space, we think the 12-inch square tiles with a protective wax finish are the easiest to work with.
An installer will charge $599 to install cork tiles on a wall covering 100-square-feet or a wall approximately 12 feet long by 8 feet high. This includes the labor and material. A handy homeowner can do the job for $340, the cost of the tiles and adhesive, and save 43 percent. We found the American Cork Products Co. at www.amcork.com a good source of product information, ideas and installation instructions. They also offer free samples of the tiles.
They provide a VOC-free adhesive that's applied as a two-part contact adhesive with a flat blade trowel or foam paint roller. Before you begin, the surface of the wall should be clean, dry and lightly sanded. To cut the tiles, you'll need a measuring tape, plumb line, carpenter's level, utility knife and straightedge. Measure the tiles and plan the layout. When they're in position, use a rolling pin over the surface to guarantee a strong bond to the wall.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
Now you know the average cost to install cork wall tiles, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Illustration courtesy of Portugese Cork Association