Where can I install bamboo flooring?
Bamboo flooring, as a general rule, should only be installed on or above grade. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if the flooring is installed below grade, in areas like basements or other spaces which are partially below ground. Bamboo flooring can be sensitive to pooling liquids and should not be installed in a bathroom or other "wet" area. Bamboo flooring can be installed on almost any subfloor that is clean, dry, and level, including wood, cement, or one layer of another flat, flooring product. Moisture barriers are almost always recommended when installing bamboo flooring over concrete, termite-treated wooden subfloors, or in humid or moist environments.
How is bamboo flooring normally installed?
Bamboo flooring is available in several different installation methods: nail or staple down, glue-down, and floating.
What is a moisture barrier and do I need one?
A moisture barrier is a thin layer of material placed between the subfloor and your bamboo flooring which helps prevent moisture from transferring between surfaces. This will protect both the subfloor and the flooring itself, and can be made of plastic, specialty paper, foil or other material. A moisture barrier is generally recommended, especially in humid or moist environments or when installing over concrete.
Do I need to acclimate my bamboo flooring before installation?
Yes. Though bamboo flooring is more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid wood, it still needs to acclimate to the temperate and humidity of the area in which it will be installed. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended acclimation times. Normally 3 to 5 days is sufficient. Always ensure that the environment the flooring is being acclimated in is the same as the installation environment (air conditioned, etc).
Should I use an underlayment when installing my bamboo floor?
Unless your subfloor is uneven, it won’t usually require an underlayment beyond a moisture barrier. There are several reasons why you would want to use an underlayment, however. A good underlayment smoothes out imperfections in your subfloor and gives your bamboo floor cushion, sound insulation and moisture protection.
Can I install bamboo flooring on steps?
Yes, bamboo flooring can be installed on steps by using a stair nosing that fits the bamboo flooring plank. Pre-fabricated bamboo stair treads risers are also available.
What should I do before I begin to install my bamboo flooring?
Before you begin bamboo floor installation, you should ensure that your subfloor is even, clean and dry. Also, you need to acclimate the flooring to the room in which it will be installed. For more information, visit our bamboo installation guide.
Can I walk on my bamboo floor and mop it immediately after installation?
If glue wasn’t used in the installation and the floor was pre-finished, you can usually walk on it right away and mop with a very slightly damp mop. The water should never be applied directly to the floor and only to the mop. If glue was used or the floor was finished on site, you should check with your manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of time you should wait to avoid damaging the floor before it is dry. Usually this period can last from 24 to 48 hours.
Is bamboo flooring recommended for a self-installer?
There are different types of installation methods, some harder than others to self-install. A floating bamboo floor with click and lock edges is easiest to install yourself, and recommended for Do-It-Yourselfers over a glue or nail down method.
Can bamboo be used over radiant floor heating systems?
Maybe. Check your manufacturer’s instructions, as some will allow with caution, while others will void the warranty. A floating installation is recommended and should be carefully coordinated with the installation of the heating system.