Floating T&G Floor Installation Guide
This method offers a fast, convenient, and cost efficient way to install a bamboo floor.
Determine the best installation method that suits your application. Cali Bamboo® floors may be Floated (not secured to the subfloor), Glued, or Nailed. For floating applications, Cali Bamboo highly recommends selecting a style from our Fossilized® Click Lock Bamboo Flooring series. Follow the instructions designated for the most suitable installation method for your project.
Upon ordering of wood floor material consider adding an additional 8% to allow for cutting waste (5%) and grading allowance (3%).
Cali Bamboo® flooring is manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards, which permit manufacturing, grading and natural deficiencies not to exceed 5%. If more than 5% of the material is unusable, do not install the flooring. Immediately contact the distributor/retailer from which the flooring was purchased. No claim will be accepted for materials with visible defects once they are installed. Installation of any material serves as acceptance of the material delivered.
Installer/Owner assumes all responsibility to inspect all flooring before installation. Boards deemed unacceptable in appearance can be placed in closets, near walls or simply not be used. Pieces with glaring defects that can be seen from a standing position should be cut off or not be used as use constitutes acceptance. The use of putty, stains, filler sticks or markers to touch-up flooring during installation is considered normal practice.
As bamboo is a natural product, natural variations in color may occur within and between individual flooring planks. To visualize the range of colors within the flooring style you are considering, compare your samples to the photos on our web site. During installation, work from several cartons at a time to achieve a uniform appearance across the entire floor. Mix and mingle planks when dry-laying the floor for maximum aesthetic appearance. Blend moldings to planks that have similar color. Natural variations in color are not covered under warranty.
It is the responsibility of the installer/homeowner to determine if the job site conditions, environmental conditions and sub-floor are acceptable for the installation of Cali Bamboo® flooring. Prior to installation, the installer/owner must determine that the jobsite meets or exceeds all applicable National Wood Flooring Association’s Installation Guidelines. Cali Bamboo does NOT warrant against failure resulting from or connected with subfloor, job site damage, or environmental deficiencies after installation.
Cali Bamboo makes no warranty or guarantee of the quality of the chosen installer's work or of a particular installation performed by him or her. Cali Bamboo disclaims all liability for any errors or improprieties in the installation of its products by an installer. Please contact the National Wood Flooring Association (800-422-4556) to find a certified installer in your area, or for more information on the installation of hardwood flooring.
Controlling flooring moisture content is important for success. Bamboo, like all hardwood flooring species, is hygroscopic; its size and shape changes naturally with the absorption or release of moisture. The amount of movement varies depending on the preventative steps taken at the time of installation (i.e. acclimation, moisture barrier application, etc.) and the stability of the home environment thereafter. Care should be taken to control fluctuating levels of moisture within the building, and to maintain humidity levels within the recommended 40-60% relative humidity range.
Floor noise is normal and will vary from one installation type to the next. Occasional noise is due to structural movement and may relate to sub-floor type, flatness, deflection, and/or related to the fasteners, changes in environmental conditions, relative humidity and the amount of topside pressure applied to the flooring. For these reasons floor noise is not considered a product or manufacturer defect.
Cali Bamboo® flooring is intended for installation on or above grade only. Flooring installed below grade is not covered under warranty.
During installation, it is the installer’s responsibility to document all jobsite conditions and measurements including the installation date, flooring moisture content, site relative humidity, temperature, and subfloor moisture content. This information must be retained by the installer and left with the property owner as a permanent record. For a complete list of points to address prior to installation, refer to the NWFA’s Jobsite Checklist.
General: Subfloor must be structurally sound and meet all NWFA guidelines. All subfloors must be flat to a tolerance of 3/16" in a 10’ radius. Use appropriate leveling products for correcting subfloor deficiencies. Subfloor surfaces must be smooth, clean, dry and free of contaminants that would interfere with an adhesive bond. All subfloors should be tested for moisture content (see “Subfloor Moisture Testing”). If high moisture readings are found, identify the moisture source and correct the problem before installation. Do not install flooring directly over floor joist without proper subflooring.
