Finished or Unfinished? That is the Question...

Unfinished bamboo flooring comes to your home without any lacquers, stains or finishes. In order for it to achieve the highest standards of durability, it must be sanded and finished during installation. Considering many companies use several layers of colors for finishes, using an unfinished floor can add a lot of time to the installation process.

Prefinished bamboo flooring is finished before it reaches your home for installation. Quality bamboo flooring will be finished with an environmentally friendly aluminum oxide lacquer or a water-based polyurethane finish.

Installing Bamboo Flooring

Before installing bamboo floors, you must acclimate the boards in the room of choice. Acclimating flooring simply means leaving the boards in the room for several days to get used to the climate of the room. This helps ensure that changes in room temperature and humidity won't warp the boards after they're installed. Bamboo flooring can be installed over many types of subfloors, such as wood, plywood, vinyl or concrete. Different types of bamboo flooring can be installed on various subfloors.

Basically, there are three ways to install bamboo flooring. You should consider what type of subfloor surface you'll be attaching the bamboo boards to and whether you'll be doing the job yourself or hiring a professional installer.

  • Bamboo boards are nailed onto the subfloor with nails or staples. Any type of bamboo flooring can be installed through nailing, which seems to be the preferred method for wood subfloors.
  • Flooring is glued directly to the subfloor. Any style of bamboo flooring can be glued. Make sure to use the highest quality glue, and never use water-based glue.
  • Floating, click-on or snap-lock flooring is the perfect option for do-it-yourselfers. There is no nailing or gluing involved, meaning less mess with the same results. The bamboo planks are fitted during milling with cuts and grooves that click into one another and lie flat on the subfloor. Not all types of bamboo floors can be floated -- engineered floors are the most popular floated floors. If you're going to tackle this job yourself, follow all instructions carefully. For example, when you install floating flooring, you have to leave enough expansion room, or you'll end up with buckling and other problems.

To get beautiful floors that last for years, it's very important to install your bamboo floors properly. Next, let's find out what it takes to keep your bamboo floor looking new for years to come.