Installing Glueless-Click Bamboo Flooring

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

Important Considerations

Since bamboo is a natural product it will have shading variations. During installation, it is best to work out of several cartons and mix the various shades in a pleasing pattern. When choosing a flooring product for areas in your home; children, pets, and lifestyle activity should be taken carefully into consideration. This flooring will scratch and dent, just like any other wood flooring. Therefore, it is important to protect your floor with thick felt or rubbers pads under chairs and other furniture that may be moved across the floor. In some cases, it may be necessary to protect your floor from heavy furniture. Never drag furniture or appliances across the floor.

Scratches, dents, shading variations, and installation issues may not covered by your Warranty. It is always a good idea to carefully read the warranty and installation instructions provided by the seller prior to starting your installation.

Please Read Before Installing

Tips For A Successful Installation

yan click nat pro 1000 300x201 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring
  • Be sure to read all instructions and Warranty first so you can get your questions answered before you begin.
  • Purchase 105% of the square footage in order to ensure that you have enough material to complete the area. If you are installing diagonally, you should purchase an extra 15% (depending on room size). It is best if you purchase all of your flooring at the same time; some products can vary significantly if purchased at a later date. It is also helpful if you have extra material that can be used for future repairs.
  • While acclimation is not generally required, it is still best to allow a couple of days for it to stabilize in the rooms where it will be installed, especially if you live in very humid or very dry climates.
  • Moisture testing is required to avoid conditions which may affect your flooring and provide a breeding ground for unhealthy mold and mildew.
  • Be sure to leave spacing around the entire edge of the flooring so the flooring has room to expand and contract. You will even need to have spacing even under door frames and at kitchen islands. Small pieces of flooring can be used as spacers, and shims or spacers can be used to make smaller adjustments; allow at least 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) for smaller rooms and ½ inch (12.7 mm) for larger rooms. In very large rooms (more than 40 feet {12.2 m} long), you will need to leave an expansion gap of ½ inch (12.7 mm), which can then be covered with the T-Molding. We also recommend leaving an expansion gap in the door opening between rooms; this also can be covered by the T-Molding placed directly under the door.
  • You will need to undercut door frames to allow for expansion; this can be done by placing a piece of flooring on the subfloor and then the saw blade on top of the flooring before beginning the cut.
  • A tapping block and pull bar will be necessary to gently push or pull the flooring together. Never hit the tongue or groove directly with a hammer. Gentle tapping is the most effective way to push or pull the planks together. Never try to force the planks to lie flat; a few gentle taps on the tapping block in the middle of the plank will generally help the plank fold down into place. If you still have difficulty, cut the plank into a smaller piece and us e to begin or finish a row.
  • During installation, it is important to inspect the flooring. Any planks that are not suitable should be not be installed.

    Please note that it is the responsibility of the person installing the floor to inspect the flooring for defects or other issues that may not be suitable. Once the flooring is installed, it is considered acceptable, and becomes the responsibility of the person installing the floor. Please remember that damaged planks should have the damaged portion cut off, and the undamaged portion used to begin or end a row.

  • Because of the stability of bamboo flooring, it may be installed on, above, or below grade (basements). When installing over a crawl space or concrete, it will be necessary to use a vapor barrier to prevent moisture migration. A plastic film with a minimum thickness of 6 mm should be placed with a 4 – 6 inch (101.6 – 152 mm) overlapped seam, and then taped with duct tape or other suitable tape. If the flooring does not have the padding attached, you will need to use a padding or underlayment purchased separately. Some padding (underlayment) will have its own moisture barrier attached, and it will not be necessary to use a separate moisture barrier.
  • Underlayments: There are many types of underlayments available. Some examples are cork, rubber, sound deadening panels, and standard foam. Foam padding may or may not have the moisture barrier attached, be sure to consult with the retailer to be sure. A moisture barrier is required over concrete and a good idea over a crawl space. If your homeowner’s association has sound transmission requirements, you will need to use a sound deadening underlayment. Consult with your dealer to determine if the underlayment meets these requirements.
  • Be sure that all doors that open into the area will have enough clearance to open; it may be necessary to cut the bottom of the door to ensure that it will open and close fully without rubbing against the floor. Door cutting should be done by an experienced carpenter. Also be sure that any appliances and fixtures will fit back in their place once the flooring is installed.
  • Protect your floor from scratches. Use thick felt or rubber pads under chairs & tables. Also, if your chairs or other furniture have rolling castors, you made need to replace with softer rubber castors. Heavy furniture may require addition protection to prevent denting under the legs. Never push/drag furniture or appliances across the floor as they can damage the finish.
  • In addition to the normal tools that are required for installation, you will need a special Tapping Block that is designed for the material being installed. You will also need a Pull Bar for areas in which you will not be able to use the Tapping Block; such as along walls and door jambs.

