L.W. Mountain, Inc.
Engineered Bamboo Installation Guidelines
Bamboo is a natural product. Just like wood, Engineered Bamboo flooring will vary in shade or pattern definition. Also, just like wood, Engineered Bamboo flooring is subject to the normal behavior of minor expansion during periods of high humidity and minor contraction during periods of low humidity (usually the heating season). Visible gaps at seams and joints will vary seasonally.
NOTE: Manufacturer disclaims all liability for imperfect installation of its product. Engineered Bamboo pre-finished flooring is installed using the "floating method".
Engineered Bamboo flooring can be installed below grade using this method.
Engineered Bamboo flooring can be applied over in-floor radiant heating systems.
Our Bamboo flooring should be one of the last items installed in any construction or remodel project. All work involving water/moisture should be completed before the flooring installation. Water and wood do not mix. Installing flooring onto a wet subfloor will most likely cause cupping, tip and edge raising, telegraphing of core and subsequent gapping.
Permanent HVAC should be on and operational and maintained between 65 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity of 35% - 60% for a minimum of 3 days prior to delivery, as well as during and after installation of the flooring. Humidity levels below 35% will most likely cause movement in the flooring, including gapping, possible cupping and cracking/checking on the floor face material. Installation of L.W. Mountain engineered Bamboo flooring in areas where the relative humidity may go below 35% and when humidification equipment is not used continuously to keep humidity above 35% in the space will void all warranties.
Store engineered Bamboo flooring in the UNOPENED boxes at installation area for a minimum of 48 hours before installation to allow the flooring to adjust to room temperature and humidity levels. Do not store boxes of flooring directly on concrete. Our engineered bamboo floors DO NOT need any moisture equalization prior to installation from open boxes and should be installed from just-opened boxes. DO NOT OPEN more than a few boxes in advance of installation and only the number of boxes that will be installed within the next couple of hours. Only open enough boxes to ensure a good mix of color.
PRE-INSTALLATION SUBFLOOR REQUIREMENTS
Acceptable subfloor types:
CDX plywood - at least 5/8" thick for joist spacing up to 16" on center, minimum 3/4" thick for joist spacing greater than 16" on center (19.2" maximum)
Underlayment grade particleboard (minimum 40 lb. density)
OSB - at least 3/4" thick, PS 2-92 rated or PS 1-95 rated
Existing wood floor - must be smooth, level, well-adhered
Resilient tile and sheet vinyl
CONCRETE SUBSTRATE PREPARATION:
Concrete is required to be sound, smooth, level and flat with a maximum variation of 1/8" in 10'. Fill any low spots with appropriate filler and scrape any high spots. Subfloor must be properly cured and tested for moisture content. Before moisture testing begins, the concrete slab must be a MINIMUM of 30 days old. Testing of slabs less than 30 days old can produce inaccurate, unreliable results; PH testing should be done on all slabs regardless of age. The recommended method is the Calcium Chloride test and flooring must not be installed if vapor pressure exceeds 3 lbs. per 1000 square feet in 24 hours. If underlayment besides 2n1 foam is being used (i.e. 1/4" cork, rubber, sound deadening), Before installing the floating floor, cover concrete floor with 6 mil polyurethane sheets, overlap seams 8", and tape the sheets together.
Maximum room dimensions for a floating floor are 40 ft. across the boards or 120 ft. lengthwise. Floors exceeding either of these dimensions require use of a "T-Molding". A minimum of one butt seam is required in every row, regardless of width (e.g. hallways).
Never attach any permanent object through the flooring, affixing it to the subfloor. A float-in floor must be free to expand and contract in all directions.
Layout 2n1 underlayment foam or 6 mil plastic and sound deadening underlayment.
Start in corner and lay first row from left to right, with tongue sides toward wall. Proper expansion space can be achieved by pulling floor away from wall once first three rows have been installed.
Hold next board against first board at approx. 45° angle and lay flat on floor. Continue in this manner for entire first row.
Cut end board in first row to correct length and start second row with left-over piece (if possible). End joints must be staggered by at least 12". Butt seam must be placed in each row regardless of width, e.g. hallways.
Hold board at approx. 45° angle to board in front. Press forward to engage joint and lay flat on floor.
Engage short end of new board. Lay flat keeping long side in line with groove of adjacent board.
Using tapping block, carefully tap long edges together until they are closed. DO NOT tap too hard or over-engage. Never tap directly against wearlayer. Continue this process until you reach the end wall.
Saw last board to correct width. Place last board on top of second-to-last board. Mark board with help of piece of board without locking edge. Use floor pull bar and mallet to click the long side of planks.
NOTE: If boards cannot be easily angled under door frame (or similar), do the following: cut away locking edge, then apply Floating Floor Adhesive and install board.
In-Floor Radiant Heat: With radiant heat, heat source is directly beneath the flooring, so flooring may gain moisture or dry out faster than in a home with conventional heating system. For this installation, once slab has cured, turn heat on, regardless of season, and leave it on for at least 5 - 6 days before installation. Maximum surface temperature should never be more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
Flooring should be one of the last items installed in a project. In order to protect the floor while other trades are finishing their work prior to final cleanup and turnover to the owner, use masonite, cardboard, or rosin paper and Blue Tape to hold the rosin paper to the floor (other tapes may damage the finish). Clean the floor thoroughly before laying the rosin paper to ensure that no debris is trapped underneath. DO NOT USE plastic film or other non-breathing coverings as this can cause the floor to become damaged from humidity buildups.