Bamboo floors are among the most cherished types of flooring that offer the beauty of nature into any room. The flooring is hard and water-resistant. Also, bamboo flooring is one of the green energy solutions that can substitute wood flooring due to its fast growth rate. Because bamboo belongs to the grass family, the flooring material grows faster than trees thus making it a readily renewable source of flooring material. Bamboo flooring installation can be done through methods such as glue down. The method is suitable for slab since you cannot drive nails into the slab. The following process will help you on how to install bamboo flooring on concrete.
Preparation of the sub-floor
The process of bamboo flooring installation is easy and fun when you have the appropriate tools. You will need the following tools for a successful operation:
- Table saw
- Broom painters tape
- Rubber mallet
- Painters tape
- Mild detergent
- A rag
- Finishing nails
- Wood putty
- A tube of modified silicone polymer adhesive.
- A quarter-inch plastic polymers
- Notched trowel
- Weights or books
- Touch-up paint.
Vacuum away all the dust, cobwebs, and dirt to leave a clean ground for operations. Ensure you carry out an advanced moisture test to be sure of the moisture conditions of the floor. You should install the bamboo over the concrete floor that has undergone the curing process.
How to install bamboo flooring on a concrete slab
There are two major ways of installing bamboo floor on a concrete floor or slab. You can either use the glue-down method or floating floor technique depending on your preference.
1. Glue down technique
The method will require you to glue down bamboo on concrete floor or slab. You can use the technique either for solid bamboo flooring or engineered bamboo flooring. The technique involves adhering the bamboo flooring directly to the concrete subfloor or tile using high-class adhesive. The adhesive provides a water-resistant layer as well as insulating sound from the footsteps. Always test the moisture condition of your floor before choosing the kind of adhesive to purchase. Most moisture vapor barriers have upper moisture limit. Proceed with the steps below to install bamboo flooring on concrete:
- Determine the best starting point to help you work towards the door, thus avoiding possible inconveniences.
- Ensure the wood flooring runs parallel to the longest wall in the room.
- Scoop some adhesives using your trowel and spread it on the floor along the longest wall
- Never apply more than you can cove in less than 40 minutes as the floor adhesive dries fast
- Place your first boards along the corner with the tongue pointing towards the wall and add spacers of a quarter-inch between the floorboards and the wall. The spacers prevent the board from being pushed tightly onto the wall leaving no expansion gap.
- Place the first row of the flooring with spacers against the wall
- Start laying the second row from the last boards of the first row.
- Ensure you have longboard beside the short ones to avoid seams that may arise between rows. You can achieve a natural look when the wood seams appear randomly over the entire floor.
- Repeat the process to install more rows by fixing their tongues into the grooves of the previous row. Wipe any glue that squeezes out from the joints to prevent damage to the floor finish when it cures.
- Cut the bamboo lengthwise to fit the narrow spaces remaining while maintaining an expansion gap of a quarter-inch by use of spacers.
- Wait for 24hours for the glue to dry and then nail the boards in the expansion gaps.
How to install bamboo flooring using the floating floor method
The technique is common with engineered bamboo flooring installation designed for click-lock technique. Unlike the glue-down method, the click-lock process is easy to install as the flooring parts fit snugly like a puzzle. However, you will need to first lay down a moisture barrier before installing the floating floor on top. Besides, solid bamboo flooring limits your runs to 15 feet in areas with fluctuating humidity. Thus, you will need to install t-moldings.
Before deciding on the method of laying your bamboo flooring on concrete, you need to consider your prior skills as well as the pros and cons of each technique. Even though the floating method seems to be the best way to install bamboo flooring on concrete slabs, it will limit you to 15 runs. On the other hand, the glue-down method will give 25 runs with the glue providing a medium for the expansion of the floorboards. Also, the glue-down process is a bit messier.