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Do It Yourself - Most Popular

Installing Bamboo Floors: Basics Print E-mail
Written by Ken S.   

Bamboo flooring

The highlight and most dramatic home improvement you can make are installing new floors. Once the decision has been made to install new floors, the next big decision you will need to make is what type of floor you want.

Why are people choosing Bamboo hardwood flooring?

Bamboo flooring has become known as the “going green flooring” and has been proven to outperform traditional hardwood flooring in many different aspects. Because it only takes a few years for a bamboo plant to grow to maturity compared to the decades it takes for hardwood trees, bamboo hardwood flooring has become the choice for many who are remodeling their homes. Bamboo is harder than hardwood; therefore, it is more durable. Although it is more durable, it is generally not as expensive as hardwood. Bamboo floors are ideal for allergy sufferers. They do not harbor dust mites. They are also very easy to clean.

What type of bamboo flooring should you choose?

Bamboo hardwood flooring comes in two main types: vertical and horizontal. The bamboo flooring vertical grain appears as very fine grain lines and is great for smaller spaces. The bamboo flooring horizontal grain appears as a wider line of grain and is great for a wide large room.

Horizontal Bamboo Flooring Vertical Bamboo Flooring

How to Install Bamboo Flooring

Preparation steps:

  • Be sure your sub-floor is flat and smooth
  • If you install bamboo floors over radiant heating, read the bamboo flooring and radiant heat systems instructions carefully
  • Read the installation instructions carefully
  • Allow your bamboo hardwood flooring to acclimate in the room it will be installed in for at least 72 hours
  • Inspect each piece of bamboo flooring panel for damage or defects
  • Never hit bamboo flooring directly. Use a tapping block to prevent fracturing the flooring edge. Hint: A piece of the flooring trim can be used as a tapping block
  • Order at least 5% over your square footage to allow for problems
  • Are there any special tools needed to install bamboo floors?

    The tools you would usually use for installing hardwood floors will work for installing bamboo flooring. Before you can install your bamboo flooring, determine what type of floor you have. If it is a floating floor, no adhesive or face-nailing is required. A standard plank will require face nailing. Depending on your type of flooring, you will need either special glue or a flooring stapler or ordinary PVAC flooring glue. Other basic tools are: compound miter saw, hand saw, rubber mallet, face-nailer (possibly). You are now ready to install the floor.

    Installation steps:

  • Start at a specific point and begin laying down the floor
  • If your flooring requires face-nailing, make sure you apply enough pressure to close the joints between each plank of flooring before you actually fire the nails
  • If you are installing a floating floor, firmly close the joints between each piece with a rubber mallet
  • Measure twice to ensure you do not make a mistake, which will help in getting the tightest cuts to make the best fit possible
  • After you install the entire floor, inspect the entire floor surface to ensure there are not any misaligned joints, buckled sections or damaged or frayed ends
  • Reinstall base moldings and corner round bead work. Make sure your corner round is pre-primed or already painted to reduce the risk of paint stains on your new floor
  • Keep a few of the larger pieces of the leftover material in case there is damage done later on. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy your handy work and brand new bamboo flooring.

    Comments (5)
    • Tomas  - Subflooring
      There is some differences for wood versus concrete flooring for installation. With concrete, as far as I know, you need to glue the flooring down. Usually it will void warranty if you "float" it. Check with the place you bought the flooring from. Also, The adhesive has to be a 100% Urethane-based product usually, double check this also.

      Other things to note I didn't read here is:
      The floor and room should be 21o (C) or 70o (F) for 7 days.
      The relative humidity during installation needs to be 40 to 45%.

      These are very important because of the way bamboo (all wood really) wood flooring expands and contracts under various temperatures.

      I am sure I could provide more detail this article missed but maybe the people at diy-hq could do it. :)
    • marita  - help
      i am installing a floating bamboo floor in the bathroom. what do i do for around the toilet. it is not a clean transition
    • Hardwood
      I have to disagree with Tomas. A neighbor of mine wanted to install laminates over concrete. The contractor wouldn't do it without a vapor barrier. The floor floats over the barrier and insulation. I don't think flooring, laminate or wood planks, should be installed directly on top of concrete, even with a urethane-based glue.
    • steve s  - nailing
      sould you sesples or cleat to install the bamboo. I see both being recommnded but the flooring I purchased says cleats only.
    • steve s  - re: nailing
      steve s wrote:
      should you use staples or cleats to install the bamboo. I see both being recommended but the flooring I purchased says cleats only.
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