Tips You Can Use When Installing Bamboo Floors
It looks like wood. Feels like wood. It even cuts like wood. But let’s get one thing straight about bamboo – it’s not wood, which means you have to approach the installation process a little differently. Here are some helpful tips when installing bamboo floors.
Start with the shading. Since bamboo is a natural product, it offers a number of shading variations. That’s why, when you’re installing it, you should keep several cartons around so that you can mix the colors.
Also, make sure that you have at least 5 percent more bamboo strips available than you expect to need. This will allow you to make amends for any defects, mis-milling or mis-grading. That 5 percent is the industry standard for such issues.
Sort through the bamboo strips before you start installing bamboo floors to make sure you have what you need. There are no refunds or returned planks once you install them.
As a general note – you cannot install bamboo flooring in an area that has not been properly acclimatized to humidity conditions. Recommended acclimatizing time is at least seven days.
Disperse the flooring as much as you can. If you cannot, make smaller stacks, break boxes and open ends. Before putting down any tiling, pick up several random pieces and check the moisture content.
The gypsum joints must be completed and dried, and the concrete work should be done at least 45 days prior to installation.
The heating system must be functional. Make sure the building you are working in is heated up to 70°F for a minimum of seven days before installing bamboo floors.
Check the relative humidity of the building. It must be between 40 percent and 45 percent, while plywood humidity (the subfloor) must not exceed 12 percent.
A vapor barrier or felt paper (#15) placed between the subfloor and the strips will help keep the humidity content of the flooring more stable.
Know Your Subfloor
The subfloor (plywood) thickness should be a minimum of 3/4 inches. Do not use particleboards or chipboards as the subfloor.
Make sure the plywood is properly attached to the joists to avoid creaking. Use a sander to correct any slight irregularities.
Important: Remember to drive all nails and screws properly into the subfloor – 1 1/4 inches minimum length, 15-gage nails or staples are recommended to fasten the floor.
Remove baseboards and doorsills.
Cut 9/16 inches off the bottom of the doorframes to insert the strips underneath them.
Note: Remember to vacuum the subfloor regularly during installation to make sure it is dust free.