CHECKLIST FOR YOUR BAMBOO FLOORING JOB CONDITIONS:
Before installing any wood or bamboo flooring be sure to observe
the checklist for your job conditions. This list was developed by
National Wood Flooring Associates.
CHECKLIST FOR YOUR
Until the following
Guidelines have been met, the jobsite is not ready for a wood
__Gutters and downspouts are properly placed to drain water
away from the structure.
__Soil surrounding the structure is graded properly to drain
water away from the site.
__All wet trades (drywall, plaster, paint, ceramic title.
etc.) have completed their work.
__Air conditioning, heating and ventilation are complete and
__The building is enclosed and weather-tight, including all
doors and windows in place.
__The temperature and relative humidity within the structure
are at “normal living conditions”-that is, temperature is
between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and between 30 and 50
percent relative humidity.
__Six-mil polyethylene (preferably black) has been installed
and covers the entire ground area in the crawl space.
CONCRETE SLAB CONDITIONS
__Concrete has installed for at least 30 days.
__If wood flooring is to be installed over a slab, the
concrete is flat per specifications.
__A vapor barrier has been installed under the slab.
DELIVERY AND WORKING CONDITIONS
__Proper electrical power is available: 120V_____ 220V____
__Driveway and sidewalk are paved.
__Moisture content of the wood subfloor is no more than 3
percentage points above or below the finish flooring and is
within regional moisture content guidelines.
__Moisture testing of concrete slab began no sooner than 30
days after the slab was poured. Test results indicate that it
is safe for wood flooring installation to begin.
What type concrete testing was performed?
What were the test results?
While our Bamboo flooring
manufacturers attempt to identify the contents of each carton as
"light" or "dark", there remains a range of colors within each
category. The color determination is subjective and natural
products are unpredictable in color consistency. To avoid color
"blotches", the installer should work out of 3 separate cartons,
alternating planks from each carton to produce a floor with a
pleasing collage of colors.
Installers are the last step in
quality control and are required to inspect each plank prior to
nailing or gluing it in place. The National Wood Flooring
Association standard for off-quality product is 5%. Many of these
off-quality planks can be used as starter pieces or fillers. We
will exchange any planks in excess of 5%.
or lack of moisture is the primary factor of wood flooring
failures. Although bamboo flooring is somewhat more resistant to
problems caused by moisture than solid wood flooring. The standard
"solid bamboo", it is not an engineered floor but rather an
assembled floor and you should use the same installation
guidelines as you would for a solid wood floor. GreenFloors stocks
several type engineered products (a bamboo wear surface laminated
to a plywood base). Engineered wood of any species or bamboo is
inherently more stable than a solid version of the same species.
However, these are limits to how any floor covering specie will
perform with excessive moisture or absence of moisture.
All Bamboo Tongue & Groove Plank should be
installed as follows:
General conditions: In area
to be installed, temperature and humidity shall be brought to
normal occupancy levels for a minimum of 72 hours before
installation and maintained at those levels after installation.
Some areas may require more time for proper acclimation. Be sure
the job is closed in, with all outside windows and doors in
place. Excessive moisture caused by the slab or plaster drying
out should be dissipated before the flooring is placed at the
job-site. Flooring should be removed from the box and allowed to
acclimatize on site at least 72 hours before installation.
Be sure to use your moisture meter
to check moisture levels in both the sub-floor and the bamboo
flooring before installation. If there is a THREE- percent (3%)
OR MORE difference between the two, DO NOT INSTALL THE FLOORING
UNTIL THE DIFFERENCE IS LESS THAN THREE PERCENT.
Applications: May be nailed
or glued down over wood sub-floors or glued directly to concrete
sub-floors on, above, or below grade. May be floated within
certain dimensional limitations (not to exceed 16’ in width
without an expansion gap for solid bamboo construction) and with
a proper moisture barrier.
Sub-floor: Surfaces shall
be clean, dry, smooth (maximum 1/8" variance over 8 lineal feet)
and free of dirt, wax, oil, paint, curing agents and other
contaminants that would interfere with adhesive bond. Old
resilient floors can be covered provided above conditions apply.
Wood sub-floors shall be sanded level prior to new installation.
Concrete sub-floors shall have all cracks and holes filled with
a cementitious patching material (Ardex or equal). Concrete
sub-floors must be tested for moisture and not exceed three (3)
pounds per 1,000 square feet using the calcium chloride test.
Use a two-layer, 15-pound
felt, overlapped, under the bamboo for protection against
moisture migration. Planks shall be started square with
the room and parallel to its longest dimension by
positioning with a chalk line, leaving a minimum 1/4"
expansion space from base plate or wall. Ensure starter
rows are firmly in place by wedging, face nailing or using
adhesive. Once initial rows are secure, second and further
courses shall be blind nailed directly above tongue at a
45-50 degree angle to the face. Fasteners shall be spaced
at 10-12 inch intervals with a minimum of 2 fasteners per
piece and a fastener within 3 inches of each plank end.