Wood Subfloors: Subfloor must meet all above requirements. CD Exposure 1 plywood and OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels are appropriate subfloor materials (grade stamped US PS1-95). Solid board subfloors should be 1" x 6" nominal, Group 1 dense softwoods, #2 Common, KD. Minimum single layer subfloor thickness is 5/8" on 16" o.c. joists or 3/4" on 19.2" o.c. joists. Subfloor must be securely nailed or screwed to joists to minimize movement. Squeaky or loose boards should be reinforced by nailing/screwing every 12" on center along joists. High spots may be sanded down. Low spots should be cut out and repaired. Subfloor must be square with the space and run perpendicular to the joists, or additional subfloor thickness is required. A subfloor of 1-1/8" plywood over joists at 16" on center is recommended for optimal installation. Test subfloor moisture content. Flooring moisture content should be within 3% of subfloor moisture content. In no case should any wood moisture reading exceed 12%.
Concrete Subfloors: Subfloor must meet all above requirements. Concrete must be fully cured and at least 60 days old. Concrete must be free of dirt, oil, paint, old adhesive, wax, sealers and curing agents. Concrete that is not properly leveled can cause improper adhesive transfer, hollow spots, and squeaks. Sand or grind down high spots. Level low spots with appropriate leveling material; allow extra drying time for the leveling compounds. Test subfloor moisture content. To minimize moisture transfer from the slab, apply a moisture barrier such as: Titebond 531+ Moisture Control System.
General: Test the subfloor for moisture content before installation. If high moisture readings are found, identify the moisture source and correct the problem. Extend acclimation time and increase ventilation until the proper conditions have been met. Apply a moisture barrier. Please note that test results are only applicable the day of testing and will not ensure that moisture will not fluctuate with seasonal changes. Regardless of subfloor moisture content, the use of a moisture barrier is strongly recommended for all installations. Cali Bamboo does not warrant against moisture related problems.
Wood Subfloors: Use moisture meter to test wood subfloor moisture content. If results show moisture vapor at or exceeding 9%, determine its source and correct problem. Do not install the floor without a vapor barrier.
Concrete Subfloors: Concrete subfloors must be tested for moisture vapor pressure in more than one place for consistent readings. If test results show moisture vapor exceeds the minimum requirements below, do not install the floor without an impermeable vapor retarder with a perm rating of less than .13 perm designed to permanently block this moisture.
Optimum Flooring Moisture Content (%) by U.S. Region:
This map is provided by the NWFA and relates to all hardwood flooring species. For each region, the average equilibrium moisture content (EMC) for hardwood is identified for both January and July. The EMC is the MC (%) that the floor will reach once it has fully acclimated to its environment. This is also the optimum MC for installation, and will provide a general idea of what acclimation measures to take. In each pair of figures, the first number is the average EMC during January; the second is the average EMC during July.
NOTE: Actual moisture content conditions in any location may differ significantly from these numbers. This map cannot be reliably used as a basis for installation. The most reliable moisture-content numbers can be obtained at the job site. Take moisture content readings of the flooring, subfloor and relative humidity to be sure.
To better understand the specific acclimation requirements for your home, refer to the chart below for correlations between relative humidity (RH), temperature, and flooring moisture content (%). Referencing the weather conditions in your area, find the combination of temperature and RH on the chart. This value represents the flooring moisture content to achieve during acclimation for best results.
Values within chart’s shaded area represent environments with relative humidity (RH) and temperature capable of maintaining the delivered moisture content of 6-9%. These are optimum conditions for maximum flooring stability. For environments outside of this range, allow more time for acclimation. Depending on your local in-home conditions, the use of humidification/dehumidification equipment may be recommended to maintain proper in-home environment.
Continue to acclimate the flooring until the flooring moisture content varies less than 3% from the subfloor (e.g. if subfloor has a moisture content of 6%, the maximum moisture content of the flooring should be 9%). Testing of the flooring, subfloor and relative humidity of the job site can determine this (see “Subfloor & Flooring Moisture Testing”) sections.
Note: Not properly acclimating wood flooring may cause excessive expansion, shrinkage, dimensional distortion or structural damage. The worst-case scenario is one in which wood flooring is stored outside of the area in which the wood is to be installed. Acclimation is the responsibility of the installer/homeowner. A video tutorial is also available here: How to Acclimate Hardwood Flooring.
Cali Bamboo® flooring is only recommended for use over radiant heat systems if the special requirements specified by the National Wood Flooring Association are met (please refer to the NWFA’s Radiant Heat Guidelines). Ensuring stable job site conditions, subfloor suitability and proper acclimation are especially important when installing over a radiant heat system. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure that the recommended environmental conditions are met for installation. Refer to your radiant heat system manufacturer to determine its compatibility with bamboo flooring, and to learn the specific requirements for installation.
|Recommended Floating Floor Tools: