In recent years, bamboo flooring has increased in popularity due to its eco-friendly impact. Bamboo plants can be harvested without replanting in less than five years, making bamboo flooring material easier and more environmentally friendly to produce.
Another great feature of bamboo flooring is that 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. Plus, it’s relatively hard which makes it a great choice for floors at home.
An important feature of bamboo flooring is that it can be installed over wood or concrete sub-flooring without any professional help. Installing bamboo flooring yourself allows you to save both time and money!
Bamboo flooring installation can be done easily by following a few simple guidelines listed below:
Materials and Tools Needed
- Bamboo Flooring
- Protective Eyewear and Gloves
- Measuring Tape and a Pencil
- Bubble or Spirit Level
- Rubber Mallet
- Pneumatic Flooring Nail Gun and Nails
- Underlay Pad
- Shoe Molding
Step 1. Choosing the Right Bamboo Flooring Type
Bamboo flooring can be classified by grain, color and surface texture.
- Grain: As a homeowner, you 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
- Color: Depending on the stain and finish applied, it can have a natural, carbonized or tiger-striped pattern.
- Texture: 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.
- Measure the length and width of the room, then multiply to get the Area of the surface to be covered.
- After obtaining the proper amount of bamboo flooring, remove from packaging and lay it out on the floor for several days (this will allow the bamboo to adjust to the temperature and humidity).
Step 3. Cleaning the Surface
Before your bamboo flooring gets installed, you need to make sure that the surface you will be using is flat and level. Also, make sure that your floors are clean and free from dust and dirt. Nails, tack strips, staples or screws from the previous flooring should be removed or tightened. Your sub-floors need to be structurally stable, so check the quality of the sub-flooring for any areas that need to be repaired.
Note: Your floor must be dry prior to installation.
Step 1. The Underlayment
With the materials and surface ready, you can start installing your bamboo flooring. Everyone involved must wear protective eyewear and gloves during the installation process to ensure safety.
First, the underlay pads need to be installed evenly so that they do not overlap (this would cause 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 correctly.
Step 2. Installing the Bamboo Flooring
Once the underlay pads are installed, you should place the bamboo flooring against the most prominent walls and carefully lay out each piece. The floorboards must be laid level and straight. You can use a spirit or bubble level to make sure that the surface is flat. You can also use a rubber mallet to ensure that the flooring is secured in place.
There are 3 main methods of installing a bamboo floor depending on what type of subflooring you have:
- Nailing: Nailing is common with wooden sub-floors. Once the floorboards are in place, they can be nailed using a pneumatic flooring nail gun. Make sure the nail gun is aligned at an angle before releasing so that the nails will not be visible.
- Gluing: Bamboo flooring can 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.
- Floating: 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. 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.
Although bamboo flooring can be easily installed, proper care and maintenance should be taken after installation. Bamboo floorboards are prone to dents and scratches just like hardwood boards so make sure to take caution of furniture, shoes, pets or any other sharp objects.
Screens and shades on the windows are also recommended as direct sunlight can lead to discoloration in the bamboo. As far as cleaning is concerned, bamboo floors are easy to clean. You can simply sweep the floor with a broom and use ordinary cleaning products.
If you follow these guidelines, bamboo flooring installation should be a breeze. To learn more about bamboo flooring products, available flooring manufacturers, or maintenance techniques, please contact your local flooring experts today.