Installation Guideline

Responsibilities Of The Owner/Installer

If you take care to install this flooring correctly, taking all precautions suggested in this guideline, this flooring will give you many years of satisfaction. While it is not necessary to use a professional to install this flooring, a professional can advise you of existing or past conditions that may affect the long term performance of the flooring. This is only guideline and cannot supply all the details you may encounter regarding the installation. Detailed preparation and installation procedures are outlined by the National Wood Flooring Association’s Hardwood Flooring Manual (NWFA) 1-800-422-4556 or www.nwfa.org. Please remember it is the responsibility of the person installing the floor to determine the suitability of the application, materials, and conditions before beginning the installation.

Pre- installation Procedures/Acclimation:

Please handle, transport, and unload the flooring with care. Flooring should be stored in a dry place, with at least a four-inch air space under cartons. Flooring should not be delivered until the building has been closed in with windows and doors in place, and until cement work, plastering, painting, and all other materials are thoroughly dry. While it is not necessary to acclimate the product, it is best if stored in the area where it will be installed 48 hours prior to installation. This may be necessary due to prior storage and transport conditions. In addition, the heating or cooling system should be operating and controlled at 50° – 70°F (10° – 21°C) for at least 72 hours before, during and maintained after installing. As with all wood flooring, your bamboo flooring will experience less expansion/contraction if the humidity is controlled year-round.

Moisture Testing

Moisture testing is required, it will alert you of current moisture issues that will affect the installation and promote the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew which could potentially affect you and your family’s health. If necessary, you may want to consult with a professional for proper testing and guidance. Moisture levels above 12.5 % in wood subfloors or 4.5 on moisture encounter meters for concrete subfloors can promote the growth of mold and should be investigated to determine the cause and solution of the problem. Checking for moisture: Use a Delmhorst J-4 (or equivalent) moisture meter for wood, or a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter meter (or equivalent) for concrete. You can also use a calcium chloride test for concrete; test results above 3 lbs. per 1000 square feet (92.9 square meters) in a 24 hour period can indicate a moisture issue.

Other Considerations

Before installation, lay out the flooring where it is to be installed (that is, lay the planks down roughly as they will appear after installation), taking care to mix it in a shading pattern pleasing to your eye. Installer should inspect each plank at this time for finish and quality. Once installed, it becomes the responsibility of the installer/homeowner. Remember that all natural flooring comes in a range of colors and shades. Our quality control procedures at the factory ensure that very few, if any defective planks are delivered to the consumer. Remove baseboards and undercut door jambs to insure a quality installation. Remember to allow room for expansion around the entire perimeter of the flooring. Failure to provide room for expansion will result in installation issues.

Recommended Areas

Bamboo flooring may be installed on, above, or below grade (soil level). Bamboo flooring should not be installed in wet areas such as bathrooms (with tub/shower) or mud rooms. Care should be taken not to expose the flooring to standing water or liquids for extended periods of time, as it may damage the floor.

Acceptable Subfloors

Because of the versatility of our flooring, it can be installed over virtually any hard surface floor such as wood, vinyl, and even ceramic tile (be sure the tiles are firmly attached to the subfloor). Carpet or other textile products will need to be removed prior to installation. Before beginning the installation, check for squeaks and other loose areas to ensure they are firmly attached. Areas that are loose should be fastened with screws or ring shank nails, as it will not be possible to do this once the flooring is installed.