Our installation customers have used the Model 200 T&G
from Powernail and the Primatech R610 engineered flooring
nailer. In addition, there are adaptors for other models
that can be used. NOTE: Particleboard does not provide
adequate holding of the nails and is therefore not
considered an acceptable sub-floor material.
Use a wood flooring adhesive
like "Bostik's Best". Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s
guidelines for safe use, storage and handling. Wear
gloves and long sleeves. Spread with a notched trowel
as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. Planks shall
be started square with the room and parallel to its
longest dimension by positioning with a chalk line,
leaving a minimum 1/4" expansion space from base plate or
wall. Ensure starter rows are firmly in place by wedging
or face nailing. Once initial rows are secure, use
adhesive in a Wet-Lay method of installation as
follows: Apply adhesive to substrate with suitable trowel.
Immediately place flooring onto "wet" adhesive. Spread no
more adhesives than can be worked with in a forty-minute
period (100 to 200 sq. ft.). Clean any adhesive that
comes in contact with the face of the plank immediately.
Use straps if necessary to remove any bowing or "banana"
that is common in many types of plank flooring. This will
ensure proper alignment of the rows and eliminate gaps
along the length of the planks. Use blue painters tape to
keep the planks from creeping apart from one another by
placing the tape perpendicular to the length of the
planks, crossing over multiple planks.
Remove the tape once the adhesive
has set. Use weights if necessary to remove any
bowing of the planks.
- It is incumbent upon the installer to
protect the floor from possible damage by other trades by using
heavy kraft paper or equivalent.
bamboo flooring is much more stable than most woods, it is still
subject to damage when in direct contact with a constantly wet
slab. The bamboo shall be isolated from this type of slab by use
of a moisture barrier, plywood on slab, or a sleeper sub-floor.
Urethane adhesive will usually fail when vapor pressure exceeds
3 pounds per 1000 sq. ft. in 24 hours as measured by the calcium
chloride test. Bamboo flooring cannot be glued down under those
In extremely dry
climates, care should be taken to avoid shrinkage by allowing
flooring to acclimatize under actual use conditions. Remove the
planks from the box and expose to local conditions for a minimum
of five (5) days. The bamboo flooring’s moisture content (MC) is
reduced to 8-10% through kiln drying at the manufacturing plant.
However, the flooring may pick up moisture during the ocean voyage
or while being warehoused. It is therefore necessary to test the
flooring, as well as the slab/sub-floor, with a moisture meter to
make certain that the MC of the two are within 3 percent of each
In the event of excessive slab moisture either now or expected in
the future, there are several options available to assure a sound
Plywood on Slab -DO NOT USE THIS METHOD IF YOU ARE
GOING OVER RADIANT HEATING PIPES.
Cover the slab with a
vapor barrier. Do this by either priming the slab or
applying cold, cutback asphalt mastic with a notched trowel
(50 sq. ft. per gallon). Allow mastic to set for two hours.
Unroll 15-pound asphalt felt or building paper, lapping the
edges 4" and butting the ends. Apply a second coating of
mastic over the asphalt or paper and roll out a second layer
of asphalt or paper in the same direction as the first,
staggering the overlaps to achieve an even thickness.
Cover the entire slab with a 4 to 6 mil polyethylene film,
overlapping the edges 4" to 6" and allowing enough film to
extend under the baseboards at all sides. Under severe
conditions, the film should be laid into mastic, which has
been fine-troweled (100 sq. ft. per gallon). Always walk the
film flat and puncture bubbles to release trapped air.
Install ¾" x 4’ x 8’
exterior grade plywood panels diagonally across the
direction of the finished floor after the vapor barrier is
in place. Leave a ¾" space at the wall line and ¼" to ½"
between the plywood sheets. Fasten the plywood to the slab
by using power-actuated fasteners starting with the middle
of the plywood and then the edges, using 9 or more fasteners
per panel. The bamboo planks may now be nailed or glued to
the plywood, leaving a 1/4" expansion space from base plate
Sweep the slab clean and
apply an asphalt primer, allowing it to dry. Install flat,
dry, preservative treated, random length 2" X 4" sleepers (18"
to 48" in length) on their flat faces into rivers of hot
(poured) or cold (cut-back) asphalt mastic, in rows 12" on
center at a right angle to the direction of the finished
flooring. Stagger the end joints, overlapping the ends of the
spacers by 4" with a ¼" space in between. Loosely lay a 4 or 6
mil polyethylene vapor barrier over the sleepers, overlapping
the edges on top of the sleepers. Avoid bunching or puncturing
the film. Nail the flooring through the film.
think Engineered Bamboo plank CAN NOT be floated**
Radiant Heating Pipes:
Please contact GreenFloors for detailed information at: