Installation for Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is manufactured to be structurally and aesthetically similar to standard hardwood, but is known to be quite eco-friendly. Bamboo plants can be harvested without replanting in less than five years, making bamboo floorboards easier to produce.

Because of the efficient manufacturing process, many bamboo floors are more affordable than their standard hardwood floor counterparts. Aside from being visually appealing, bamboo flooring is also known for its strength, durability and resistance to moisture. It is relatively hard, and this makes it a great choice for floors at home.

In fact, bamboo flooring is actually stronger than most other wood flooring and is considered to wear better. Bamboo flooring can be installed over wood or concrete sub-floorings without professional help. Bamboo flooring installation lets you save time and money. Anyone can easily install bamboo flooring by following a few simple guidelines:

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Bamboo Flooring
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Bubble or Spirit Level
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Pneumatic Flooring Nail Gun
  • Underlay Pad
  • Nails
  • Gloves
  • Shoe Molding
  • Knee Pads

Pre-installation Process

Step 1. Choosing the Right Bamboo Flooring Type
Bamboo flooring can be classified by color, grain and surface texture. Depending on the stain and finish applied, it can have a natural, carbonized or tiger striped pattern. Homeowner should look at the grain when choosing the right bamboo flooring for a specific space. Vertical, horizontal or strand-woven grains are common. The grain type chosen will determine how the space will look. Vertical and horizontal grains can either make the room look smaller or bigger depending on how the flooring is placed. Bamboo flooring can also be chosen by its surface texture, which includes smooth, hand-scraped and hand-sculpted surface types. Bamboo flooring should be kept indoors for at least one to two days after it is purchased. This lets the material settle and adjust to the humidity and temperature in the room.

Step 2. Measuring the Area & Acclimating the Bamboo
– Remove moldings, appliances and any floor standing cabinets if possible
– Measure the length and width of the room, multiply to get the Area of surface to be covered.
– After obtaining the proper amount of bamboo flooring, remove from packaging and lay on the floor for several days. This will allow the bamboo to adjust to the temperature and humidity.
– In instances where time is short, installing slightly longer boards may help if the boards shrink from humidity.

Step 3. Cleaning the Surface
Floors should be clean and free from dust and dirt. Nails, tack strips, staples or screws from previous flooring should be removed or tightened. Make sure that the surface is flat and level. You should also ensure that the floor is dry prior to installation. Check the quality of the sub-flooring for any areas that need to be repaired, the sub-floors will need be structurally stable.  

Installation Process

Step 1. The Underlayment
With the materials and surface ready, you can start installing the bamboo flooring. Everyone should use protective eyewear and gloves during the installation process to ensure safety. Kneepads can also be worn to protect knees while installing bamboo flooring. First, the underlay pads need to be installed evenly so that they do not over-lap, doing so will help prevent uneven floors. Properly placing the underlay pads will also help in reducing noise and softening the floor. The total outcome of the installation will rely primarily on how these underlay pads are placed. It is best to initially mark the pads with a pencil to ensure that each one is laid properly.

Step 2. Installing the Bamboo Flooring
After putting in the underlay pads, you should place bamboo flooring against the most prominent walls and carefully lay out each piece. The floorboards should be laid properly so that they are level and straight. A spirit or bubble level can be used to make sure that the surface is flat. Rubber mallets and tapping blocks are great tools to ensure that the flooring is secured in place. There are 3 main methods of installing a bamboo floor, depending on the sub flooring:

  1. Nailing: Nailing is common with wooden sub-floors. Once the floorboards are in place, they can be nailed using a pneumatic flooring nail gun. The nail gun should be aligned at an angle before releasing to make sure that nails will not be visible.
  2. Gluing: Flooring can also be glued with a special moisture resistant adhesive. This is a better method for sub-floors made of cement. This method works best when the wood is installed in small sections and snapped together tightly with a rubber mallet.
  3. Floating: A floating floor can be created by piecing the boards together tightly, but without the use of glue or nails. The boards are installed over a layer of foam/padding and snapped together securely. This is typically the fastest and most cost effective method for installing bamboo floors. This method is also recommended for subfloors that are difficult to remove, as it can just easily install right over the existing floor. Baseboard moldings can be reinstalled after all of the flooring is secure and in place. A quarter inch round shoe molding can be used for any expansion gaps. Dirt and dust should be removed, and no heavy appliances should be placed on the flooring for at least 24 hours.

Special precautions

Although bamboo flooring can be easily installed, proper care and maintenance should be observed after installation. Bamboo floorboards are also prone to dents and scratches like hardwood boards.You should keep the flooring from getting scratched by shoes, pets or sharp objects.

Screens and shades on the windows are also recommended as direct sunlight can lead to discoloration in the bamboo. Bamboo floors are also easy to clean. You can simply sweep the floor with a broom and use ordinary cleaning products. Cleaning bamboo floors is easy, and it requires little effort to keep the flooring’s natural shine and look.