Bamboo Flooring Installation: The Nail Down Method

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Bamboo flooring, as many homeowners are beginning to learn, offers some surprising benefits. Not only is bamboo flooring versatile and can be installed using a variety of techniques, but it is more environmentally friendly than other flooring options. One reason is that when compared with hardwood that can take as long as 25 years to mature, a bamboo plant grows to maturity in 5 years or less. Because of their installation versatility, bamboo floors can be installed by even the least experienced handymen. For installation instructions, just follow the steps below.

Making Preparations

Using the figures from packages of flooring you purchase and the measurements you make of the room where you plan to install your bamboo flooring, estimate the number of bamboo flooring materials you'll need. To the total you've estimated, add 10 percent for waste and error. Remove from the room everything that is sitting on the floor. Remove heat register covers, baseboards, moldings, and all entrance and closet doors. Tighten down any loose floorboards or sub-flooring and use a leveling compound to fill seams in your floorboards.

Allow Bamboo Flooring to Acclimate

New bamboo boards, you take from your flooring packages will need to adjust to temperature and position changes for about 3 days before you install them. Place them in the room where they will be installed, remove them from their packages, and spread them on the floor.

Plan your Flooring Board Positions

Determine how you want your boards placed. Will you want the boards running lengthwise with the length of the room, or will you prefer to have them running parallel with windows that may be at the ends of your room? You will need to decide this before you begin installing your flooring.

Estimate Boards for Their Fit

You will need a combination of full boards and partial boards, depending on the space you'll be covering. Measure your room width and estimate how many full boards will be needed, how many partial boards, and how long these partial boards should be. Adjust your figures to allow parallel boards near each wall to be the same width.

Install your Floor Underlay

Lay underlay strips so they butt against each other. The purpose of the underlay is to absorb room sounds and to act as a cushion to soften the floor.

Install the Floor Strips

Attach two flooring strips by driving ring shank nails through the interlocking grooves, spacing them 8 to 10 inches apart. Be sure the seams at the ends of the boards in each row are offset with seams in adjacent rows. To avoid wasting your flooring strips when you cut them to fit the end of each row, use your leftover pieces as starting pieces at the beginning of each row. Examine each strip to be sure it is not split or bent before nailing it in place.

Use this same procedure to lay the rest of your floor.