Bamboo Flooring Installation in Los Angeles

Custom Bamboo Hardwood Flooring LA

Bamboo Floor Installation Guide

custom staining hardwood floors

Bamboo Flooring is known to be a more environmentally friendly and sustainable wood flooring option for flooring materials. But before a homeowner considers bamboo floor installation, here are a few things they need to know.

Carefully examine the bamboo flooring prior to installation for a grade, color, finish, and quality. Ensure adequate lighting for proper inspection. If the flooring is not acceptable, contact the seller immediately and arrange for a replacement. 

Prior to installation of any bamboo flooring, the installer must ensure that the job site and subfloor meet the requirements of the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Failure in doing so can result to  flooring unsatisfactory bamboo flooring installation outcome and having the manufacturer’s warranty on the product be voided. When purchasing Bamboo flooring it is recommended to add 5-10% to the actual square footage needed for cutting allowance.

Job-site and pre-installation

Over-all before installing the Hardwood flooring or bamboo flooring all work involving water or moisture should be completed before hardwood flooring installation. Room temperature and humidity of the installation area should be consistent with normal, year-round living conditions for at least a week before the installation of wood flooring. Room temperature of 60-70°F and humidity range of 40-60% is recommended. Store Bamboo Hardwoods wood flooring at the installation area for 24-72 hours before installation to allow the flooring to adjust to room temperature and humidity.

Do not store directly on concrete or near outside walls. Bamboo flooring may not be acceptable for full bathroom installations because of moisture associated with such locations.

Installation Tools
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Chalkline
  • Handsaw (power saw also helpful)
  • Tapping block (trimmed piece of flooring)
  • Crowbar or pull bar
  • Wood or plastic spacers (1/4”)
  • Hammer

For nail-down installation, you’ll also need:

Powernail® Model 50c 1/2” nailer
Powercleats® 1 1/4” cleats

For floating installation, you’ll also need:

A 6-mil poly film, Foam underlayment,
PVAC glue, Poly tape or duct tape

For glue-down installation, you’ll also need:

Approved flooring adhesive*
Adhesive trowel (as recommended by adhesive)
*Approved adhesives: Swedeco Wood Flooring Adhesive, Bostik® Best.

Installation Requirements

The quality of your floor installation is dependent on the quality and preparation of
the subfloor. Please read the following information carefully.

Acceptable subfloor types:

  • Plywood (at least 1/2”)
  • OSB (at least 3/4”)
  • Existing woof floor
  • Resilient tile and sheet vinyl (floating or glue-down only)
  • Underlayment-grade particleboard (floating or glue-down only)
  • Concrete slabs (floating or glue-down only)
  • Ceramic tile (floating or glue-down only)

Subfloor must be:

• Structurally sound

• Clean: Thoroughly swept and free of all debris. Free of wax, grease, paint, sealers, old adhesives, and other substances.

• Level: Flat to 3/16” per 10’ radius

• Dry and will remain dry: Subfloor must remain dry year-round. Moisture content of subfloor must not exceed 13% for most surfaces, Must not exceed 2.5% for concrete. Can be tested with commercial moisture meter.

Wood subfloors must be dry and well secured. Nail or screw every 6” along joists to avoid squeaking. If not level, sand down high spots and fill low spots with an underlayment patch.

Concrete must be fully cured (at least 60 days old) and should have a minimum of 6-mil. the polyfilm between concrete and ground. Do not install on concrete unless you are sure it stays dry year-round. All concrete should be treated for moisture. If a moisture meter is unavailable, tape a 2’x2’ section of clear plastic to the concrete slab, forming an airtight seal. If condensation or discoloration appears on plastic after 24-48 hours, the moisture content is too high for wood flooring installation. Please contact a professional hardwood flooring installer to improve the subfloor to an acceptable level.

Ceramic tile, resilient tile, and sheet vinyl must be well bonded to the subfloor, in good condition, clean and level.

Caution: Do not sand existing vinyl floors, because they may contain asbestos.

Radiant heat: Use only floating installation for radiant heat. The subfloor should never exceed 85°F; check with the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines for correct water temperature inside heating pipes. Switch of heating unit one or two days before flooring installation. The room temperature should not vary more than 15°F year-round.

Follow floating installation instructions for below grade., 

 

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Floor Installation

Bamboo Flooring are incredibly tough and durable. A much sustainable natural flooring material that is consider to be more environmentally friendly and is affordable.

Preparing for installation

Bamboo InstallationDoor casings should be undercut or notched out so the flooring will fit underneath. This can be done easily by placing a piece of flooring on the subfloor as a height guide for your saw. Base moldings and door thresholds should be removed and replaced after flooring installation.

Since wood expands with any increase in moisture content, always leave at least a 1/4” expansion space between flooring and all walls and vertical objects (such as pipes and cabinets). This will be covered up once you reapply for base moldings around the room. Use wood or plastic spacers during installation to maintain this expansion space.

