How to Install Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is eco-friendly - it’s fast-growing and doesn’t need to be replanted after its cut down, making it good for the environment. More than that, this flooring material evokes a warm and natural feel to any home or buisness.

Once you have decided that bamboo is the right type of flooring for your project, the next step is installation. Installing a natural bamboo floor is a reasonable and rewarding do-it-yourself project. If you do not have the tools necessary to complete the installation, you can easily rent them at any home improvement store.

The first step to installing your bamboo floor is to make sure you have all the materials and tools necessary. That way, you will be completely prepared to begin your installation.

What You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum or sweep
  • Saw
  • Glue
  • Nails
  • Bamboo planks

Steps for Installing Bamboo Floors

1. One of the most important steps when installing a natural bamboo floor is to properly prepare the subfloor. Your subfloor should be:

  • Even
  • Free of dirt and debris
  • No cracks or damage (install an underlayment to ensure no moisture can seep through)
  • Free of all carpet, tiles, or previous flooring materials

2. Remove all furniture from the room.

3. Define what type of project you have. There are three types of bamboo installation:

  • Nailed: Bamboo boards are nailed onto the subfloor with nails or staples. This is the preferred method for wood subfloors.
  • Glued: Flooring is glued directly to the subfloor. Any style of bamboo flooring can be glued. Make sure to use the highest quality glue, and never use water-based glue.
  • Floating: Floating, click-on or snap-lock flooring involves no nailing or gluing involved, meaning less mess with the same results. Not all types of bamboo floors can be floated, but most engineered floors are floating.

4. Gather all your materials and tools. It is also important to order extra bamboo planks in case you make an error cutting or you need to replace a plank down the road.

5. Lay your floor without adhering it to the subfloor. That way, you can carefully plan which direction you want the grain to lay in each plank (same direction or alternating). Layout out your floor ahead of time will also show you which planks need to be cut and where.

6. Next, remove your baseboards and floor moldings.

7. Installation tips will depend on whether you are installing a floating floor, or a floor that will be directly glued or nailed to the subfloor. In both cases, most experts recommend you start your installation with the longest straight wall in the room. If you are installing a floating floor, simply fit the joints firmly against each other and use a rubber mallet to close the joints together. If you are using nails or glue, use firm pressure to carefully butt each plank snugly against the other.

8. Once your planks are adhered, inspect the area to make sure each joint fits snugly against its neighbor. Once you are satisfied with the installation, replace the baseboards and moldings. If you’ve used glue, allow the glue to dry for 12 hours before allowing traffic on your floor.

9. Hours after installation put the furniture back and start enjoying your new floor!

When installed correctly, your bamboo floor with last for years. Once it is properly dried, your floor will provide you with long lasting durability that you can enjoy for a long time. When you invest in bamboo floors you invest in a quality project you can safely and successfully install yourself.

More Resources:

DIY Network, “How to Install Bamboo Floors

TLC - How Stuff Works, “Ultimate Guide to Bamboo Flooring

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