How to Install Engineered Bamboo Flooring In your Home

How to Install Engineered Bamboo FlooringCredit:

Bamboo flooring can be a beautiful addition to any home.  It can increase your home’s value along with creating a more attractive and comfortable living space.  Installing bamboo flooring is easy enough for anyone to be able to accomplish it with a great result.  The tools you need to install bamboo flooring are simple and are commonly found in most household tool chests.  Let’s get started. 

Step I: Remove your Old Flooring

The first step to installing your bamboo flooring is to prepare the surface.  Bamboo flooring can be placed over tile, hardwood, or concrete but you don’t want to place it over carpet.  If you have carpeting, remove it and place the waste out of the way.  Be sure to remove any padding that was beneath your carpet.  After you’ve removed your carpets be sure to check the subfloor for any nails or staples.  These will have to be removed before you install your bamboo.

If you have tile floors you will have to make a choice.  You can pull up the old tiles or you can install your bamboo flooring overtop of the current tiles.  If you choose to pull up the old tiles you should be sure to clean the subfloor afterwards.  Remove any grout or putty that may be left on your subfloor.  You should not have to worry about nails or staples below tiles but it is a good idea to check before proceeding.

If you have hardwood floors you can either remove the hardwood or simply install the bamboo overtop of the old surface. 

Whichever flooring that you will be removing before installing your bamboo floors be sure to clean the subfloor with a broom or vacuum afterwards.  You need to be sure that all grit, staples, nails, or tile fragments have been removed before you begin installation.

Step II: Fit and Place your Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Next comes the fun part: installing your engineered bamboo flooring.  Most bamboo flooring has a tongue and groove construction.  Each individual board will fit together like a puzzle piece with its neighbor.  The fit should look something like this:

How to Install Engineered Bamboo FlooringCredit:

You will need to trim pieces to fit odd corners of your room and to ensure a smart looking edge in the corners.  A tape measure will come in handy for making sure that your trimmed pieces are of the correct length and width.  Make each measurement twice and use a pencil and a straight edge on the underside of each board to ensure that your measurement is marked correctly for trimming. 

When cutting pieces you’ll want to use a high speed circular saw*.  Be sure to make sure that each tongue will match with a groove before cutting a new piece.   A bit of painters tape along the edge that will be cut will help to prevent splintering of your edges.   

*Note: Be sure to follow all safe operating instructions when operating any power tool.

Step III: Secure Your Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Once you’ve got all of your bamboo flooring boards fitted and placed you’ll have two choices.  You can either leave your floor unsecured and floating or you can secure it to your subfloor.  If you choose to have a floating floor you won’t have to secure it at all.  As long as your tongue and groove joints are tight and you’ve trimmed your edge pieces to fit snugly to your walls you should avoid any shifting as it’s being walked on.  If you desire, a small amount of glue can be put along the tongue and grooved edges to prevent any possible slipping of joints.

If you are matching your bamboo floor edges with other flooring types you may have to secure them to the subfloors to prevent slipping around the joints.  The ideal method for securing your bamboo flooring is to use specialized glues to secure the flooring to the subfloor.  To apply the glue simply remove your bamboo boards and follow the instructions on the glue can.  The tongue and groove construction of your floors will let you easily reassemble your floor overtop of the glue.  Just be sure to remember where each individual piece goes.

If flooring glues won’t work or are terribly inefficient you can use wire nails to secure your bamboo.  This is not the best method for securing bamboo flooring.  However, if you are going to use nails to secure your flooring be sure to pre drill the each hole to prevent splitting.  A small piece of tape place over the area you pre-drill will help prevent splitting during the drilling process.  A small number of nails should be sufficient due to the tight tongue and groove construction of most engineered bamboo flooring.  Before getting to carried away with nailing your floors be sure to try a few test pieces in an out of the way corner to ensure that you get the effect that you’re looking for.

Once your flooring is secured you’re done!  Now your engineered bamboo flooring is installed and will create an enjoyable and attractive living space for years to come.    


Additional Reading:

Bamboo Style
Amazon Price: $19.95 $14.16 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 24, 2014)
If you're interested in decorating more of your home or office with bamboo the author highly recommends "Bamboo Style" by Gale Goldberg. In addition to discussing bamboo flooring, Golderg covers bamboo decoration suitable for any room in the house, ranging from floor to ceiling.