Bamboo can be a beautiful flooring material for any home or office. That's why contractors and do-it-yourselfers seek it out. The bamboo material adds a certain vibrance and roominess to any space. But this durable material can be confusing to install. There are several ways to do it, and if you are a newbie home improvement enthusiast who wants to update your floor, you'll have to understand bamboo flooring pros and cons associated with each method.
This article will give you an overview of each method you can use in your endeavor to learn how to install bamboo floors the right way. We also threw in some of our favorite bamboo floor brands to help you get started.
This is the sturdiest of all the methods and is commonly used by professionals. The nail-down method involves using power tools such as a nail or a staple gun to attach the bamboo to the subflooring. You'll also need a hammer to tap the bamboo floor into place and a woodcutter to slice the wood to fit the size of your space. That being said, the nail-down method is only applicable if your subflooring isn't made of concrete.
What's great about this method is that you don't have to work with adhesive, which can be messy if you're not used to it. The nail-down method is praised for yielding the smoothest and most stable bamboo wood surface.
The glue-down method uses an adhesive on the subfloor before the bamboo floor is placed. This method is often used for bamboo floor panels that have a tongue and groove design.
The method involves placing an adhesive on the curved part of the floor panel (the groove) and connecting it to the side of the panel that's sticking out (the tongue). The glue-down method also uses adhesives for gluing down bamboo laminate flooring on the subfloor.
What's great about the glue-down method is that you don't have to purchase power tools to make it work, which can be costly. Instead, all you need is the right adhesive for the subflooring to connect engineered or even solid bamboo flooring and you'll be set.
If there's anything complicated with the glue-down method, it's that you'll have to be precise with your panel placement. The adhesive can dry up quickly, so you’ll need to attach the panel perfectly before the adhesive sets.
The glue-down method is best if your subflooring is made of concrete.
This method is the easiest to do. There's no need for power tools or adhesive. All you need to do is "float" the bamboo floor on your subflooring by placing the panels together like a puzzle.
If you're a DIYer, you can start the floating method by using a click-lock bamboo floor, but a tongue and groove style also works. The float method is flexible. It allows you to top up on an existing wood flooring or concrete subflooring. It is cost-efficient because you don't have to purchase anything else apart from the bamboo wood floor materials, and you can just as easily replace them once they're damaged.
One drawback of the floating method is that since the flooring isn't secured, it may cause uneven surfaces, especially if the wood expands.
Five of the Best Bamboo Flooring to Get for Your Home
The Xcora series from Teragren is one of the bamboo floor brands that offers a wide variety of engineered and solid bamboo flooring. Teragren's Xcora series is 160% harder than red oak and is best for use in places with high foot traffic. Coffee shops, restaurants, and offices in the service industry would benefit from these particular products.
- 25 years of warranty
- Wide range of floor colors
- May be hard to source depending on where you live
Another brand that's a contractor's favorite is the Cali Bamboo. The brand offers a wide range of colors and textures for bamboo floors. What makes Cali Bamboo flooring stand out is its fossilized manufacturing process that doubles the density of the bamboo floor, making it tougher.
Cali Bamboo floors offer their clients a low volatile organic compound (VOC) that's non-toxic and sustainable. So you can be sure your home's flooring is environmentally-friendly and safe.
- Proprietary fossilized production process for bamboo floors
- Low VOC content for sustainability
- Adhesive use in their fossilized flooring can cause mild health hazards
If you are looking for an affordable yet sturdy bamboo floor, you should check out Lumber Liquidators (LL Flooring). They are also accessible because they have hundreds of branches In the United States and Canada, so if you're living in these countries, you won't have a hard time finding them. LL Flooring also offers low prices. Their bamboo flooring costs roughly $2.00 per square foot.
- Accessibility of products
- Low-cost options
- Customer service is seen to be average by most buyers
If you're looking for good click-lock flooring, you'll find it at Ambient, along with a wide selection of other types of bamboo flooring. Ambient offers 30 color variations for every home improvement enthusiast and do-it-yourselfers. You can also get tongue and groove bamboo floor apart from the click-lock; you'll have a choice between a solid strand or engineered bamboo floor to enjoy your own method of bamboo floor installation. Ambient's floors all come with Accuseal Ultra Finish that makes the floor tough.
- Wide range of options
- Lifetime structural and finish warranty
- The wide range of options could mean a lack of focus on quality product selections
As the third most popular specialty store, Home Depot should be one of your initial go-to places for bamboo flooring. They have at least 60 different bamboo floor variations to choose from. It isn't just the floor. They carry virtually every home-related product that every DIYer needs in their home project. If you're an average homeowner who wants to do a small renovation project, Home Depot is the place for you.
- Superior range of bamboo flooring options
- Non-specialized and may have low-quality products in their inventory
Our Pick: Teragren
If you want the best for your home, we recommend getting the Xcora series from Teragren. The selection isn’t wide, but the quality and design are exquisite. Your home will feel the best with the Xcora series floor selection.
Apart from that, Teragren is both the product developer and manufacturer. They have full control over the quality, and they make sure that sustainability and the environment are part of their quality criteria.