When it comes to choosing which type of adhesive to use for your bamboo flooring project, there are definitely some reasonably priced options that are readily available in the market. Choosing an adhesive may depend on what type of sub-floor you have in your installation project. Here is a guide to help you choose which adhesive works best for you.
There are three common methods to installing your bamboo floor: nail down, floating, or glue down.
Nail Down Method
Nailing down a bamboo floor to a wood subfloor is the traditional method of installation. Nails, or sometimes staples, are driven in at a specific angle through the tongue and are then hidden by the next plank laid. Because the nails and staples are hidden, this method is sometimes also called “blind or secret nailing.”
A floating floor is actually attached only to itself and not to the subfloor underneath, making it a suitable option to go over any subfloor no matter if it’s wood, concrete, or even tile and vinyl. A floating floor is also fairly simple to install making it a method many DIYers and weekend renovation warriors choose.
Glue Down Method
This method involves gluing the actual bamboo planks to the subfloor, and that subfloor can either be concrete or plywood. Although it can be messier than nailing down or floating, this method is usually the best option for installation because it provides the strongest bond, and the adhesive acts as a sounds barrier as well as prevents irritating squeaking noises associated with the naildown or floating methods of installation.
When choosing this installation method you should wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid having your skin make contact with the adhesive.
Best Adhesives Used to Install Bamboo Flooring
Urethane Flooring Adhesive
This moisture cure adhesive is typically used over plywood, tile, and even existing hardwoods. There are many brands on the market that are very well known such as Bostik and Titebond, and can be found in most big box stores.
Urethane Flooring Adhesive with Moisture and Sound Barrier
This moisture cure adhesive is commonly used over concrete slabs, crawl spaces, and any other areas where there may be subfloor moisture coming up. The best combination of price and sound rating is Ultimate All in One with Vapor and Sound Barrier, which is a LEED-compliant, Zero VOC, one-part, trowel-applied urethane adhesive that’s easy to spread, and cleans up fast. Adhesives with sound and moisture barriers are commonly used in high-rise buildings like condominiums, which have a higher standard for sound insulation between levels. Its crucial with these types of adhesives to use the correct trowel to ensure a proper spread rate, or the glue may fail and your floors will cup.
There are two glue down methods:
This method involves the adhesive being allowed to “flash” for the recommended amount of time before installing the bamboo planks. Using this method requires you trowel out large portions of the room so you can then spend most of the time laying the planks down. It’s important to not exceed the flash time recommendations and do not trowel more floor area than you can realistically cover within a 2 hour window.
Wet Lay Method
This method involves applying the adhesive to the substrate with a trowel and then immediately placing the flooring planks onto the “wet” adhesive. The installer should not spread any more adhesive than can be worked on within a forty-minute time period. Should adhesive come in contact with the face of the bamboo plank, wipe it off immediately. To prevent slippage, use blue painters tape perpendicularly along the lengths of the planks. This tape can be removed once the adhesive has set.
Keep in mind, whichever method you use, once the floor is glued down it will be difficult to get back up.
Using a Urethane Bamboo Flooring Glue
When using the gluedown method select a premium wood floor adhesive, preferably one that is urethane based and not water based. Ideally you should use an adhesive that contains 0% water. You should always check with the manufacturer for warranty information as well as installation instructions and guidelines for safe use and storage recommendations. With urethane adhesives, once cured they’re waterproof, elastomeric and provide a tough flexible, tenacious bond to a variety of surfaces.