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Installation Instructions

Installation Instructions

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We've organized our Installation Instructions into three different pages. Click the link to view the appropriate page. If you have further questions please contact us.


Before You Begin

Ambient floating bamboo flooring products are quality inspected before packaging and shipping. Nevertheless, after a bamboo flooring sale, a preliminary jobsite inspection of your floating bamboo floor should be performed for grade, color, finish and quality. Ensure adequate lighting for proper inspection. If you find an irregularity in your flooring that exceeds the five percent industry standard, please contact.
Ambient immediately for replacement. The installer and/or owner of our floating bamboo flooring and other products has the final inspection responsibility as to grade, manufacture and factory finish. The installer must use reasonable selectivity (common sense) to hold out, relocate in hidden places or cut out pieces with glaring defects, whatever the cause. Installation of any material serves as acceptance of that material and Ambient will not accept responsibility for flooring installed with visible defects.

As with traditional wood floors it is the end-user’s responsibility to provide and maintain appropriate humidity levels between 40%-70% via the use of humidifier and/or de-humidifier to avoid separation and/or damage to the flooring planks. DO NOT USE A WET MOP OR A STEAM MOP ON A BAMBOO FLOOR.

When our strand woven bamboo or other floating bamboo flooring is ordered, approximately 7%-10% should be added to the actual square footage needed as allowance for cutting and waste. Should an individual piece be doubtful as to grade, manufacture, or factory finish, the installer should not use that piece. Our liability is limited to replacing defective material in excess of five percent that has not been installed. The cost of our bamboo floating flooring does not include labor or installation. All of our flooring products should be allowed to acclimate for at least 72 hours to allow flooring to adjust to room temperature and humidity.

Important notes about installing moldings: Installing strand bamboo trim pieces can be more difficult than trim pieces made of other materials. The strand woven material in particular is extremely dense and you will need to either a) pre-drill these moldings and then nail them, b) glue them in, or c) use a nail gun that can fire a 1" long micro thin nail (we suggest the Bostich Porter Cable 23 GA gun with a 1" long micro thin nail - this can be purchased directly from Bostich or rented).

Stair treads and transition moldings are installed best by gluing them down as opposed to nailing them. Be sure to follow the instructions on the adhesive and do not use any water based adhesives. Once the molding piece is installed weight the moldings to ensure a solid bond. For transitions, blue painter's tape will help to hold the molding in place while the adhesive dries, and you may also want to place a weighted object on top of the molding to hold it down.

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Tools needed

  • Rubber mallet
  • Tapping block
  • 40-tooth or greater CARBIDE saw blade (Diablo is recommended)
  • Spacers (wood or plastic)
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Felt or resin paper if a nail-down installation
  • If a nail-down installation: Note that not all nailers work with strand bamboo, as it is much more dense than traditional hardwood and you may need to rent a more powerful nail gun (see recommendations in the Nail Down section of these instructions). You can also rent one by calling your Ambient representative at 301-498-0234 .
  • If you're installing quarter round or shoe molding you will need to use a 23 gage micro pin nailer (can be rented at most local big-box stores).

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Jobsite Requirements

Prior to installation of any flooring, the installer must ensure that the jobsite and subfloor meet the requirements of these instructions. Ambient is not responsible for any floating floor bamboo failure resulting from unsatisfactory jobsite and/or subfloor conditions.

A floating bamboo floor should be one of the last items installed on any new construction or remodel project. All work involving water or moisture should be completed before floor installation.

Room temperature and humidity of installation area should be consistent with normal, year-round living conditions for at least a week before installation. Room temperature of 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity range of 40% to 60% is recommended. Our floating bamboo flooring is a living material which is hygroscopic and therefore reacts to changes of relative humidity. Consequently, its dimension changes. When humidity is highest in the summer this humidity is absorbed by the bamboo, which causes it to expand and in extreme cases it will “cup" because of the bamboo strips pushing against one another. These variations can be minimized with proper ventilation, heating or by the use of a dehumidifier. Alternately, in the winter when the humidity is low and the heating system is on, the bamboo releases its humidity and consequently shrinks or contracts. It is then recommended that you use a humidifier in order to minimize the shrinkage.

Store your flooring at the installation site for 72 hours before installation to allow flooring to adjust to room temperature and humidity. Do not store floating bamboo flooring directly on concrete or near outside walls. Only engineered flooring is acceptable for below-grade installation and basements.

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Acceptable Subfloor Types

  • Plywood or OSB 3/4"
  • Concrete slab
  • Existing wood floor 3/4" or greater

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    Subfloor Requirements

    • Must be structurally sound
    • Must be clean - thoroughly swept and free of all debris
    • Must be level - flat to 3/16" per 10-foot radius
    • Must be dry - subfloor must remain dry year-round. The moisture content of a wood subfloor must not exceed 12%, concrete moisture content must not exceed three pounds.
    Wood subfloors must be dry and well secured. For nail-down installations, nail or screw every 6" along joists to avoid squeaking. If the subfloor is not level, sand down high spots and fill low spots with an underlayment patch or self-leveler such as Bostik Duralevel 83P Self-Leveling Underlayment.

    Concrete must be fully cured, at least for 60 days. If it is not level, grind down high spots and fill low spots with leveling compound. The concrete must be flat to 3/16" per 10-foot radius. Do not install on concrete unless you are sure it stays dry year-round. All concrete must be tested for moisture, or a moisture barrier product must be used. We offer Bilder's Ultimate with moisture barrier, adhesive and sound barrier all in one.

    Click here for further reading about sub-floor requirements

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    Please refer to the recommended installation matrix at the bottom of this document. Depending on the product, bamboo floating floor components may be nailed or glued down over wood subfloors, glued directly to concrete subfloors on or above grade, or installed as floating flooring. (If installed below grade, a moisture membrane must be used. We recommend using a 3-in-1 membrane.) For all types of installation, joints must be staggered 10" to 20". Bridging the flooring across the floor joists is recommended. Note: Ambient does not recommend installing on particleboard (OSB is the only exception), unless the application is a floating floor.

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    Subfloor Preparation

    Important information on Cupping and Crowning.

    Surfaces must be clean, dry, smooth and free of dirt, wax, oil, paint, curing agents and other contaminants that would interfere with adhesive bond. Old resilient floors can be installed over provided above conditions apply. Wood subfloors must be sanded level prior to new installation. In a glue-down installation, the use of a self-leveling product is acceptable as long as it is compatible with the underlying adhesive.

    Concrete subfloors must have all cracks and holes filled with a cement-like patching material. While bamboo flooring is more stable than most woods, it is still subject to damage when in direct contact with a constantly wet slab. Our bamboo floating flooring must be isolated from this type of slab by use of a concrete sealant, reverse vinyl or sleeper subfloor. Concrete subfloors must be tested for moisture and not exceed three pounds per 1,000 square feet using the calcium chloride test.

    If the moisture content of the subfloor exceeds three pounds, you must use a moisture barrier product. We offer Bilder's Ultimate which is a combination of moisture barrier, adhesive and sound barrier. For more information on these products please contact Bostik directly at 888.592.8558.

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    Work out of multiple boxes

    (4-6 boxes recommended)
    Bamboo is a natural product and has natural color variations. Mixing cartons of floating bamboo flooring creates a natural, random shade effect. Never lay out a floor without paying attention to the overall look. You control the color and pattern of planks that are put down, therefore you control the true color and variation of wood in your floor.

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