Bamboo flooring installation requires adherence to specific procedures, as this material is inherently different from hardwood and other types of plank flooring. Bamboo flooring is increasing in popularity as an environmentally friendly, durable, aesthetically pleasing flooring surface. Although many of the installation principles are the same as hardwood flooring, there are some specific items that should be completed during preparation to reduce the issues with the installation.
When selecting the actual flooring, look at the attachment method used. In wood flooring, there are two options: floating and direct fastening. A floating floor is secured through the interlocking planks of flooring, holding the floor in place over a layer of material used to absorb sound and provide cushioning. This method only works for cross ply or engineered boards. Be sure to leave room for expansion and never complete bamboo flooring installation against a fixed object, such as a wall or fireplace. This will cause the floor to buckle when it expands.
Floating floor planks are secured to each other using either the interlocking method or glue. The interlocking or click and snap floors should not be used in areas near moisture, as the moisture will cause the floor boards to buckle. The gluing method calls for the application of an adhesive into the grooves of the boards when locking them into place. This provides additional security and helps to keep the boards in place.
The direct fastening method of bamboo flooring installation is preferred where there is a wood sub flooring. There are two methods of fastening to consider: staples or glue. Never use standard flooring cleats with bamboo, as they will work loose over time and cause squeaking. Starting 2 inches (5 cm) from the end, apply a staple every 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) along the center of the floor board. Check your work to make sure that the staples are flush with the surface of the flooring.
Gluing as part of bamboo flooring installation is not a project that should be done by a homeowner. Hire professional, experienced installers if you want to use this method. The type of adhesive is very important. If a water based adhesive is used, the floor can cup or bend as the glue dries, permanently damaging the flooring.
When purchasing bamboo flooring, measure the entire space that you want to apply it to, and then purchase all the flooring at the same time. Use one manufacturer, the same level of hardness, and try to get the same lot number, so the material is as consistent as possible. Let the bamboo sit in the room where you wish to install it for two to three days, so that it can adjust to the humidity in the space.