DIY Network

How to Install Bamboo Flooring

Looking for green-friendly flooring? Bamboo may be the perfect option.

More in Floors

connect bamboo boards in small sections at a time

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Let the Wood Adjust to a New Climate

The most earth-friendly bamboo comes from managed forests and contains adhesives with lower levels of formaldehyde. It’s eco-friendly, fast-growing and doesn’t need to be replanted after its cut down, making it good for the environment.

Bamboo is a grass that reaches maturity in less than five years. This same plant can be harvested over and over again, whereas hardwood takes decades to grow and once the tree is cut down, it’s gone. Best of all, bamboo looks great with characteristics all its own, including "growth rings" and "knuckles" which add texture to your floor.

After buying the flooring, the pieces need to adjust to the climate of your room for a few days, so spread them in small piles.

allow flooring to adjust to room before installing

Step 3: Determine a Method Based on Floor Type

Installing bamboo is fairly easy. You can install bamboo floors above or below grade and on top of wood or concrete. If installing on a cement floor, gluing is the way to go. Work in small sections, connecting the boards as you go. Use a mallet to ensure a tight fit.

Otherwise, bamboo flooring can be nailed down or you can create a floating floor as strips snap together on top of a layer of foam. A horizontal cut will give you a wider strip versus a narrow vertical cut. A horizontal cut usually shows more bamboo markings.

bamboo flooring should be glued on cement floor

Step 4: Keep the Floor Clean

Bamboo is also easy to maintain, but like wood, it can dent or scratch. It stays fresh looking by sweeping with a soft broom and mopping with natural cleaners. Check into a warranty, most suppliers offer a lifetime structural warranty and a 15-year finished warranty. Buy a scratch repair kit and burn repair kit from the floor manufacturer.

Avoid high-heeled shoes on bamboo floors and place rugs (avoid rubber backed, so the floor can breathe) at the entrances to your home. Try to keep your pet’s nails and claws trimmed to avoid scratches on the bamboo.
Direct sunlight can cause the bamboo to become discolored. Use appropriate screens and shades. In the mid-range in terms of hardness, bamboo may be more susceptible to dents and can sand down quicker when being refinished.

maintain bamboo by sweeping and mopping naturally