What a great choice you’ve made. Bamboo is one of the hottest flooring trends at the moment and with good reason. It’s durable, low maintenance, very pleasing to the eye and it’s not too precious to live with. Aside from those qualities, it’s also a wonderful material in terms of sustainability, the latest environmental buzz word.
Since it’s actually a grass, and can be harvested time and again from the same plant, it produces a crop every 3 to 4 years, making it very handy indeed. Even the manufacturing processes are environmentally friendly, so jump on the bandwagon and tell your friends! Now, as for the best method to install bamboo flooring, well it all depends on your skills level, how much you really want to do it yourself and whether saving money is a big factor to you.
Concrete Slab Floor
You also have to be aware that there are some preliminaries that need to be observed before you even choose a method to install bamboo flooring. Firstly, what kind of floor do you have? A concrete slab will need to be absolutely flat and clean, not to mention dry. Bamboo is excellent for resisting moisture, but a dry surface is the best starting point for any flooring installation.
Do a moisture test by taping a plastic bag on to the cement and leave it there for 24 hours. When you remove it, if there is moisture on the plastic, then you will need to take steps to remedy it. Gluing is necessary for installing bamboo flooring to a cement slab and it’s vital that you use an adhesive recommended for this material.
Wood Sub floor
If you have a wood sub floor, it too must be clean, flat and dry. Sheets of ply of a minimum thickness of 5/8” are most commonly used for wood sub floors. Remember that if you’re installing the sub floor over a crawlspace, a moisture barrier of ¼” polyurethane sheeting is advised to go over the soil.
Glue Down Installation
After acclimating the bamboo you’ll be using on your floors for 2 to 3 days before installation, you can then set to work. Manufacturers recommend glue down as the best method to install bamboo flooring, though it can also be installed using nails or staples. Nailing and stapling require more expertise and specialized equipment so unless you’re keen to go the difficult route, gluing is far preferable for these reasons.
Before you begin any type of remodeling work, you need to determine how you will go about it. Some graph paper will help you to create a diagram of your floor to scale. Mark in all the measurements and from those you can calculate how many bamboo planks you’ll require to finish the job.
Figure a ½” expansion space between planks and walls into your calculations otherwise they’ll be incorrect. Installing the bamboo flooring itself is relatively easy but if your measurements are out, you’ll make the job harder.
Also before you start, it’s a good idea to spread out the bamboo flooring planks to get a good look at the natural variations in color. This will help you determine how to distribute them in a way that allows the contrasts to work successfully. Otherwise you could wind up with dark boards all in one area and lighter ones elsewhere; no balance at all.
The Right Glue for the job
Always use manufacturer recommended adhesives when you install bamboo flooring. Using an inferior product or one that is not intended for this kind of flooring will bring costly results. It would be a great shame to install your flooring then have to pull it all up and start again.
In summary, the best method to install bamboo flooring is the glue down method. For nailing or stapling, call in the professionals who have all the expertise and tools needed for the task.