How to Acclimate Bamboo Flooring Prior to Installation

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  • 336-504 hours
  • Beginner
  • 250-300
What You'll Need
Moisture testing kit
Knife or box cutter
Bamboo flooring
Rubber gloves
Eye goggles

While there do exist several pros of bamboo flooring in comparison with traditional hardwood flooring, many cons are also evident. One of the main advantages of bamboo floors is that they are environmentally friendly and bamboo regenerates itself very quickly. However, one of the main flaws with bamboo flooring is that it is not impervious to moisture, and tends to wear out rather quickly. Therefore, it is essential that it be acclimatized before installation. The sections below shall describe in detail the process for acclimatizing bamboo floors.

Step 1 - Measure Moisture Content

When installing a bamboo floor in your home, often one of the first steps is to put in a slab of plywood over the concrete floor. You must determine the amount of moisture in the plywood. This can easily be done using a moisture test kit which is available at hardware and super stores. The majority of these kits will come with detailed instructions about how they should be used. Follow these instructions exactly and take readings at approximately every foot. Add these up and ascertain the average moisture content using the recorded values. Continue to record moisture content for about a week.

Step 2 - Order Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo floors in a living room.

Keep monitoring the moisture content of the plywood slab for around a week to 10 days. Once the moisture content has dropped by approximately 12 percent according to your recorded values, order the bamboo planks. Bamboo flooring of all kinds is available at hardware or home improvement stores.

Step 3 - Lay out Bamboo Flooring

Before carrying out this step, ensure that you make full use of your rubber gloves and eye goggles as the proceeding steps can prove to be slightly messy. At this stage, the bamboo flooring should have been bought. Open up the boxes of flooring with the help of a knife or a box cutter. Be careful not to cut the bamboo flooring itself when opening the boxes. With the boxes now open, lay out the bamboo flooring evenly all over the plywood. However, do leave approximately 6 inches of space between the planks being spread out. This is to ensure that the planks have adequate room to acclimatize themselves in the room, and can easily expand.

Step 4 - Leave Bamboo Flooring for Certain Time Period

Dark bamboo floors.

Once the bamboo flooring has been laid out all over the room, it should be left this way for a small period of time. This period depends on the moisture content of the room, and can be anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks.

Step 5 - Check Moisture Content

After 2 to 3 weeks have passed, check the moisture content of the flooring again using the testing kit. By this point in time, you should have acclimatized your floor to minimize moisture, and also allowed the bamboo planks to fit in considerably well. Now, your bamboo floor can be installed into the concrete since acclimatization has taken place.