How to Install Bamboo Flooring

In today’s more eco conscious world more people moving towards a more environmentally friendly home environment by replacing standard hardwood floors with the greener alternative bamboo. Bamboo flooring is growing in popularity not only because it is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet but also for its extreme strength (stronger than even steel!) and beautiful aesthetic.

Installing a bamboo floor in your home can seem like a daunting task but it is actually quite simple and can make a fun weekend project. Following these installation instructions will get you started on the road to a beautiful and more sustainable home.

Pre Installation

  • Let the bamboo adjust to the natural climate of your home for at least 72 hours
  • Be sure your sub-floor is flat and smooth
  • Inspect each piece of bamboo floor panels for damage or defects
  • Make sure you have a tapping block – you never want to hit bamboo flooring directly
  • Determine what kind of floor you have: either a floating floor (does not require adhesive or face nailing) or a standard plank floor (requires face nailing).
  • Make sure you read all instructions that come with your bamboo carefully

Tools needed

The tools you would use to install normal hardwood floors will work for bamboo flooring. Depending on the type of flooring you will need either special glue, a flooring stapler or nail gun. Other basic tools include a miter saw, a rubber mallet and a handsaw.


1. Start at one side and begin laying down the bamboo panels. If your flooring requires face nailing, make sure you apply enough pressure to close the joints between each plank of flooring before you fire the nails. If you are installing a floating floor, firmly close the joints between each piece with a rubber mallet.

2. Always begin each row at the same side of the room. Also, for best appearance, a bamboo floor is often laid parallel to the longest wall or outside wall.

3. There are three times of installment methods: nail down, gluing or floating floor.

Nail down: Nail down flooring is the most traditional way to install your floor. Nail each board every 8″ and within 2″ of each end. Once starter rows are placed, the next planks should be nailed directly above the tongue at a 45o angle. A face nail might be needed in doorways or tight areas where the nail gun can’t fit.

Glue: This method involves gluing the bamboo floor to the subfloor. Bamboo can be glued down using moisture resistant flooring adhesive on both concrete subfloors and plywood. When doing this method, start with the outside wall and spread as much adhesive as you can in one hour. After applying the adhesive to the subfloor the planks should be placed immediately. Walk on the flooring within 30 minutes of laying the floor to ensure a solid bond with the adhesive.

Floating: A floating floor is attached to itself and not the subfloor. This method is suitable with any subfloor and is recommended for radiant heat. This method involves gluing the tongue and joints of together over an underlay. Start first row with grooves facing the wall and glue end-joints of first row by applying adhesive to the second row. Make sure to use a rubber mallet or tapping block to gently fit the planks together.

4. After you install the flooring inspect the entire surface to make sure there are no misalignments or mistakes before you reinstall your base moldings and corner beadwork.

If you’re looking for more reasons to choose bamboo flooring, read more at

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Derek Smith

Derek is the co-founder of HomeSpot HQ, and uses it to manage the seemingly never-ending list of projects and maintenance tasks around his suburban home.