FloorUS -> Flooring Installation Guide -> ORIENTIQUE Distressed Hand-Scaped Bamboo Flooring Installation Remark

ORIENTIQUE Distressed Hand-Scaped Prefinished Solid Bamboo Flooing Installation Remark


Bamboo flooring products are installed much like typical hardwood flooring using nails, staples or adhesive.

Before Installation:

The bamboo should be delivered to the job-site at least 72 hours before installation. The boxes should be opened and the bamboo laid out in the room to be installed. The heating or air conditioning must be turned on and operating at normal levels so the boards can acclimate to their environment. Do not unload flooring during wet conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, etc. Moisture absorbed by the flooring boards will cause them to swell. If installed before acclimation, they will subsequently shrink back to their in-service moisture content. This shrinkage may produce gaps, which is a natural occurrence. The building must be enclosed and dried out before the installation of the bamboo flooring.


Bamboo flooring should be installed in manner similar to that used to other types of solid hardwood flooring products. Make sure you have good lighting when installing the floor. This will allow any obvious defects in a board or boards to be easily noticed. Before installation, the installer must be sure that the sub-floor is solid, level, clean, and dry. Bamboo is a product of nature. Because of the natural color variation in bamboo flooring from piece to piece, it is important to work out of four to five boxes at a time to assure a beautiful blend of shading. Warranties do not cover color variation, so staggering boards with color differences throughout the floor is important. Always allow ½” to ¾” space for expansion around the perimeter of the room. An expansion space is required when a vertical obstruction such as fireplace, posts, etc. are parallel to the direction of the flooring.

Nailing Methods :

Bamboo flooring can be installed on wood sub-floors. The moisture content of the wood sub-floor at the time of installation should be in the range of 6 to 10 percent. During building construction, before the building is enclosed, the sub-floor may absorb moisture from direct exposure to rain and weather. Sub-floors, which are built with “performance-rated” 3/4-inch thick oriented strand board (OSB) or CDX plywood, will produce the best performing bamboo floors. Buildings with crawl space foundations should include a vapor barrier installed between the ground and the sub-floor. This barrier will minimize the effect of moisture evaporating into the crawl space environment that can migrate through the sub-floor and into the bamboo flooring. The vapor barrier can be 4 to 6 mil polyethylene sheets laid on the crawlspace floor. Proper air circulation is important to prevent moisture build-up. Furthermore, the building should be completely enclosed with windows and doors installed prior to flooring installation.

Two-inch long flooring nails (cleats), or 2-inch, 15 gauge flooring staples with a 1/2-inch crown, may be used to install 3/4-inch thick bamboo flooring. 1-1/4 to 1-1/2-inch long flooring cleats or staples can be used to install 5/8-inch thick bamboo flooring. These fasteners are installed using pneumatic or mechanically operated floor nailing guns which are struck with a rubber-faced hammer to drive each board tightly against its neighbor and simultaneously fire the nail or staple through the tongue of the bamboo flooring and into the sub-floor. Proper spacing between nails is critical for a trouble-free, durable, bamboo floor. Recommended nail spacings are 8 to 10 inches apart along the length of each floorboard. Each floorboard should be nailed at least 5 inches away from each end. During installation, it is useful to scribe nail spacing lines directly onto the tarpaper with chalk. This allows the installer to easily identify the location of each nail.

Gluing Method:

Bamboo Flooring can also be installed over a concrete slab with glue.

Once again, it is very important that the installer is working on a flat, clean and “dry” base floor. Using the Calcium Chloride Test Method, do not install bamboo if vapor pressure exceeds 3 lbs. per 1,000 square feet in 24 hours. To achieve flatness, fill any low spots or voids and ground down any high spots. The concrete is considered flat when it does not vary by more than 3/16” in a 10 foot radius. Freshly poured concrete slabs emit many gallons of moisture as water vapor into the atmosphere of a building. Therefore, no concrete should be poured after the flooring is installed, and an adequate curing time should be provided before installation of the flooring. Some concrete may require several months of curing time before moisture is sufficiently eliminated. Any slab should have a moisture barrier under the slab to prevent moisture from seeping up through the slab and damaging the bamboo. When the sub-floor is ready to use, glue the floor over the existing concrete slab or a plywood sub-floor. Again, the surface must be smooth and free of debris, oils, grease and solvents. A glue down installation procedure gaining in popularity is to use cork underlayment which is glued to the concrete, with the bamboo then glued to the cork.

Floating Floors: The floating floor method can be used for wood or concrete sub floor installations. Please carefully follow the instructions provided with the adhesive.

  • The first step in laying a floating floor is to determine which direction in the room the flooring will be installed. Consider laying flooring parallel with long wall.
  • Since walls are often not straight and rooms are not square use care in putting down the first row of flooring. Use a chalk-line as a guide to ensure the first row is straight.
  • Saw door jambs to the proper height to accommodate new flooring by using a piece of flooring as a guide.
  • Floors expand and contract over time and with changing environmental conditions. For every 27” of flooring allow 1/16” expansion. For example: A 12” wide floor should have approximately 11/32” gap for expansion on each side.
  • Use blocks or wedges (to be removed later) to align the first row to the chalk line. It is very important that the first row is straight. It is not necessary to fasten the first row to the floor. Select straight boards for use in the first row.
  • Stagger joints so a random pattern is generated.
  • Lay out all of the boards for the first row end to end but do not glue. The groove must be facing the wall. Once you are satisfied with the fit of the first row re-install this row but this time glue the ends of each board. On the ends of the boards place a continuous bead of glue along the top of the tongue of the piece already laid and on the bottom of the groove on the piece of flooring to be laid. Excessive glue may hold boards apart. Immediately wipe off any excess glue that is squeezed from a joint. Use a pinch bar to tightly install the last piece in the first row.
  • Begin the second row using a partial piece to ensure that joints are staggered. Use the glue bead locations in the installation instructions. Glue long and short edges of each board. Use a tapping block to put boards together. Gentle tapping works best. Never use a hammer directly on the edges or surfaces of your flooring. Immediately wipe off any excess glue that is squeezed from a joint.
  • Tape (designed for holding pre-finished floating floors) or straps may be used to secure floor as installation continues. Using the wrong tape will ruin your floor.
  • Continue the process until the last boards are installed. It may be necessary cut the last row of boards along its length so it will fit.
  • These instructions are general in nature. Please consult your professional installer for more details and tips.