Bamboo flooring is extremely versatile and can be fitted in a number of different ways. If you choose to fix your bamboo flooring into position, you will need to decide whether you nail or glue it to the subfloor. The method you choose usually depends upon the type of subfloor that you have.
If you have a concrete subfloor, then you will need to glue your bamboo flooring down (or float over an underlay). If you have a wooden subfloor then you can choose either to nail or glue the bamboo down. However, if you are planning to install your bamboo flooring over joists, then you will need to secret nail the planks into place. When installing bamboo flooring, it is essential to check that your subfloor is dry, level and flat. Furthermore, you need to leave an expansion gap of at least 10mm around the perimeter of the room, and in doorways.
If you would like more information on subfloors, see our article: ‘Preparing your subfloor before bamboo flooring’. And for more advice about expansion gaps, see: ‘Does Bamboo flooring need an expansion gap?’
Gluing my bamboo flooring down
If you want to glue your bamboo floor down, the subfloor must be a solid and sound structure like concrete, screed or wooden floor boards. You should use flexible flooring adhesive, like Bona R848 or Sika MS Adhesive. These allow your bamboo floor to naturally expand and contract with changes in the surrounding atmosphere. You can glue down tongue and groove or click fitting bamboo.
Secret nailing my bamboo flooring down
You can secret nail tongue and groove bamboo floor down if you have a wooden subfloor like, plywood, wooden floor boards or joists. You cannot secret nail bamboo to chipboard or concrete. The planks of bamboo should run perpendicular to any existing floor boards. Always make sure you use the correct floor fitting equipment. A Portanailer gun is specifically designed to fit wooden and bamboo floors. They use flat nails that have teeth on either side to ensure the bamboo cannot come loose when your floor expands and contracts. Please note that the only bamboo floors that can be nailed down are our range of horizontal and vertical bamboo. Strand woven bamboo is too strong to be nailed to the subfloor.
For further advice and tip on installing bamboo flooring, have a look at our Installation & Fitting Guide.