Subfloor Preparation

The subfloor should be clean, free from dirt or other debris, and relatively flat and level. Normal requirements call for no more than 3/16 inch (4.7 mm) difference in a 10 foot (3.05 m) radius. While it may not be critical to be exact, it will provide a more solid base for the flooring which will help to eliminate movement or hollow sounds when walked on. High spots can be removed by sanding (wood) or grinding (concrete), or the low spots may be filled with an appropriate leveling compound.

Radiant Heat Subfloors (In Floor Heating)

Due to the popularity of radiant heat and the many systems available; you will need to consult with the manufacturer of the system to ensure that it is compatible with the flooring. The temperature of the heating system should never exceed 85°F (29.44°C) and must be designed so that the heating is carefully controlled so that it gradually heats to the operating temperature. Rapid heating or excessive heat may damage the flooring or finish. Maintaining the humidity between 35% – 50% in your home will keep expansion and contraction to a minimum, and is highly recommended.

If installed in concrete, the concrete should be fully cured (30 – 60 days) before beginning preparation for flooring. For both wood and concrete subfloors, the radiant heat should be turned on for approximately one week to ensure excess moisture is removed. Turn the system off for at least 24 before beginning the installation. After the flooring is installed, the system may be turned back on. It is important the system be returned to the operating temperature slowly, preferably over 24 – 48 hours.

INSTALLATION

General

Depending on the type of locking system that comes with your glueless-click bamboo floor, you can install the planks one of two different ways (or sometimes both – varies by manufacturer).

Method A: Position the plank at a 20-30° angle to the plank already installed. Move the plank gently up and down while pushing forward. The plank will then automatically fold into place. You can either insert the tongue into the groove or the groove on to the tongue. The tongue in groove method is most common, and also the easiest. Never force the plank to lay flat, always help it to fold into position. See Diagrams A-1 through A-3.

lc DiagramA 1 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc DiagramA 2 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc DiagramA 3 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

Method B: You can also tap the planks into place with a tapping block and hammer without lifting the planks. For this method you will need a special tapping block designed for 1/2 inch (12mm) flooring. The planks should not be tapped together with a single tap. To avoid damaging the plank, you must tap them together gradually. See Diagrams B-1 and B-2.

lc diagramb Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

Remove all wall base or molding, and undercut door trims if needed. When installing over concrete or a crawl space, you will need to use a vapor barrier; you can use polyethylene film (6 mm or more thickness) for this purpose (Figure 1). Overlap the seams by 4 – 6 inches (101.6 – 152 mm), and then tape the seams to provide a seamless moisture barrier. Put down the plastic film as necessary until you complete that section, this will help to keep the moisture barrier from getting damaged. Allow the film to run up the wall a short distance; then trim so it will be covered by wall molding (Figure 2). When starting the installation, it is important to take time to plan the installation; accurate measurements will allow you to avoid having to cut small strips when you reach the other side of the room. If necessary, you may need to trim the starting row width so that you can avoid very thin strips of flooring when you reach the other side of the room.

lc figure1 3 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

To start, the sides of the planks that will go next to the wall will need to have the tongue portion removed (Figure 3) to allow room for expansion. You will also need to take a board and cut off one third; these two pieces will be used to begin the second and third rows. Follow the procedures shown in Figures 4.3 – 4.10 for the first four rows; you can then push these rows into place along the wall. Be sure to use spacers or scrap pieces of flooring along the wall to maintain expansion gap. At this point, you can avoid a stair step joint pattern by using the pieces of boards cut off when finishing a row (or cut new ones). Be sure these pieces are at least 8 inches (203 mm) long. Always keep the end joints at least 8 inches (203 mm) apart. You can then finish the room as shown in Figures 4.11 – 4.16.

