A calming and silky bamboo flooring! Truly a treat to the eyes, bamboo flooring is widely preferred by interior lovers. But to bloom the beauty the most, installing them correctly is important. Now if you have chosen to glue down the bamboo flooring, you must have apt knowledge about bamboo flooring adhesive. Don’t leave it entirely on the designer!
Knowing about bamboo glue and how to apply it just makes things go better. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can install the bamboo planks by yourself. If done by laborers, you can at least check whether it’s done correctly or not. Moreover, choosing the right adhesive plays a significant role as well.
Compiling most of the information and my experience with bamboo flooring adhesive, I am here with the article. So all who are planning to adhere to bamboo flooring, do stay with me till the end!
Types Of Bamboo Flooring Adhesive: Two Categories
Before we talk about how to glue down bamboo flooring, let’s talk about the choices we have. Actually, there is not much difference between hardwood flooring adhesive and bamboo flooring glue. They are mostly similar. This is because bamboo planks are very similar to hardwood flooring though it is only hardened grass.
However, you should still learn a bit about the types. Here are two basic bamboo types of glue you are going to find in the market:
1. Flexible Bamboo Adhesive:
In my opinion, this is the best adhesive you can get. But why did I claim it to be the best? The name says it, ‘flexible’. Yes, the flexible adhesive is designed specially to handle impacts and minor movements of the bamboo planks.
Flexible bamboo glue is applied on the subfloor and the planks are glued on them. So you are gluing down the planks permanently. But even if the bamboo planks slightly change their positions due to moisture, temperature, or other external factors, they won’t show cracks. This is the magic of flexible adhesive! It would allow the planks to move a bit, preventing the damages.
2. Waterproof Polyvinyl Acetate (WPVA) Adhesive:
WPVA adhesive is not for gluing down the bamboo flooring to the subfloor. Rather it is for gluing the bamboo planks together. Tongue and groove planks are adhered to using WPVA adhesive to install a floating floor.
WPVA adhesive is waterproof which is why the chances of seeping water through the edges are less. The bonding created is very strong and firm. So if you are not willing to permanently glue down the flooring, you can choose this adhesive to create a floating floor on the subfloor.
9 Steps To Use Bamboo Flooring Adhesive: Installation Process
In this part, I will explain the traditional procedure of installing bamboo flooring: by gluing down the planks on the subfloor. Gluing down the flooring needs more expertise than click locking the planks. So here, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide to show how you should install bamboo flooring using adhesive.
Follow me through the steps:
Step 1: Gather The Tools
Having a jar of adhesive won’t be enough to install bamboo flooring! You need a bunch of items to make the procedure easier and effective. Hence, before you start, gather the tools mentioned below to simplify the process:
- Urethane bamboo flooring adhesive (flexible with vapor barrier)
- Moisture barrier
- Carpenter’s square
- Painter’s tape
- Measuring tape
- Small saw blade
Besides, you should wear safety gear like:
- Face mask
- Hand gloves
Step 2: Clean The Subfloor
Before you work on anything else, you have to clean the subfloor. If the subfloor is uneven or unsmooth, sand and finish the subfloor properly. Make the flooring uniform and even first to ensure that the bamboo flooring is even.
Next, clean the subfloor. Sweep and mop it very well. If there were any previous flooring, make sure you remove the adhesive with adhesive remover. Make sure to keep the subfloor completely dry before installation. Basically, make the flooring plain and flat before you start with the installation process.
Step 3: Prepare The Bamboo Flooring
Okay, have patience! Bamboo flooring acclimation is a very crucial part of the installation. The adhesive works the best if you acclimate the flooring well. Acclimation increases the adaptability of the bamboo flooring with the moisture level of the room. You should let the flooring acclimate for at least 72 hours. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to know the exact acclimation time.
Another part of preparation is to control the temperature and humidity level of the room. Ideally, the temperature should be between 60 to 80 degrees with a humidity concentration of 40 to 60%. These conditions are best to enhance the adaptability of the bamboo flooring.
Step 4: Shape The Bamboo Boards
You are likely to buy bamboo boards and cut them into shapes you want. Use a saw and mini saw to cut and trim the bamboo boards to make planks. Keep the length about 8 inches long for your convenience during installation. Otherwise, you can cut them into any shape you want.
