This is a guide for the glue-down installation of Morning Star Bamboo. We’ll give you tips, directions and helpful hints, but this is not all inclusive! We highly recommend you consult with a professional flooring installer on your specific installation. You can always call your local Lumber Liquidators or our Tech & Installation team at (800) 366-4204 with additional questions. We want you to love your floor forever, beginning with a proper installation!
Preparing to Install
Bamboo is a product of nature, characterized by distinct variations in grain, pattern and color which should be expected. They aren’t flaws or defects! Instead, it’s the natural beauty and uniqueness of bamboo. Stained products will have the most uniform color or shade.
The customer/installer is responsible for final inspection of quality and moisture testing of the subfloor and bamboo. Boards deemed unacceptable can be used in closets, near walls or simply not used at all. Inspect the flooring often. Pieces with defects that can be seen from a standing position should be cut off. Order 5%-10% extra for board selection. If more than 5% of the material is unusable, contact your local store or Customer Care (800-366-4204) immediately.
Size and shape of bamboo changes with the absorption or release of moisture. Check the installation instructions of your specific product for proper temperature and humidity settings, and maintain those levels. For most products, the room should be conditioned to between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a 30%-50% humidity level. To speed up acclimation, open the ends of the boxes. Remove any plastic around the outside of the boxes. Do not cut the plastic support bindings or remove from packaging until ready to install. Cartons should be placed as close to the center of the installation area as possible. Keep out of direct sunlight. Keep away from heat/air vents. Not following these instructions can impact the board performance and cause excessive movement, squeaks, gapping, cupping, and other related issues which aren’t manufacturer related, and therefore are not covered by warranty.
Most installation failures result from jobsite moisture!! Complete proper moisture tests.
Wet trade involving water or moisture (plumbing, ceramic tiles, drywall finish, painting, etc.) should be finished with ample time allowed for complete drying prior to bamboo installation. Do not store in buildings without climate controls (garage, shed, outside, etc.) Heating, Ventilation and/or Air Conditioning systems should be fully operating and running at least 7 days before delivery.
Concrete must be between 60 to 90 days old prior to installation and free of surface sealers or contaminates. A flat surface is very important when gluing down flooring. To minimize squeaks and gaps the final surface must be flat to within 1/8" in 6′ radius or within 3/16″ in 10′ radius. Sand or grind down high spots. Fill valleys or low areas with cement based leveling compounds compatible with the flooring adhesives. Allow extra drying time for the leveling compounds.
Cured adhesive may cloud, chemically damage, or etch the floor’s finish. Clean wet adhesive from the surface of the floor frequently using the manufacturer’s recommended remover. Use clean towels, changing frequently to prevent haze and residue. Contact the adhesive manufacturer for dried adhesive removal remedies.
- Bellawood Premium– film side up
- Eco Silent Sound HD– film side down
- Dream Home Insulayment– smooth side up
- Dream Home Cork– smooth side up
Allow underlayment to fully cure before gluing bamboo to the underlayment.
- The installer is the final quality inspector.
- Lay out each piece to visually inspect for imperfections that can be cut out, or adjustments that should be made.
- Set aside defective boards. These can be used in hidden places such as a closet. If the defect is unacceptable, the installer should cut it out or set it aside completely.
- Using stain, touch-up pens or filler sticks for correction during installation is normal.
- Lumber Liquidators recommends moisture testing, the use of moisture barriers and the use of approved wood flooring adhesives listed above (see Recommended Adhesives).
- Do not mix adhesive products. Use moisture barriers and adhesives from the same manufacturer.
- Use the trowel size recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. Use a new trowel with each new container of adhesive (trowel teeth will wear down with constant use).
- Follow glue manufacturer’s instructions for set time.
- Install flooring in normal proper lighting.
- Do not install flooring under permanent or fixed cabinetry.
- Avoid board grouping. Board sizes should be intermingled.
- Use breathable materials like paper when covering a newly installed floor.
- The customer is advised to be home during the installation for consultation/direction.
- Customer and installer should discuss installation and layout to maximize satisfaction.
- Floor should be installed from several cartons at the same time.
- Save the item number found on the packaging box ends for future questions.
- Use Blue Painter’s Tape to keep installed rows or sections together until the adhesive has cured.
- Tape together 4 or 5 rows at 18″? intervals. (Incorrect tape can harm the finish).
Bamboo flooring can be glued to:
- Above grade
- On grade
Bamboo flooring can be glued to:
- Firm linoleum
- Firm kitchen vinyl
We do not recommend bamboo for use over radiant heat flooring. For greater thermal insulation and sound isolation, the floor can be glued over an approved underlayment (see Approved Underlayments above).
Proper Board Placement
Boards with similar widths should be placed together in the same row to minimize gaps between boards.
- Determine the starting wall, usually the longest foundation wall. At the two opposite ends of this wall, measure out and mark on the floor the width of several rows of boards, (this could be 12″ to 24″) including the expansion gap.
- The expansion gap is normally the same as the thickness of the new flooring, for example, ½” flooring requires ½” expansions.
- Next, use a chalk line to connect the two marks. Follow this chalked line when applying both the adhesive and boards. THE FIRST ROWS MUST BE STRAIGHT.
- Using an approved trowel and wood flooring adhesive, glue the first few rows between the wall and chalk line.
- First row only. Using a table saw remove the tongue part, then place the tongue side towards the wall with groove side facing outwards. Lay flooring into the adhesive following the straight line. Stay off the new floor while working.
- Progressively lay-in the next boards by engaging the tongue and groove then drop board into adhesive. Avoid dragging or sliding boards together as this can trap or squeeze glue up in between the boards creating gaps. Continue working 4 or 5 rows together, then measure and cut the last boards as needed to complete the rows.
- The balance of a board cut is used to start a new row, discard lengths under 6″. Avoid clustering of end joints. Stagger the ends of the boards correctly. Smaller boards should be intermixed throughout the installed floor. A tapping block can be used to gently tap the boards into proper position. During installation, end gaps between boards can be minimized by temporarily locking a completed row in place by using spacers placed between the wall and the last board of each row, remove when glue has dried.
- Repeat the process. Chalk new lines, spread adhesive and continue working 4 or 5 rows together until completed.
The last rows:
- Most often, the entire length of the last row will need to be trimmed so that it is narrow enough to fit the remaining space. It should be glued and wedged into place. Leave all spacers in the expansion space until the adhesive has cured, then remove. Keep the floor free from foot traffic, until adhesive has cured.
- Do not to spread adhesive too far ahead of your work area. If the adhesive skins over and fails to transfer, remove and spread new adhesive to achieve proper bonding to the subfloor.
- Occasionally lift a board and check for adhesive transfer. Adequate adhesive transfer is necessary to ensure sufficient holding strength.
- When not in use, keep the adhesive container tightly closed to prevent drying and difficulty in spreading the adhesive. Proper ventilation within the room should be provided. Follow the recommendations on the adhesive container.
- After installation, allow glue to fully cure for 24 hrs before replacing furniture and foot traffic.
- For best matching of sheen or milling save a box of flooring for future repairs.
Have more questions? Call our Tech & Installation team at 800-366-4204 for additional assistance!