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Bamboo Hardwood Installation

(Bamboo Hardwoods Installation Guide)


Bamboo Hardwoodsstrives to offer its customers high quality hardwoodflooring. Please carefully read this installation guide to ensure satisfactory results from your Bamboo Hardwoods floor.


Carefully examine the flooring prior to installation for grade, color, finish and quality. Ensure adequate lighting for proper inspection. If flooring is not acceptable, contact seller immediately and arrange for replacement. Bamboo Hardwoods cannot accept responsibility for installation of flooring with visible defects.


Prior to installation of any flooring, the installer must ensure that the jobsite and subfloor meet the requirements of Bamboo Hardwoods installation instructions. Bamboo Hardwoods is not responsible for flooring failure resulting from unsatisfactory jobsite and/or subfloor conditions. When purchasing Bamboo Hardwoods flooring, add 5-10% to actual square footage needed for cutting allowance.


Jobsite and pre-installation


Hardwood flooring should be one of the last items installed for any new construction or remodel project. All work involving water or moisture should be completed before hardwood flooring installation. Room temperature and humidity of installation area should be consistent with normal, year-around living conditions for at least a week before installation of wood flooring. Room temperature of 60-70°F and humidity range of 40-60% is recommended. Store Bamboo Hardwoods wood flooring at installation area for 24-72 hours before installation to allow flooring to adjust to room temperature and humidity.


Do not store directly on concrete or near outside walls. Bamboo Hardwoods wood 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)

• Crow bar 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:


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


Quality of your floor installation is dependent on 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


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


Ceramic tile, resilient tile and sheet vinyl must be well bonded to 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. Subfloor should never exceed 85°F; check with manufacturer’s suggested guidelines for correct water temperature inside heating pipes. Switch of heating unit one or two days before flooring installation. Room temperature should not vary more than 15°F year-around. Follow floating installation instructions for below grade.



Preparing for installation


Door casings should be undercut or notched out so 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 base moldings around the room. Use wood or plastic spacers during installation to maintain this expansion space. When laying
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 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 bar to close end joints. Take care not to damage edge of flooring.


bamboo hardwood


Getting started


For the best appearance, wood flooring is often laid parallel to the longest wall.You should make the final decision 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 chalkline. 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 outside wall is out of square, adjust working line to make 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

installation of bamboo




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 grooved edge toward wall. Pre-drill 1/2” from grooved edge about 8” apart and secure planks with finish nails. Use nail punch to sink nails below surface and fill with wood filler. Repeat on tongue edge of plank.
Install entire first and second row in 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 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.



nailing bamboo

Example of blind nail and face nail


It may be necessary to face nail 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.
See “Finishing the job”



See “Preparing for installation” and “Getting started”


Spreading adhesive

Use only Bamboo Hardwoods approved adhesives. Read adhesive instruc-
tions 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 proper set time before beginning installation of flooring (usually at least 30 minutes).
Starting at outside wall, spread as much adhesives as can be covered by flooring in 1 hour (or as recommended by your adhesive instructions). Spread with trowel at a 45° angle.


bamboo glue down


Installing floor


Once adhesive has 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 alligned. Use tapping block to
fit planks together, but be careful not to let installed floor move on the wet
adhesive while you are working.


When first section is finished, contnue to spread adhesive and lay flooring section by section until installation is complate. Use damp cloth to immedi- ately remove any adhesive that gets on flooring surface. Remember to stagger end joints from row to row.


bamboo floating


Always leave at least 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.
Walk each section of flooring foot-by-foot within the adhesive working time to ensure a solid bond with the adhesive.
Flooring planks on perimeter of room may require weight on them until adhesive cures enough to hold them down.
See “Finishing the job”



See “Preparing for installation” and “Getting started”


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 film up perimeter of wall 4” (trim after flooring installation is complete). If installation is on or above grade, polyfilm is recommended, but not necessary.


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


Installing the floor


Start first row with groove toward wall. Glue end-joints of first row by
applying adhesive to bottom of groove. Always leave at least a 1/4” expan-
sion 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 tapping block. Remember to stagger end joints from row to row. See “Finishing the job”



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.