Before cutting, you must measure the flooring area with the tape and know how many planks you would need. Cut the planks you need and emphasize the corners. Planks across the corners can be uneven in size. So make the measurements correct and then cut the planks.
An expansion gap should be kept at the sides. So measure accordingly.
Step 5: Apply The Adhesive On One End Of The Subfloor
The first concern here is that you can’t spread the adhesive all over the flooring at a time. You should proceed portion by portion. As bamboo flooring adhesive gets dry on the subfloor just like hardwood flooring adhesive, you won’t get much time to paste the planks. So complete adhering to one part of the room and then move to the other.
The right way is to start along the farthest and longest wall of the room. Start from one corner of that wall and spread the adhesive only to cover a single row of planks. The width should be correct. Make sure to check the time the adhesive needs to dry out. Don’t keep the adhesive exposed for more than that time. To be on the safe side, complete installing the planks across one row and then go further.
Caution! Don’t flood the subfloor with glue! You should just cover the area by holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle. Too much adhesive would make the floor uneven.
Step 6: Place The Planks Across The First Row
As you are done with applying the adhesive across the first row of the longest wall, place the planks. Be very careful while placing because once adhered, it is very difficult to remove the planks or adhesive. To know how you can remove flooring adhesive, you can have a look at this article.
Note that you have to leave a gap of ¼ or ⅛ inch to let the bamboo flooring expand during weather changes. Expansion spacers may help you in this. Also, to align the bamboo flooring across the first row, the best way is to chalk a line. Make sure that the seams of each plank are attached snugly to the adjacent plank.
Step 7: Continue Gluing The Next Rows
Remember that the first row has to be perfect. This is why you must use expansion spacers, chalk lines, and measuring tape to install the first row of bamboo planks. If the alignment distorts once, the next rows will be haphazard as well.
Be very careful while installing the first row. Once adhered to, it is very difficult to remove it. Now if you have done it perfectly, you have to glue the second row of bamboo flooring. And next, keep applying the adhesive along each row and continue with the next rows. This way, move towards the door and complete adhering the bamboo planks all over the subfloor.
Step 8: Install Molding And Finish The Floor
Remember you have left gaps between the walls and the bamboo flooring? Now is the turn to complete the work. Remove the spacers and put on moldings to cover up the gaps. You should not leave the gaps unattended.
If you think of finishing the bamboo flooring once after installation, do that after the planks adhere properly to the subfloor. You have to wait for about 24 to 48 hours to let the bamboo flooring settle on the adhesive on the subfloor. Once placed properly, you can apply a finish or sealant to protect the flooring from damages.
Step 9: Clean Up The Flooring
Remember that traces of glue may stay on the planks. You should scrape off the glue with a soft utility knife. Once this is done, you can mop the flooring to get a cool and beautiful bamboo flooring adhered firmly to the subfloor!
Frequently Asked Questions About Bamboo Flooring Adhesive:
Can You Glue Down Bamboo Flooring?
Gluing down bamboo flooring is one of the most common ways to install bamboo flooring. To install bamboo flooring permanently and firmly, gluing is the best method.
Gluing down bamboo flooring needs you to apply an adhesive on the subfloor. The adhesive adheres the bamboo planks firmly to the subfloor. This is the best method if you want permanent and highly stable flooring. However, the subfloor has to be flat and polished. Else the bamboo flooring would not be flat. Otherwise, you can go for installing a floating floor or nail down the flooring.
Therefore yes, you can glue down bamboo flooring.
Does Bamboo Flooring Need To Be Nailed Down?
It is not always necessary to nail down bamboo flooring. There are other installation processes too.
Nailing down bamboo flooring is definitely a good way to install bamboo flooring permanently. But it is not mandatory. You can install a floating floor too by clicking the planks with each other on the subfloor. This is a temporary flooring that kind of floats on the subfloor. Also, you can glue down the flooring on the subfloor.
Therefore, it is not mandatory to nail down bamboo flooring. You can glue down or install a floating floor.
Is Urethane Bamboo Flooring Adhesive Flexible?
