Bamboo is an eco-friendly flooring option that is extremely durable, water and moisture-resistant, and even resistant to certain insect invasions, as well as mold and mildew. For all of these reasons this flooring choice has become very popular with homeowners over the past ten years. In most cases, bamboo flooring will never have to be re-stained once it has been installed. Unlike traditional wood floors, strand woven bamboo flooring rarely has to be refinished, because it’s density provides much more protection against denting and scratching. Traditional or “classic” bamboo floors can be sanded down and refinished easily, while strand bamboo flooring requires a bit more effort.
Having said this, there may be times homeowners want to change the color of the stain for decorative reasons. Even though bamboo is a grass and not a hardwood, staining it is very similar to staining hardwood floors, except that sanding bamboo requires a bit more experience with a sanding machine.
Strand woven bamboo flooring is very difficult to stain onsite and we do not recommend it.
Basic Guide to Stain Horizontal & Vertical Bamboo Floors
1. Clear the Room
It goes without saying that before you can begin work on your floors you will need to clear out the room and remove furniture and rugs. If you have long drapes you may also want to remove these and store them in another room until your floors are finished and completely dry.
Before you even begin sanding your floors, you’ll want to give them a good sweeping or vacuuming and remove all dust and debris.
Before you can lay down a new layer of stain, you’ll have to remove the original one first by sanding. You can use an electric sander for this job but be aware that if you do, a light and even pressure is required. You do not need to go very deep at all to remove that first layer of stain. A good rule of thumb is, if the sawdust you are creating is white, you are using the right amount of pressure. If the sawdust you see is darker in color ease up on the sander and use a gentler touch.
4. Clean Again
You’ll now have to sweep the area thoroughly to remove all of the sawdust you’ve just created. Take your time and make sure you get it all up as if you miss any it will create a rough and uneven spot on the floor once you lay the stain down.
It’s now time to stain your floor. You’ll want to use two coats of a permeating stain, and you can use a couple of different techniques to apply the color. You can either saturate a rag and wipe the stain onto the floor or you can use a paintbrush to apply the color. Either way you choose to go, apply the stain in thin, even coats and do your best to not miss any areas. Let the stain dry at least 2 hours in between applications.
Seal your floor with the polyurethane finish. Once you’ve sealed it with two coats of the finish, your bamboo floor will be close to impermeable. As you did with the stain, apply thin, even coats using a paintbrush, and wait 2 hours in between applications. Once you are done, your floor should shine and be scuff-resistant.
If you’re looking for some inspiration before staining your floor take a look at these great color ideas. Staining your bamboo floors is a simple project you and a friend or family member can do over a weekend. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to breathe new life into any room in your house.