How To Remove Cork Flooring From Concrete [Quickly & Easily]

Cork flooring is a great kitchen floor choice, but there are times when it starts to wear down and needs replacing. When this happens, there are quick and easy ways to remove these cork tiles from the subfloor. We researched this process to find the answers for you.

How to Remove Cork Flooring from Concrete

  1. Remove all furniture and decorations from the cork floor.
  2. With a heavy-duty utility knife, cut a diagonal line from each corner of the cork tile. Make sure that the blade reaches the subfloor. Cut another diagonal line from the opposite corner to make an X on the tile.
  3. Use a floor chisel to remove the tile from the subfloor. Start from the center of the X mark and slide the chisel underneath the tile.
  4. With a hair dryer or hot air gun, loosen the adhesive by turning it to its highest setting. Hold the hair dryer about 3 to 5 inches off the tile and heat it for about 10 to 15 minutes until the adhesive loosens up.
  5. Push the blade of the floor chisel to remove the cork tile from the subfloor. Use the hair dryer to keep heating the tile if it does not lift away from the concrete easily.
  6. Repeat the method until all the cork tiles have been removed.

Removing cork floors can be quick and easy if you know how to do the process. In this post, we will be talking about why cork is a great flooring choice. We'll also discuss how you can easily maintain cork floors so you don't have to replace them quickly. Keep reading as we share more cork flooring tips and enjoy this post!

How To Remove Cork Flooring From Concrete [Quickly & Easily]

Professional removing the cork flooring panels, How To Remove Cork Flooring From Concrete [Quickly & Easily]

If you're looking for flooring that is warm and more affordable than wood, then you've probably heard of cork floor tiles. This flooring alternative is slowly rising in popularity and they are one of the easiest floors to DIY.

Cork floors have existed for decades, but a lot of homeowners are just discovering them nowadays because of their eco-friendly qualities. Once cork floors start to degrade, you can easily remove them and allow them to naturally deteriorate thanks to their biodegradability.

If you already have a cork floor at home and you notice some parts of them breaking down, you may want to start replacing them. There are two different ways to install cork tile flooring—click-together cork planks can turn into floating flooring, or you can glue down cork tiles on the floor.

Depending on the type of cork flooring that you have, you can easily replace them yourself. For those who have the adhesive type cork floor, you can easily and quickly remove it with the help of a floor chisel and a hair dryer or an air gun.

Master class for laying cork flooring, installation of a cork floor by a floating method

How to Remove Cork Flooring

Materials Needed:

  • Heavy-duty utility knife
  • Floor chisel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hair dryer or hot air gun
  • Floor scraper
  • Tile adhesive solvent


1. Remove furniture and decorations

To begin the removal of the cork floor tile, remove all the furniture and decorations from the room. Take note which part of the cork floor tiles have damage and which parts need replacing. By this time, you should decide if there are certain parts that only need replacing or if you will be dismantling the entire cork floor.

Organizing the stuff and furnitures to be transfered

2. Cut the cork floor tile

Grab a heavy-duty utility knife and make a corner-to-corner diagonal cut. Push the utility knife blade deep into the cork until you reach the concrete subfloor. Cut another corner-to-corner diagonal cut to make an X on the cork floor tile.

3. Lift the cork tile

Get this floor chisel from Amazon.

With the floor chisel, slide the edge underneath the floor tile at a 15-degree angle on the center of the X. The edge of the chisel should meet the subfloor. Push the chisel further into the cut and slowly lift the floor tile by putting pressure on the handle. You can use a rubber mallet to push the chisel deeper into the cut if you meet resistance.

4. Heat the adhesive

Check out this heat gun on Amazon.

If the cork floor tile is sticking heavily to the concrete subfloor, use a little heat to melt the adhesive. Hold a hair dryer or hot air gun set to its highest setting about 3 to 4 inches away from the tile surface. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to loosen the hold of the tile adhesive. Make sure to move the dryer or air gun evenly over the surface to prevent burning the cork floor tile.

5. Scrape the tile off the subfloor

See this floor scraper on Amazon.

Using a floor scraper, gently scrape the floor tile off of the concrete subfloor. Use short, even strokes to slowly separate the tile. You can also help the floor scraper loosen the adhesive by using it together with heat from the hair dryer or hot air gun.

6. Repeat the removal method

Grab this adhesive solvent on Amazon.

Do the same process over and over for all of the floor tiles that you need to remove. Make sure to remove all visible adhesive from the floor so that the next installation will be seamless. In the case of stubborn tile adhesive, you can use a tile solvent to effectively remove them from the concrete subfloor.

Is Cork Flooring A Good Choice?

Modern apartment living room with large TV over wooden cabinet Orchid

A cork floor is a great choice for many homes because of its numerous advantages. One of the best qualities of cork floors is their affordability. Compared to a hardwood floor, cork is definitely cheaper and you can typically install it by yourself. This definitely lessens the costs which are why cork floors are gaining popularity.

For many homeowners with allergies, cork floors are also a favorable choice. This type of flooring is hypoallergenic and naturally resistant to mildew. Depending on the kind of cork floor tiles that you choose, you can even get them with antimicrobial properties for your health and safety.

If you live in a place where there is a tendency to get cold, you'll be happy to know that cork floors are great at keeping rooms insulated and warm. One of the best natural properties of cork is its thermal properties and it can even rival the warmth of heating floors. With a cork floor, you won't have to worry about getting cold feet every time you get up in the morning.

Cork is also sustainable and eco-friendly. It's also biodegradable, so you don't have to worry about cork floors ruining the environment in case you need to replace them. One of the reasons why cork is eco-friendly is because of its easily harvestable timeline—it doesn't take much for the cork to mature and you can do this for decades or centuries.

How To Maintain Cork Floors

Laying technology of cork floor on concrete base with layers of thermal insulation and soundproofing

One of the reasons why a lot of homeowners are drawn to cork floors is because of their easy maintenance. As we've talked about earlier, cork floor tiles can be easily replaced individually instead of ripping the entire flooring out. However, cork is a very durable material, and here are some of the best ways to maintain them.

Clean and sweep

The best way to keep the quality of your cork floors is to constantly keep them clean. Since cork is porous, it is in your floor's best interest if you seal and protect the surface. Keep it clean by using a soft sponge mop and a soft broom to prevent dust from accumulating on the floor. Avoid using anything abrasive because it can scratch the floor.

Keep it dry

One of the qualities of cork is its high absorption, so it's important to keep this kind of flooring dry. While a little water won't hurt your cork floor, leaving too much water to saturate the surface will inevitably ruin and soften the cork tiles. Always keep paper towels to soak up the water when spills happen on your cork floor.

Cover the windows

Cork has the tendency to fade when it is consistently under direct sunlight. Keep your cork looking new by keeping windows covered to prevent the cork from too much sunlight exposure.

Wrapping Things Up

Professional removing the cork flooring panels

Cork floors are great options for homes because the tile can easily be replaced in case one of them gets damaged. It's an eco-friendly choice and these types of flooring will last for a long time. If you're looking to use cork floors, make sure to choose the right kind for your space so you don't need to remove and replace them all the time.

Are you looking for ways to maintain your kitchen floors? We have a couple of articles that might interest you:

Can You Paint Cork Floor Tiles? Should You?

Kitchen Floor Not Level – What To Do?

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