How To Install Engineered Bamboo Flooring?

When it comes to choosing a type of flooring for your home or office, engineered floors really are a win-win scenario. They provide all of the beauty that comes along with a hardwood or solid-core floor but at a fraction of the price.

Even better news, engineered bamboo floors don’t require a lifetime of experience in the construction industry to receive a flawless finish. Let’s take a deep dive into how to install engineered bamboo flooring, as well as some of the finer points that will set a great finished product aside from a good one.

What You Need To Know About Installing Engineered Bamboo Flooring ?

Like other types of engineered flooring products, bamboo comes in a few different variations which will make the installation process slightly different for each. More importantly, your subfloor will also dictate which type of product you should use, as well as how you can fasten it successfully.

Like other types of synthetic or engineered floors, you can purchase products that are meant to be floating, glued/nailed, or tongue & groove. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, it would be wise to get an idea of what each means so that you can do a better job of planning your attack. Going in with your eyes wide open is always the better approach instead of having to reorder the right materials again.

Here is a quick rundown of each for those of you who are new to working with flooring…

  • Floating– This type of flooring simply lays on top of your subfloor. The weight of the flooring is meant to hold it in place, and the lack of fasteners allows the flooring to expand and contract without forming humps.
  • Glue/nail down– This type of flooring can come with an attached adhesive backing, or sometimes you will have to buy an adhesive separately. If working with sticky adhesives isn’t your thing, using trim nails or a finish nailer can also help to secure the floor.
  • Tongue & groove– This is typically considered a type of floating floor, but not 100% of the time. Each piece of the flooring locks together like a puzzle to create a seamless finish.

One last thing to take into account is the type of subfloor you are working with. Some mediums are best for using glue, some nails, and some neither. Nail-down products are best used over OSB, plywood, existing wood, or vinyl that are in very good condition. Don’t expect to nails over something like concrete. Glue is perfectly acceptable on top of concrete, OSB, and plywood alike, but it won’t create a solid bond with an old vinyl floor underneath. A floating floor is the most forgiving because the subfloor simply needs to be clean and smooth since we don’t actually fasten the flooring down.

Regardless of the type of your subfloor, we always recommend using an underlayment to help prevent moisture build-up and to smooth out any imperfections in the subfloor. 

How To Install Engineered Bamboo Flooring? (5 Steps)

Step 1: Prepare Your Subfloor

Before diving in headfirst, we need to do our due diligence. This means thoroughly cleaning the floor and identifying any potential problem areas. It may seem like a pain to replace any sections of damaged subfloor, but it is far less work than ripping up new flooring after the fact. Attempting to install engineered bamboo flooring over an uneven subfloor will leave you with an ugly finished product.

Step 2: Let The Flooring Acclimate

There is a good chance that your local hardware store or lumber yard’s climate will be different from that in your home or business. This is why we need to let the flooring sit in our room for 72 hours to acclimate. This will allow the flooring to expand or contract to whatever size it will be in its natural state once installed.

Step 3: Snap A Line & Run The First Course

We want to do a dry run of our first course so that we can get a good look at any problems beforehand. The rest of the floor is based on how straight we lay the first row, so it’s imperative to get it right. Measure the width of the flooring and snap a corresponding line with your chalkbox. If everything looks great, it’s time to lay the floor.

Step 4: Cutting & Staggering Your Flooring

To maximize the beauty of our engineered bamboo flooring we need to reduce the number of joints that up as we lay the floor. Staggering these joints is going to prevent a pattern from forming and will help reinforce the structural integrity as well. Shoot for a 12” difference in the ends of each piece of flooring to avoid this. Starting your next row with a scrap of the previous piece is a great way to accomplish this without using much extra material.

Step 5: Give Your Floors Time To Cure

This step only applies to products that are glued down, but it is especially important. Walking on a floor that hasn’t had time to fully dry will almost surely create humps and inconsistencies. Check the directions on your adhesive before moving any furniture back into the room, a little extra patience will save you from any last-minute mistakes.

Final Thoughts On Installing Engineered Bamboo Flooring

There you have it, engineered bamboo floors that look amazing in 5 easy steps! This type of flooring is by no means more involved than other types of engineered floors when it comes to installation. As long as you take your time, prep your work area, and repeat this process, you can count on creating a floor that outshines the rest.

Meet your Flooring Expert

Travis McCullough

Travis McCullough

Travis is a lifelong jack-of-all-trades in the construction industry with 20 years of experience in a variety of fields. He’s tackled flooring, carpentry, and everything in between on residential and commercial projects of all shapes and sizes.
Working independently and as part of a crew has equipped him with the know-how to not only complete a project but also teach others the finer points within most building professions. When he isn’t out hanging off of a ladder or crawling around on a roof, Travis spends his time educating people about the construction industry.

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