Floating is one of the simplest and primary installation for bamboo flooring. There are other alternative installation methods for bamboo flooring like glue down or nail down. The method will depend on the host of things including installing the floor yourself, the size of room and what type of subfloor you want to do. This guide is dedicated to install bamboo flooring. If you’re already to install bamboo flooring yourself, then follow the guide below.
There’s a little bit of prep work that you need to do first before installing like ordering the bamboo, gathering tools and prepping subfloor. Bamboo flooring is among the strongest flooring in the market and it last for decades thus, it’s essential to install them properly. But how do you install bamboo flooring in a proper way? Don’t worry, steps are given below.
- Ordering the bamboo: Before you order your bamboo, you’ll need to measure the room’s size that it will be installed in. But add extra 7-10% on top of that for cutting and waste.
- Receiving the bamboo: Once you receive the bamboo then, open the boxes and check all the planks for damage, accidents can happen during transport, even if the planks are properly packaged or not. Also, keep the boxes with you, in case you need to return the planks. Don’t use damaged planks.
- Prepping a subfloor: Before installing, prep your subfloor to keep the installation goes as smoothly as possible.
- Wood Subfloor: The easiest way to test moisture in a wood subfloor via pinless floor moisture meter. It will avoid weakening the floor through sanding or drilling.
- Concrete Subfloor: The easiest way is to purchase a moisture testing kit from a hardware store. It will have a test strip that will change color depending on the moisture levels on the floor.
- Eliminate subfloor moisture issues: You may use dehumidifier to prevent moisture problems from affecting your bamboo floors
- Acclimate your bamboo planks: Use the bamboo which was placed in the room to acclimate to the room’s moisture and humidity.
Gather all installing tools.
Beginning Your Installation
Once you’ve done all of the prep work, now it’s time to start the bamboo flooring installation. Since bamboo planks have different color and shade between boxes, it’s necessary to work with multiple boxes at once. By this, you can customize the look of the floor to your own personal tastes.
Cut the bamboo planks : You can cut your planks lengths to suit your own design scheme but not less than 8 inches in length. Because the butt ends in adjoining rows have to be at least 8 inches gap between them.
Lay the underlayment down: To give protection against moisture to your beautiful bamboo planks, you should lay a 3-in-1 underlayment on the subfloor. Although, it also helps to make the room soundproof.
Lay your first row: Don’t forget to leave ¼ – ½ inch gap between all planks that come into contact with structural elements such as walls, door frames, cabinets, and islands by using expansion spacers. This is done to expand safety if there are big humidity changes.
Depending on the shape of your room and connectivity with other rooms with visible bamboo flooring, you may choose to start in the top corner or in the center of the room or at a doorway. Use the rubber mallet to keep all the edges fitting tightly together but make sure not to hit the boards too hard or you may damage the planks.
Lay the subsequent rows: Then start with second row having a cut plank at least 18 inches in length and insert the board’s long edge at a 20-30 degree angle adjacent to the first row. Keep using mallet to keep the planks in place. If the planks are not fit then, remove them and attempt a tighter fit with new planks. After installing the third row, check if you need to straighten the floor. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be to fix or straighten. Repeat the instructions thoroughly until you reach the last row.
Cut and lay the final row: You may need to be cut length using the table saw in the installation of last row to fit in the remaining space. Take expansion space to measure see how much of the plank you’ll need to cut.
Install the moldings: Now it’s time to remove all the expansion spacers and install your transition moldings in the floors. If you see some floated planks thus, you will need to glue them using a urethane adhesive. And leave them overnight with something setting heavy to set as it is.
Sweep the room: Now, You’ll have some dust from sawing the planks, thus sweep of the floor when you’re done.
Relax: Once you’ve installed the floor, you can sit back, relax and begin using the room immediately.
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Things To Consider About Installing Bamboo Flooring
If you’re unsure to install bamboo floor, then here are the things you’ll need to consider:
Room Size: If you are living in year-round humidity so, you don’t have to worry about running limits or installing transition strips at doorways. If you live in the area that experiences humidity swings thus you don’t need humidifiers or dehumidifiers but you’ll need to take some precautions regarding the lengths of your runs.
Subfloor: The floating method of installation in bamboo flooring works over almost every subfloor except for cushion vinyl and rubber tiles.
Weight: A floating bamboo floor shouldn’t be floated under heavy objects like heavy appliances or weighty furniture. Otherwise they will pin down the planks and affect the bamboo’s ability to expand as humidity levels change. Floating the planks under something heavy may lead to damage the planks.
Humidity: Floating bamboo floors require a stable humidity level that doesn’t vary throughout the year. If you live in an area where humidity levels changes everyday or your climate control system doesn’t have humidity control. Then, It will be best to used humidifiers or dehumidifiers occasionally.