Urethane bamboo flooring adhesive is one of the most popular ones for adhering bamboo flooring to the subfloor. But is it flexible? A million-dollar question.
Usually, urethane bamboo flooring is flexible enough that it can resist impacts and vibrations. The minor movements or replacements of bamboo planks are easily handled by urethane bamboo flooring. It would stop bamboo flooring from cracking, breaking, or damaging during the expansion due to different levels of humidity.
Therefore yes, urethane bamboo flooring adhesive is flexible enough.
How To Apply Bamboo Flooring Adhesive On Concrete?
There has to be special precaution while applying bamboo flooring adhesive on the concrete subfloor. It is very sensitive as you need it to be flat and uniform to install the bamboo flooring properly.
On the concrete subfloor, the glue has to cover the entire area. If you see gaps or unevenly spread glue on the floor, you would see the planks cupped on the adhesive. The flooring would not be flat. So the right way of installation is to cover the area completely with adhesive. Use a flat trowel to do this so that the adhesive evenly covers the subfloor without leaving any gap.
To avoid cupped bamboo flooring, you have to provide full coverage of adhesive to the concrete subfloor.
What Are The Two Ways Of Using Bamboo Flooring Adhesive?
You can use bamboo flooring adhesive in two types. Actually, these are two installation types. As per the technique, the use of bamboo flooring adhesive changes.
Here are the two ways in which you can use bamboo flooring adhesive to install a bamboo flooring:
1. Wet Lay:
As the name suggests, the planks are placed on the adhesive just after it is applied. I mean, the adhesive remains wet and the planks are installed on it. So here, you can’t spread the adhesive too much on the floor. Apply it in a portion and install the planks immediately. Then move to the other portion.
Make sure to clean up the adhesive if spread on top of the bamboo planks. However, if you want to know about the hardwood floor laying process, you may check this article.
2. Flash Installation:
In this method, the glue has to settle on the subfloor for a certain period before installing the planks. The time to flash would vary from company to company. But the concept is the adhesive would be kept for some time and then the planks will be installed.
Note that the flash time should not be crossed. Also, don’t spread out in the area where you can’t work within the flash time.
Is Bamboo Flooring Adhesive The Same As Hardwood Glue?
The composition of bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring is very different from each other. But the installation methods are the same. Both can be glued, nailed, or floated on the subfloor. But does that mean that the adhesives are the same too?
Both hardwood and bamboo are made of cellulose fiber. This is the reason why the same adhesive can bond with both bamboo and hardwood. Both the options would create a strong bonding with the adhesives made for bamboo as well as hardwood. Any common hardwood flooring adhesive would work on bamboo and vice versa.
So yes, bamboo flooring adhesive is the same as hardwood flooring glue. And you can remove the glue from both bamboo and hardwood flooring by following the same procedures.
Should You Float Or Use Bamboo Flooring Adhesive?
Many people think that a floating floor is better than gluing the bamboo planks to the subfloor. There is no definite answer to this as it depends on your preference. To clarify the matter, here is a comparison chart analyzing a few factors:
|Parameters||Floating Floor||Glued Floor|
|Durability||Not so durable||Very stable and durable|
|Ease of removal||Easy to remove||Difficult to remove|
|Ease of installation||Very simple and easy||Can be troublesome; may need an expert|
The differences are clearly mentioned on the chart. From the comparison, my opinion is gluing down is better if you need permanent flooring. For temporary, easily removable flooring, a floating floor should be your preference.
What Is The Best Glue To Use For Bamboo Flooring?
To get the best result, using a suitable bamboo flooring glue is necessary. While there are a variety of manufacturers making flooring adhesive, you have to know which type you should buy.
The ideal glue for bamboo flooring is flexible adhesive. The flexible adhesive prevents bamboo flooring from breaking or cracking during the minor movements that happen due to fluctuating moisture levels. Also, applying it is easy and any tongue and groove bamboo plank can be installed with this.
Choose a flexible bamboo flooring adhesive from a reliable brand for the best result.
My analysis says that you must choose the right bamboo flooring adhesive as per the subfloor and know the right technique. Hence, now that you have a bunch of information, go and get the best bamboo flooring adhesive and install a beautiful bamboo flooring!