Why is bamboo so sustainable? Primarily because it’s a member of the grass family. Anyone that mows the lawn every weekend is aware of how quickly it regenerates. In fact, according to planetgreen.discovery.com, “It’s the fastest-growing woody plant in the world, and it can be used as a material in the construction of a slew of goods; flooring, bedsheets, paper, and even laptops are now being made with bamboo.”
They go on to say that under the right conditions, it can grow at a rate of 24” per day. And considering that it takes an oak tree many years to grow that much, it’s easy to see why it’s more sustainable than hardwood flooring. There are 3 common ways to install it, but in all cases, the homeowner’s insurance policy should be updated
Glue Installation of Bamboo Flooring
The industry standard glue is a 100% urethane wood flooring adhesive. Don’t skimp on this because the quality of the finished floor depends on it. A high-quality adhesive manufacturer will be able to provide information on trowel size, glue ridge height, and spread rate.
It’s also common to use blue painter’s tape to keep the planks snugged up tight while the glue is drying and curing. Painter’s tape is a bit more expensive than masking tape but it’s worth it; it’s designed to hold well, come up easily, and leave no residue.
Nailing or Stapling Bamboo Planks
This is a great method to use with an OSB or plywood subfloor. It’s important to use a vapor barrier with this method. This will not only keep moisture out, but it will also minimize undue noise and squeaking.
Starter rows may be face-nailed where the baseboard will cover the nails to ensure that they are securely in place. After that, subsequent planks should be nailed or stapled directly above the tongue at a 45 to 50-degree angle. Planks should be fastened every 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm).
Installing a Floating Floor
A floating floor is just what the name implies; although the planks are attached to each other, they are not attached to the subfloor. Since the floor floats, a gap must be left all around the perimeter to allow for expansion and contraction so the floor won’t buckle. This is arguably the most popular method since it’s an easy DIY home renovation project. Floating floors are usually associated with laminate flooring.
It’s important to use special underlayment with this method. When installing over a concrete slab, use one that incorporates a vapor barrier. Be sure the shiny side faces up and use wide clear plastic tape on all seams.
Common Factors for any Floor Installation Method
Since bamboo is a natural building material, it’s to be expected that there will be a variation on grain, color, and shading. This is one of the things that gives it its character, so no matter which installation is used, it’s a good idea to mix cartons.
Be sure the floor is flat before beginning the installation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be level, but it must be flat.