A bamboo floor will last a long time with the proper application of floor sealant. Bamboo has become a popular alternative to hardwood flooring. For one thing, bamboo grows faster, so it is easier to replenish bamboo nurseries than hardwood tree nurseries. Bamboo also gives rooms a lighter feel than other hardwood floors.
To maintain the beauty and durability of bamboo, you need to apply a floor sealant soon after it is installed and once or several times a year, depending on how the flooring was finished at the factory. Urethane is the best finish for durability.
Step 1 - Clean the Floor
The bamboo floor should be cleaned right after right after installation to remove dust, grit and residue. Companies which have good reputations for environmentally friendly cleaning products are good sources for the best cleaners. Cleaners formulated for hardwood floors can be good cleaning choices for bamboo flooring. Purchase a cleaner that is compatible with the type of finish you have on your floor and is pH neutral. Make sure it does not leave a residue or harmful toxins. Get as gentle a cleaner as possible. First sweep the floor with a soft bristled broom or dry mop. Then mix the cleaner according to the directions. A light mop, such as a Swiffer would be good or a good sponge mop.
Step 2 - Apply the Sealant
Once the floor is dry, then you can apply the sealant. Choose a floor sealant which is compatible with the type of finish on your bamboo flooring. Make sure the container lists bamboo as a compatible flooring. You can also call the manufacturer of your flooring to find out the recommended floor sealants for your brand of bamboo flooring.
Mix the floor sealant carefully, according to the directions. A good lamb's wool wax applicator would be best for spreading the sealant. You can purchase one at a janitorial supply house. Apply an even (but not too heavy) coat to the floor, similarly to floor waxing.
WARNING: Don't forget to check the sealant's container for safety instructions before you start putting it down. You'll likely have to open windows to give proper ventilation and wear gloves and a face mask while applying it (especially if you have a history of respiratory issues).
Step 3 - Replace Furniture
Make sure you give the floor the recommended drying time before re-entering the room. Have someone help you lift the furniture back in place, so as not to disturb the newly sealed floor.
Advantages of Periodic Sealing and Cleaning
Keeping the floor sealed will keep dirt and dust from getting into the finish of the bamboo. Sweeping the floor often to keep the grit from scratching the finish will help the durability of the sealant and finish. After a number of sealing treatments the floor will need to be refinished, so don't overdo the sealing treatments. Make sure you clean the floor well before sealing, so you don't seal in residue and grit.
If possible, have your family take off their dirty shoes before entering the room. It is good for the flooring in the rest of the house, to have a durable mud room, where people can change into comfortable house shoes before entering the main house.
Open the windows about 15 minutes each day to air out the floor.