I just finished installing a cork tile floor (US Floors brand). If I do say so myself, it looks gorgeous! Cork is not generally recommended for a bathroom, but we felt that a half-bath should be a safe bet (not nearly the moisture around as in a full bath).

But just for peace of mind, I thought it might be a good idea to seal the cork -- the tiles themselves are pre-sealed, but not the joints (which are incredibly tight, but something could get through).

What should I use? Or should I even attempt to seal it?


Congratulations on the cork. I put cork in my master bathroom a few years ago and it was the best floor I've ever had - warm in the morning and soft under bare feet. I liked it so much I put cork in our kitchen too.

My feeling is that you don't need to seal it. I didn't see any lifting or swelling on our floor over three years. We're not especially fastidious people either - we basically just swiped puddles with a towel when we saw them.

Any sealant you put on that is capable of sealing the joints will be a film finish. My gut says the subtle expansion and contraction of the cork along with the flex of the floor will crack a film finish like that in pretty short order, defeating the purpose.

One thing you could try if you're nervous is some clear wax. Test it under a cabinet or something to see if you can force a tiny bit into the seam and still thoroughly remove it from the surface. Also satisfy yourself that the solvent in wax doesn't damage the finish of the cork tiles. If it works ok, it might slow down penetration of water into the seams while still remaining flexible.

  • Thanks, Rod, those were the same concerns I had about trying to put poly or something on the cork. The seams are very tight, barely visible on close inspection, but wax sounds like a good idea to try. Jul 26 '10 at 6:23

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