Bamboo flooring has gained popularity with homeowners seeking a green, sustainable product with the appearance of wood. While the types of bamboo flooring vary widely, a floating bamboo floor can easily be installed by a homeowner with some woodworking experience.
Step 1: Make sure that the sub floor is in good repair and completely clean before beginning. It should be completely level without any soft spots before beginning. Any baseboards should also be removed.
TIP: If you are installing floating bamboo flooring on a concrete slab there are a few extra steps of prep work you must complete. First, place a moisture barrier on the surface of the concrete slab. Clear plastic at least 6 mil. thick with overlapped and taped seams will work well. Then the moisture barrier should be covered with a layer of foam padding. If the floor is wood, you can skip the moisture barrier and the foam padding.
Step 2: Lay the first piece of flooring along one wall. Use spacers to create a 3/8 inch gap between the bamboo flooring planks and the surrounding walls.
TIP: For bamboo flooring, the gap between the walls and the flooring is very important. The expansion and contraction rate for bamboo flooring is greater than laminate and other hardwood flooring. Skip the gaps and your floor will buckle over time.
Step 3: Continue laying bamboo flooring until the first row is complete. You may have to cut the last piece so that it fits the length of the room. Make sure that the pieces firmly butt against one another: use a rubber mallet and scrap lumber to help as necessary.
Step 4: Start laying the next row. Cut the first board so it is only 2/3 the length of a standard bamboo plank. This will ensure that the joints for the bamboo flooring are staggered. Install the second row completely, taking time to use the rubber mallet to snap the tongue and groove into place.
Step 5: Install the third row, using the 1/3 piece of board left from the previous row to begin.
Step 6: Install the fourth row starting with a full board. Continue installing rows until the floor is covered with bamboo flooring, making sure to alternate so the joints between boards are staggered.
Step 7: Install baseboards around the perimeter of the room to cover the gaps between the bamboo flooring and the wall.