Bamboo Flooring Installation Methods
Floating floors are popular because they are easy to install yourself in any area of your home, over concrete or wood sub-floors or even an existing vinyl or wood floor. The bamboo flooring simply floats over the sub-floor and is not attached to it in any way. The planks are attached to each other through a click locking system, wherein the edges of the planks are joined and simply snap into place. In the floating floor method, it is important to put down a protective pad called underlayment over the sub-floor before the bamboo is installed. The underlayment will protect the bamboo from any moisture seeping up from the sub-floor. It will also diminish any sound transmission and make the floor quieter to walk on.
Glue Down Method
Glue down bamboo floors are the most difficult to install of all of the flooring methods. Therefore, when choosing a glue down flooring, it is recommended that you hire a professional installer and not attempt to install the flooring yourself without prior experience, because of the skill required to successfully complete the task efficiently. If the flooring is not installed properly using the factory recommended adhesive and the correct trowel size to spread an adequate amount of adhesive evenly, so that the flooring is sufficiently bonded to the sub-floor, then the manufacturer’s warranty could be voided. This installation method can be used with a concrete sub-floor as well as a wood sub-floor.
Nail Down Method
This method is used for solid bamboo flooring, which is attached to the sub-floor using either two inch flooring cleats, which are a type of nail or a staple. The process is the same, but the thickness of the flooring determines whether to use a flooring cleat or a staple. If the flooring is thick, then a flooring cleat is used, because a staple won’t be long enough to sufficiently penetrate the plank to reach the sub-floor. If the flooring is thinner, then a staple is used because a nail could damage the tongue. Nail down or staple down bamboo flooring is more difficult to install than a floating floor, but are simpler and less tedious to install yourself, than glue down bamboo flooring. If you are thinking about installing nail down or staple down flooring yourself, you must take into consideration the high cost of renting or purchasing a wood flooring nail gun or staple gun and mallet. Also, a level of skill is required to install a nail down bamboo flooring, which is at least four times harder than hardwood, so unless you are an experienced, licensed installer, this method of installation might be better left to the experts. Solid bamboo can only be installed over wood sub-floors and therefore cannot be installed below grade.
There are different types of wooden sub-floors, the most common being plywood and OSB (oriented strand board). However, in older or historic homes, you will find sub-floors made of old wooden floor boards. Prior to installation of your bamboo flooring, you must first prepare the sub-floor by securing any loose boards, nailing down any protruding nails or staples or tightening any screws. The sub-floor must be clean and free of any debris and level. In the event that your sub-floor is not level, it is necessary to level the sub-floor before installing any flooring or any uneven areas or imperfections will show when your flooring is completed. This may be accomplished by repairing the sub-floor or using a leveling compound. The best thing about wood sub-floors is that it is possible to incorporate any method of installation including floating, nail down, staple down or glue down.
Concrete sub-floors are found in basements or homes built on a concrete slab foundation, which are more common in the southern United States. If you are installing a bamboo floor over concrete, it is recommended that you first perform a moisture test to check the moisture content of the concrete to see if the sub-floor is in range to accommodate flooring or to reveal any existing moisture problems that must be addressed, prior to installation. If the concrete sub-floor is new, it must be completely dry before attempting to install any flooring. A nail down or staple down bamboo flooring cannot be installed over a concrete sub-floor, only glue down or a floating bamboo floor may be used.
Any flooring that is recommended for on grade or above grade installation can only be installed above ground level. That means that it is not manufactured or warranted for installation in a basement, due to possible moisture problems. Generally, above grade installations require less sub-floor preparation and are faster and easier to install. It is important to maintain indoor humidity levels within the 30 to 50% range to avoid any problems.
Flooring that is recommended for below grade use means that it can be installed below ground level, such as in a basement area. These below grade floors are manufactured to repel moisture such as vinyl or LVT or to be more moisture resistant and durable such as bamboo. Only certain floors are constructed for below grade installments.
If you would like more information about bamboo flooring installation methods, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-966-3983 to speak to one of our flooring specialists.
At Woodwudy Wholesale Flooring we are always glad to serve you.