What makes bamboo a sustainable material? Basically because its a vigorous species of the grass family. If you do your yard work every weekend or shell out the cash to a landscaper, you are certainly aware of how fast grass can regenerate.
As an example, planetgreen.discovery.com tells us, Its the fastest growing woody plant in the world, and it can be used as material in the construction of a slew of goods; flooring, bed sheets, paper, and even laptops are now being made with bamboo.
They also say that given the right situation, it can grow at the phenomenal rate of 24 each day! And by comparison, when you consider that it will take an oak tree or pecan many years to grow that much, its simple to see that its more sustainable than hardwood flooring.
In fact, it can be a nuisance. When it is processed, there are three common ways you may install it. Lets take a look and you can decide which is right for you.
Installing Bamboo Flooring with Glue
The most commonly used glue is a 100% urethane wood flooring adhesive. Its not a good idea to cut corners on this since the quality of your finished floor is dependent on it. High-quality adhesive manufacturers will provide information on what size trowel to use, glue ridge height, spread rate, and other details.
One common trick is to apply blue (or green) painters tape to keep your planks tightly in place while your adhesive is drying and curing.
You will find that painters tape is more expensive than common masking tape but it is well worth it; it is engineered to hold well and come up easily, with no messy residue.
Installation by Nailing or Stapling
This is a good choice to use if you have an OSB or plywood subfloor. Its important (in most cases) to use a vapor barrier with this method. This will not only keep moisture out, but it will also help eleminate undue noise and squeaking.
That said, some OSB doesnt need a separate barrier. OSBGuide says, For example, 5/8 (15.5mm) panels can be installed as a floor over unheated well ventilated spaces without the need of a vapor barrier, while 7/16 (11 mm), when installed as wall sheathing, will allow a wall cavity containing saturated stud lumber and glass fiber insulation to reach an equilibrium moisture content below 19 percent in approximately 60 days.
Your starter rows should be face-nailed in spots where the baseboard will cover the nails. This will ensure that they are securely locked in place.
Moving on after that, subsequent planks should be stapled or nailed directly above the tongue. For best results aim for a 45° to 50° angle. Your planks should be nailed every 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm).
Installing a Floating Floor
A floating floor (usually laminates like Pergo) is just what the name implies; even though your planks are secured to each other, they arent permanently affixed to your subfloor.
Because the floor floats, you must leave a gap all around the perimeter to allow for expansion and contraction.
This is so that your floor wont buckle. Additionally, in very large rooms, the floor must be divided up and joined with a transition strip. Refer to your manufacturer guideliness, but it is usually something like 30.
Recently, this seems to be the most popular method because it is a simple DIY home renovation project. It is also one of the most affordable methods and doesnt require many specialty tools.
You must use a special underlayment mat with laminates. If you are installing over a concrete slab, use one that has a vapor barrier attached to it. Be sure the shiny side (the barrier) faces up and use wide clear plastic tape to join all seams.
Common Pointers for any of these Methods
Since bamboo is a natural organic building material, you can expect that youll encounter variations with regard to grain, color, as well as the shading. This is one of the things that lends its character, so you should always work with several cartons at once. Mix and match.
Be certain your floor is flat before beginning the installation. The levelness is not so important, but flatness is imperative.