Please Note: Be sure there is sufficient room for expansion along all walls, under door frames, and around any pipes or fixtures attached to or come through the subfloor. Rooms longer than 40 feet (12.192 m) will require an expansion gap (you can decide where you think it will look best), which can be finished with the T-Molding. When installing in other rooms, leave an expansion gap directly beneath the door; this can then be covered with the T-Molding. Never attach the flooring directly to the subfloor as it will prevent the floor from expanding/contracting.

lc figure4.1 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.2 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.3 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.4 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.5 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.6 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.7 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring lc figure4.8 Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

In places where you cannot use the tapping block to push the boards into place, you will need to use the pull bar. You can then gently tap the boards in place. This is necessary for the last board in each row and when finishing the last row. See Diagrams 5A – 5C.

lc diagram5a c Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

Pipes

In rows where there is a pipe or other object through the subfloor, make sure the object lines up exactly where two boards will meet on the short ends. Take care to measure carefully before cutting, so the two boards end at the middle of the object. Use a drill or hole bit that is the diameter of the pipe or object, plus 3/4 inch (20mm) for expansion. Click the two short sides of the boards together, then drill the hole centered on the joint between the boards as shown. Now you can separate the two boards and install as normal. See Diagrams 6A – 6C.

lc diagram6a c Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

Under Door Frames

When sawing boards that will go under the door frame, you need to be sure to leave 3/8 inch (10mm) for expansion under the door frame. When undercutting the door frame, be sure you cut far enough under, so that the frame covers the board, and still has enough room for expansion. Use the tapping block to gently tap the board into place, and then use the pull bar to gently tap into place. Remember that this board needs to end so that the transition piece used in the doorway ends directly under the middle of the door, plus the expansion gap. If you are installing in the adjacent room, the T-Molding should be centered under the door. See Diagrams 7A & 7B.

lc diagram7a b Installing Glueless Click Bamboo Flooring

Transitions

All transition pieces should be attached to the subfloor with a high quality construction adhesive. Place a generous bead of adhesive under the part of the transition that will sit directly on the subfloor, and then press the transition firmly in place. Be sure the transition sits firmly in the adhesive, and take care not to get any adhesive on the finish. Remove any adhesive from the finish immediately with mineral spirits and buff off any residue with a dry soft cloth. It may be necessary to place heavy weights on the transition until the adhesive dries to ensure it will lay flat. If necessary, you can also use small finish nails by pre-drilling, countersinking, and then filling the nail hole with matching putty. Never attach the transitions directly to the flooring.

Finishing The Floor

Remove spacers around the perimeter of the floor, then replace existing or install new wall base or molding. Never nail the wall base or molding directly to the flooring. CONGRATULATIONS! You can now enjoy your beautiful new floor!

 

  • 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!
  • 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. Floating Method – Glueless Click
  2. Installing Bamboo Flooring on Top of a Wood Subfloor
  3. Installing Bamboo Floors on Top of a Concrete Subfloor

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!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie Kelley July 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Our contractor installed a beautiful medium colored floating bamboo floor through out our great room and down a hallway in our new home just 2 months ago. Unusual heat in the area this last week caused the floor to expand – so much so that it heaved and erupted into big humps all along a large area. I’m just sick. We signed off on the contractor just prior to the floor buckling.

Geri August 27, 2011 at 4:08 am

Your words “Detailed preparation and installation procedures are outlined by the National Wood Flooring Association’s Hardwood Flooring Manual (NWFA) 1-800-422-4556 or http://www.nwfa.org.” prompted me to Google nwfa.org. All the descriptions said that this is a members-only website, and that doesn’t help me.

John Olive November 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Any suggestions for protecting my floating bamboo click flooring from the weight of an upright piano? The floor is being installed over a wood subfloor with a foam pad between the subfloor and bamboo floor.

Thanks,

John

jerry mowrey January 10, 2013 at 12:44 am

extreme thank you information most helpful saved a lot of time and learning the hard way

Bill Gabrielsen August 10, 2013 at 3:10 am

what is the best type of saw blade for cutting this product?

Donna Davis May 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm

My owner had glueless click bamboo installed in my home a few weeks ago. No type of adhesive was used, just some type of foam underneath. Now I am noticing a lot of spacing between the pieces. Is this normal and can it be fixed?

MARK HITCHEN June 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm

This is out dated information.

Patty July 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Some of the bamboo boards have shrunk and there is now a gap between the boards. What is the best fix for this situation

Joe September 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

to Debbie Kelley, Check and see if the installation was done correctly by having someone pull the baseboard off the wall at the end of the row of boards that are buckling. There may not be enough clearance for expansion. The boards are probably hitting the wall. Remember the Bamboo flooring needs up to 9/16″ clearance on each end of the row of boards. This can easily be fixed.

Leave a Comment

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