Prefinished Bamboo Flooring

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

Pre-finished Bamboo Flooring Tips

Hi Rob, great website!

I was wondering, do you have any helpful hints on installing pre-finished, solid, bamboo flooring? It’s the first time I’ll be laying down a floor so any comments that might save me from ripping it up later would be helpful…

Thanks Mary

Thanks for the question Mary.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a renewable resource and a viable replacement for wood and is the fastest growing woody plant on this planet. It grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree.

Where oak takes 120 years to grow to maturity, bamboo can be harvested in three. It is recognized as a green material under LEED and as they said in Environmental Building News, “Environmentally, it’s hard to argue with a wood substitute that matures in three years, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides.”

The problem with bamboo is that its growth is not managed in a sustainable fashion. Natural forests are being cleared to make room for the more profitable bamboo. Growers don’t need to but are still using fertilizers to increase their bamboo yield.

Durability

Many people think that bamboo is a very hard flooring option – it is not. Check the finish quality of a sample by scraping the surface with a coin. If it flakes off, the product will not perform for more than a few years and complete refinishing may be needed. Also, dig your fingernail into the sample to check its hardness – there are different types or hardness out there.

Installing Bamboo Flooring

Solid bamboo floors are installed the same way solid oak strip flooring is. This is not a DIY project as it takes considerable skill to lay out the flooring and to cut around door trim [old school] properly. I would use a pneumatic flooring staple nailer with a rubber flooring mallet.


Here are a Few Flooring Installation Tips:

  • Provide time for the floor to acclimate to the job site.
  • Prepare the sub floor by removing all nails, and fixing any defects. Re-nail the sub-floor is needed. Lack of floor preparation is one of the leading reasons for failure.
  • Overlap layers of resin paper. – Helps prevent squeaks.
  • If you have a wood sub floor the direct fastening method works well. I would use 1-1/2” or 2” staples because they provide better holding capability and help reduce squeaks.
  • Staple schedule: Fasten every 6-8″ and approximately 2″ away from each end joint.
  • Use three or four cartons of flooring at the same time when installing to get a better distribution of color.
  • If the room is seriously out of square, position the tongue of the first row parallel to the center line and rip the groove side at an angle parallel to the wall. Choose the longest boards for the first row and face nail.
  • During installation, you’ll find it’s helpful to lay out several rows of boards, staggering them so no end joint is closer than 6 inches to an end joint in the next row.

 

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzzr As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising-the-bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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