Normally we are anti-hoarding, but in this case, it helped us! We had been saving wine corks in a vase for a few years for no particular reason. Between our collection plus that of a friend and our parents we had enough wine corks for a recycled wine cork floor, reminiscent of cobblestone!
We chopped off the ends of the corks to our desired thickness, which was about a 1/2 inch. I used a sharp serrated bread knife to cut the corks. We then laid down a regular tile thin-set mortar to adhere the cork pieces to the ground in a random pattern.
After the mortar was dry we used a sand colored grout to fill in the gaps, applied a grout sealer once it was dry, and then sprayed a polyurethane satin finish to the top of the entire floor to seal it. I would prefer for the next surface we finish to be sealed with something natural and less of a pollutant, such as a natural shellac resin or a natural oil — like the one we used on our cedar walls… Every bit of this is a learning experience for us!
This project was easy, inexpensive, used some recycled materials we had lying around, looks pretty adorable, feels warm and bouncy underfoot, and justifies some of the drinking and hoarding we’ve done over the last few years! I might just use our leftover corks to create a baseboard too!