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How to fit bamboo flooring onto existing wooden floor boards

Bamboo flooring can easily be installed over wooden floor boards.  You can either secret nail, secret screw or by loose laying it over an underlay.  It can also be glued down to the floorboards if they are clean (free from paint, lacquer or oil).  Whichever method you choose, you must run the planks of bamboo flooring perpendicular to the existing floor boards.

Before you start to install your bamboo flooring you must ensure your wooden floor boards are of sound quality and are flat, level, dry and clean.  For further information about this, see our information on how to prepare your subfloor.

As soon as your existing wooden floor boards have been prepared properly, you can start to install your bamboo flooring.  You should ensure that an expansion gap of 10mm is left around the perimeter of the room (including doorways).  This will allow the flooring to naturally expand and contract without causing any damage.  You can use 10mm spacers to do this if you wish.

Carbonised Vertical Bamboo Flooring with an expansion gap Carbonised Vertical Bamboo Flooring with an expansion gap

You can now decide whether to secret nail or secret screw, float your floor over an underlay or glue it directly down to the floor boards.

Secret screwing or secret nailing your bamboo flooring down

You must use bamboo flooring with a tongue and groove profile. Start by securing the first row of bamboo flooring by either nailing or screwing into the groove part of the planks.  You should ensure that there is a minimum of three nails or screws per plank.  Be very careful not to go too close to the end of the plank as it could cause the plank to split. When you have completed the first row you can continue to build up the rows using the same method, ensuring the planks are straight and secure.  You may stagger the planks of flooring however you like as long as there is a minimum of 150mm between the joints.

Installing bamboo flooring onto joists Secret nailing: installing bamboo flooring

Floating your bamboo floor over an underlay

Lay your underlay, for example Silver Bam Underlay, and then install your bamboo flooring directly on top.  If you have click fitting bamboo flooring then simply click and lock the boards into place, whilst loosely laying them over the underlay.  If you have tongue and groove bamboo flooring then glue the tongue and groove joints together with a WPVA that conforms to EN204: D3.  You should not glue the flooring to the underlay; it should be loosely laid over the top.  You may stagger the planks of flooring however you like as long as there is a minimum of 150mm between the joints.

Can a bamboo floor be floated 2 Tongue and groove bamboo being fitted

Gluing your bamboo floor onto floorboards

Glue the first plank of flooring directly down to existing floorboards using a flexible flooring adhesive, such as Sika MS.  Once you have ensured that the first row is straight and secure, you can continue with the rest of the flooring.  If you have click fitting bamboo flooring then simply glue the planks to the floorboards as you click them into place.  If you have tongue and groove bamboo flooring just fit the tongue and grooves together and glue the planks to the existing floor boards.  You may stagger the planks of flooring however you like as long as there is a minimum of 150mm between the joints.

Closu_Up_CV_Plank_On_Glue Gluing bamboo flooring down

This installation information is only for general advice and guidance, and we always recommend that you consult a professional floor fitter who has an in depth understanding of the type of bamboo flooring that you want to install.