When laying bamboo flooring, stagger end joints from row to row by at least 18”. When cutting the last plank in a row to fit, you can use the cut-off end to begin the next row. If the cut-off end is 8” or less, cut a new plank at a random length and use it to start a new row.

You will always begin each row from the same side of the room. To pull planks together always use a tapping block and hammer. Tapping block should be used against the tongue only, never against the groove of the plank.

When near a wall, you can use a crow or pull the bar to close end joints. Take care not to damage the edge of the bamboo flooring.

Getting started

For the best appearance, bamboo flooring is often laid parallel to the longest wall. You should make the final decision on which direction the planks will run based on the layout of the room and locations of entrances and windows. Bamboo Hardwoods recommends you begin installation next to an outside wall, which is usually the straightest and best reference for establishing a straight working line.

Establish your working line by measuring an equal distance from the wall at both ends and snapping a chalk line. The distance you measure from the wall should be the width of a plank plus about 1/4” for expansion space. You may want to dry lay a few rows (no glue or nails) before starting installation to confirm your layout decision and working line.

Note: If the outside wall is out of the square, adjust the working line to make it straight for the rest of your installation. You’ll need to scribe cut the first row of planks to match the wall and make possible the straight working line.

Starting Wall

Bamboo InstallationNail-down

See “Preparing for installation” and “Getting started”

Installing first And second rows

Lay flooring perpendicular to floor joists, unless subfloor is existing hardwood and/or has been strengthened to prevent sagging. Lay first plank inside chalking with a grooved edge toward the wall. Pre-drill 1/2” from the grooved edge about 8” apart and secure planks with finish nails. Use a nail punch to sink nails below the surface and fill them with wood filler. Repeat on the tongue edge of the plank.

Install the entire first and second row in the same manner. Always leave at least a 1/4” expansion space between flooring and all walls and vertical objects (such as pipes and cabinets). Use wood or plastic spacers during installation to maintain this expansion space.

Installing the floor

Lay subsequent rows by using floor nailer to blind nail top inside edge of
tongue at 45° angle. Nail each board every 8” and within 2” of each end. Remember to stagger end joints from row to row and use a tapping block to fit boards together.

It may be necessary to face nails in doorways or tight areas where the nailer can’t fit.The last two rows will need to be face nailed in the same manner as the first two rows.

Bamboo InstallationExample of blind nail and face nail
See “Finishing the job”

Glue-down

Bamboo InstallationSpreading adhesive

Use only Bamboo Hardwoods approved adhesives. Read adhesive instructions carefully for proper trowel size and adhesive set time.

Warning: Never use the “wet lay” or “loose lay” method of installing Bamboo Hardwoods hardwood floors. This is when you install the flooring immediately after spreading adhesive. This method will trap moisture under the floor and cause the flooring to warp. Always allow for adequate cross ventilation when working with flooring adhesive.

Read adhesive instructions for a proper set time before beginning installation of flooring (usually at least 30 minutes). Starting at the outside wall, spread as many adhesives as can be covered by flooring in 1 hour (or as recommended by your adhesive instructions). Spread with a trowel at a 45° angle.

Installing the floor

Bamboo InstallationOnce the adhesive has been set, lay the first row of flooring with groove facing the wall; and continue laying flooring until adhesive is covered. Always check your working lines to be sure the floor is still aligned. Use a tapping block to fit planks together, but be careful not to let the installed floor move on the wet
adhesive while you are working.

When the first section is finished, continue to spread adhesive and lay flooring section by section until installation is complete. Use a damp cloth to immediately remove any adhesive that gets on the flooring surface. Remember to stagger end joints from row to row.

Floating

Laying Underlayment

Polyfilm: If below-grade, first lay a 6-mil polyfilm with seams overlapped 8”. Fasten seams every 18-24” with duct tape or poly tape. Run the outside edges of the film up the perimeter of wall 4” (trim after flooring installation is complete). If the installation is on or above grade, polyfilm is recommended, but not necessary.

Foam: Lay foam underlayment by butting edges, not overlapping. Tape the full length of the seam.

Installing The Floor

Start the first row with a groove toward the wall. Glue end-joints of the first row by applying adhesive to the bottom of the groove. Always leave at least a 1/4” expansion space between flooring and all walls and vertical objects (such as pipes and cabinets). Use wood or plastic spacers during installation to maintain this expansion space. Lay subsequent rows of flooring by applying glue to side and end joints and fitting planks together with a tapping block. Remember to stagger end joints from row to row.

Finishing The Job

• Remove expansion spacers and reinstall base and/or quarter round mouldings to cover the expansion space.

• Install any transition pieces that may be needed (reducer strips, T-mouldings).

• Do not allow foot traffic or heavy furniture on floor for 24 hours

(if glue-down or floating).

• Dust mop or vacuum your floor to remove any dirt or debris.

• Refer to the floor care and maintenance section for tips on maintaining your Bamboo Hardwoods wood floor.

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