Installing Bamboo Floors on Top of a Concrete Subfloor

Note: THE FOLLOWING IS A GUIDELINE ONLY. CAREFULLY READ THE MANUFACTURER’S INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME WITH YOUR PRODUCT BEFORE BEGINNING THE INSTALLATION.

« back to installation list

Important Considerations

  • Before you order flooring, make sure you add at least 5% to the actual area size you are going to cover. The industry standard for allowable small defects, mismilling or misgrading is 5 %.

  • Read the Manufacturer’s Warranty carefully before installing the product.

  • As a general rule, all installed strips will be considered accepted by the installer and/or homeowner. So, sort through the product first before installing to ensure it meets your expectations. You cannot return planks once they are installed!

  • This flooring is to be glued down. It is not covered by warranty if it is floated.

  • The adhesive has to be a 100% Urethane-based product.

  • The adhesive manufacturer’s installation instructions are to be followed.

Installation Requirements

  • Gypsum joints must be completed and dried.

  • Concrete work must have been completed at least 45 days prior to installation.

  • The heating system must be functional and the building must be heated up to 21°C (70°F) for a minimum of 7 days immediately prior to installation.

  • The relative humidity of the building must be between 40% and 45%

  • Refer to the adhesive’s installation instructions to find the allowable moisture level of the concrete.

  • Maximum acceptable floor variation is 1/8” in 10 feet.

Before Installing

**Do not install flooring that has not been properly acclimatized to humidity conditions. Recommended acclimatizing time is 7 days minimum in rooms where the flooring will be installed. Try to disperse flooring as much as possible. If it is not possible, make smaller stacks, break boxes and open ends. Before starting installation, check moisture content on several randomly picked samples.

  • Correct slight irregularities on the subfloor.

  • Remove baseboards and doorsills.

  • Cut 9/16” off the bottom of the doorframes to insert the strips underneath them.

  • Vacuum the subfloor regularly during installation to make sure it is always clean and dust free.

Tools and Accessories Required

  • Measuring tape

  • Miter saw

  • Square

  • Sawhorse

  • Chalk line

  • Handsaw

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Crowbar

  • Safety goggles

  • Level

  • Trowel

  • Other tools and accessories may be necessary depending on site configuration and type of installation.

Installation Guide

  • Locate the longest wall of the room where the product will be installed.

  • Allow for a 9/16” expansion joint between the wall and the flooring strips. This joint will be hidden by a baseboard or quarter round.

  • Draw a guide line with a chalk line. The guide line must be parallel to the wall. Calculate its distance from the wall as follows: expansion joint + strip flooring width + tongue width.

  • To end a row, cut the strip at the correct length and use the remainder of the strip to start the next row. Do not forget to leave sufficient space for the expansion joint at the end of each row.

  • Make sure you carefully choose the strips to avoid aligning the end joints with those of adjacent rows. A minimum of 15cm (6”) must be allowed to avoid aligning the end joints.

  • You may have to cut the last row lengthwise. Fix it in the same way you did for the first row, that is, from the top.

  • Install baseboards and doorsills.

  • Vacuum once again. Lightly dampen a mop with water and clean your floor.

  • Installation is now complete.

Practical Tips

  • Installation of a factory-finished bamboo floor requires more care than a conventional floor to prevent damaging the floor’s finish during installation. Frequent use of a vacuum cleaner during installation is highly recommended to eliminate saw dust and wood chips.

  • Place your tools on the plywood or on a piece of cardboard rather than directly on the bamboo floor.

  • To better hide the expansion joint around the room, cut the gypsum so that the bamboo can use that space as an expansion joint.

  • If a strip presents too much color variation or a minor defect, put it aside and use it in a less visible area such as a closet. You can also cut a defective strip and use it to start or end a row.

  • Save remaining strips after installation and store them in a proper place for future repairs.

  • Remove adhesive from surface of the floor as soon as possible.

Maintenance

  • Use non-wax flooring cleaner to keep your floor in good condition. Use of conventional, domestic cleaners may permanently damage your floor’s finish.

  • Never clean your bamboo floor with a wet mop or cloth. Water and wood are natural enemies.

  • Do not wax your bamboo floor.

  • Vacuum your floor frequently to eliminate the presence of solid particles (such as sand) which may damage and/or scratch your floor.

  • Place protective felt underneath your furniture to protect your floor. Clean the felt regularly and replace it when necessary.

  • When moving heavy furniture (fridge, piano, etc.), place a thick rug underneath furniture legs before moving.

    « back to installation list

    Related posts:

    1. Installing Bamboo Flooring on Top of a Wood Subfloor
    2. Installing Glueless-Click Bamboo Flooring
    3. Renewing the Renewable: Cleaning Your Bamboo Floors

    This Learning Center belongs to you. We invite you to contribute to it.

    Have you got a question about what you've read here? Tell us about in the comments section. 

    If you're an expert in the field, and see something that is inaccurate, tell us, and we'll make the correction. 

    Also, if you think there is important information that is absent from any of these articles, please let us know!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis Wilkinson February 6, 2012 at 5:24 am

I am a homeowner. I have one question, I have ceramic tile in the kitchen. It is in good condition. Can bamboo flooring be installed over the tile or does the tile have to be removed?

Hope to hear from you.
Sincerely,
Phyllis Wilkinson

Gary Sandur February 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Hi Phyllis,
You can install right over the ceramic tile, but you would need to intall the floor in a floating method. This means looking at either the Strand woven click Bamboo or the 9mm Bamboo. This would be the fastest and easiest for you to install your bamboo flooring.

Tony Welcome August 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

We live in south west Florida and have the standard backyard set up, pool and pool cage and 12 x 14 foot covered lani. My question is, would a bamboo product that is sealed on unfinished side and ends and installed on the Ceiling be a good choice? The ceiling is protected from direct exposure to the elements such as rain. If not, what would be a good product? We have seen bamboo used in an outdoor setting around here, poles and planks, but I like the look of bamboo flooring and on the ceiling would give our lani a great look and warm feel.

Juliet Leben April 13, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I am doing a bamboo project on concrete floor is it better to do a sub wood floor or the glue and if so what size wood should I use

Lucille August 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Used glue to put down my bamboo flooring but am have a hard time getting the glue off the floor, any indeas

Holly November 13, 2013 at 2:32 am

I am interested in using strand woven bamboo in the bedrooms of our new home, but concerned about the maintenance. Is it true the bamboo cannot get wet at all or will be ruined? Also, can it ever be sanded & refinished if necessary years down the road?

Bob Isaacs February 2, 2014 at 1:12 am

I am wanting to use in-floor heating (heated water). What is your recommendation of the best and worst floor surface for transferring heating into the room space and why.

Antonio Veloso February 15, 2014 at 2:36 am

What is the best acceptable and guaranteed way to install hardwood finish flooring on top of concrete slab on grade? Does it need to have sleepers under it or could it be directly glued to the concrete? Appreciate your recommendations.

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.