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Products > Bamboo Flooring > Installation
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Bamboo flooring, when properly installed, is a beautiful durable floor-covering material. The installer must be careful to protect the flooring material from gaining moisture before, during and after the installation of the product. this installation instructions are intended to help the installer produce a trouble-free floor. Should an individual piece of bamboo be doubtful as to grade, manufacturer or factory finish, the installer should not use the piece. 
Before installation
The bamboo should be delivered to the job-site at least 72 hours before installation. The boxes should be opened and the heating or air conditions turned on so the floor can acclimate to its 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 will cause problems with the finished floor system.
Bamboo flooring can be installed on wood sub-floor, the moisture content of the wood sub-floor at the time of installation should be in the range of 8--10 percent. During building construction, before the building is enclosed, the sub-floor may absorb moisture from direct exposure to rain and weather. the building must be enclosed and dried out before the installation of the bamboo flooring. sub-floors, which are built with "performance-rated" 3/4-inch thick oriented stand board (OSB)or plywood will produce the best performing bamboo floors. Also,5/8-inch thick plywood may also be used. but 1/2-inch sub-floor products may lack stiffness and nail-holding properties for good performance with bamboo flooring products.
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. At least two vents should be left open year round. Furthermore, the building should be completely enclosed with windows and doors installed prior to flooring installation. Freshly poured concrete slabs emits many gallons of moisture as water vapor into the atmosphere of the building. Therefore, no concrete should be poured after the flooring is installed, and an adequate curing time (minimum 60 days) should be provided before installation of the flooring.
Bamboo flooring should be installed in manger similar to that used to other types of solid hardwood flooring products. Before installation, the installer must be sure that the sub-floor is solid, level, clean, and dry. Fifteen-pound building paper (tar paper) should be laid directly onto the sub-floor. This building paper minimizes squeaks caused by small movements of the bamboo flooring after installation, and helps to reduce some moisture problems. The difference between the moisture level of the sub-floor and the bamboo flooring should be on more than 4%.Bamboo flooring can then be installed. 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 four to five boxes at a time to assure a beautiful blend of shading.
Nailing Methods
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 3/8- 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 floor board. Each floor board should be nailed at least 5 inches away from each and. During installation, it is useful to scribe nail spacing lines directly onto the tar paper 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 (a moisture barrier is recommended even when a wood sub-floor is used). Once again, it is very important than the installer is working on a flat, clean and dry base floor. when the base is ready to use, glue the floor over the existing concrete slab or a plywood sub-floor, using the glues that are recommended. Use any top-quality wood floor adhesive of the market, such as Franklin or Bostik brands.
Sanding and Finishing
Bamboo flooring can be sanded like any other hardwood floor surface. Sweep the floor immediately before sanding. Sanding and finishing the bamboo floors should be one of the last jobs on a construction projects. This protects the floor from foot traffic of other tradesmen during their work. Floor sanding involves using a special floor sander, edge sander, and possibly a polisher with a disc attachment for holding sand paper.
Sanding starts with a coarse to medium grit sand paper. After sanding the entire floor with a coarse grit sand paper, repeat with a medium grit and complete sanding with a fine grit sand paper. This products a fine floor surface ready for finishing.
After sanding be sure to apply the first coat of finish the same day that sanding was completed. This prevents moisture from being absorbed into the surface of the flooring and producing a rough, raised-grain appearance.
Bamboo floors can be refinished a minimum of three times by following proper maintenance and care. The finish may be damaged by spike heels, stone chips, gravel and scratches. Furniture must have chair glides to protect the floor. Fading due to sunlight may occasionally occur.
The floor can be finished with products that are commonly used for other types of strip hardwood flooring, including penetrating sealers, pigmented wiping stains, moisture cured urethanes , and polyurethanes.
The techniques of sanding and finishing require high skill and best results may be obtained by employing professional floor finishers.
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