If you’re planning to nail down your new Morning Star Bamboo floor, this guide will assist you with tips, directions and helpful hints. Remember, this isn’t all-inclusive and we highly recommend consulting a professional flooring installer on your specific installation. You can always call your local Lumber Liquidators and our Tech & Installation team at (800) 366-4204 with additional questions.
Preparing to Install
Bamboo is a product of nature, characterized by distinct variations in grain, pattern and color which should be expected. They aren’t flaws or defects! Instead, it is the natural beauty and uniqueness of bamboo.
Stained products will have the most uniform color or shade.
The customer/installer is responsible for final inspection of quality and moisture testing of the subfloor and bamboo.
Boards deemed unacceptable can be used in closets, near walls or simply not used at all. Inspect the flooring often. Pieces with defects that can be seen from a standing position should be cut off. Order 5%-10% extra for board selection.
If more than 5% of the material is unusable, contact your local store or Customer Care (800-366-4204) immediately.
Size and shape of bamboo changes with the absorption or release of moisture. The amount of change varies with each species, cut and type of flooring.
Check the installation instructions of the product for proper temperature and humidity settings, and maintain those levels. For most products, the room should be conditioned to between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a 30%-50% humidity level.
To speed up acclimation, open the ends of the boxes.
Remove any plastic around the outside of the boxes.
Do not cut the plastic support bindings or remove from packaging until ready to install.
Cartons should be placed as close to the center of the installation area as possible.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
Keep away from heat/air vents.
Not following these instructions can impact the board performance and cause excessive movement, squeaks, gapping, cupping, and other related issues which aren’t manufacturer related, and therefore are not covered by warranty.
Most installation failures result from jobsite moisture!! Complete proper moisture tests.
Wet trade involving water or moisture (plumbing, ceramic tiles, drywall finish, painting, etc.) should be finished with ample time allowed for complete drying prior to bamboo installation.
Do not store in buildings without climate controls (garage, shed, outside, etc.)
Heating, Ventilation and/or Air Conditioning systems should be fully operating and running at least 7 days before delivery.
A flat surface is very important when gluing down flooring. To minimize squeaks and gaps the final surface must be flat to within ¼” in 10’ radius or 3/16” in 6’ radius (using mechanical fasteners 1½” and longer). Sand or grind down high spots. Allow extra drying time for the leveling compounds
Nailers, Staplers and Fasteners
(for board sizes 3/8”, ½”, 5/8”, 9/16”)
Norge 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler, 16 gage cleats, 1½” to 2” L
Power Nailer 445
Norge 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler, 15.5 gage staples, 1½” to 2” L
Power Nailer 445FS
Powernail Flex 50m, 50p or M200, M250
Primatech Q500, Q550, 18-20 gage cleat nails ½” long
Powernail 445FS, Bostich MIIIFS 15 gage staples ½” wide, 1½” long
best nailing results, use an 18 or 20 gage Powercleat nail that is at least 1½”
in length. Powercleats will perform the best as they do not fold or bend and
won’t damage the tongue. The biggest benefit to using a cleat nail is that they
will allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the floor as it goes
through changes of seasons. Staples have too much holding power and will
restrict the necessary movement of the flooring as it goes through these same
Place fasteners every 10” – 12” within 3” – 4” of board ends. Use a minimum of two fasteners in every board.
15 lb Felt
Paper- do not overlap seems
White Silicon Vapor Shield
Bellawood Premium- film side up (flooring minimum >3/8” thickness)
Eco Silent Sound HD- film side down (flooring minimum >3/8” thickness”
Dream Home Insulayment- smooth side up (flooring minimum >3/8” thickness)
Dream Home Cork- smooth side up (between 3/8” and ¼” max thickness)
- The installer is the final quality inspector.
- Lay out each piece to visually inspect for imperfections that can be cut out, or adjustments that should be made.
- Set aside defective boards. These can be used in hidden places such as a closet. If the defect is unacceptable, the installer should cut it out or set it aside completely.
- Using stain, touch-up pens or filler sticks for correction during installation is normal.
- Lumber Liquidators recommends moisture testing and the use of moisture barriers.
Test the Nailer
Tongue fracture and surface dimpling during installation is common and can be minimized by (1) Installing the flooring in proper lighting (2) using the correct nail thickness, (3) using the recommended shoe adaptor, or (4) changing the angle of nail entry. Many installers will sometimes temporarily adjust the nailer angle by applying layers of duct tape to the bottom foot plate of the nailer.
To further reduce the occurrence of surface dimpling and tongue fracture the use of flooring nailers with a thinner 18-20 gage cleat nail may be needed for the Bamboo. In addition, the use of an over-size base or foot plate to distribute the nailing force is encouraged.
If surface dimpling or tongue fracture occurs when nailing the harder Strand Bamboo, drilling pilot holes and hand nailing may be required. Gluing down bamboo is also an option to avoid board damage.
Use caution when fastening the harder exotics with Staplers. The drive bar in Staplers are wider and if fasteners are overdriven can act like a wood chisel, splitting tongues. Do not mix fasteners when nailing. Staples and cleats hold differently when mixed can result in irregular seasonal gapping and or movement. When face or top nailing, pick areas of the grain or pattern that would best hide touch-up fillers.
Forcing or pounding floor boards together with a rubber mallet during assembly may burse or damage unprotected board edges.
Install flooring in normal proper lighting.
Do not install flooring under permanent or fixed cabinetry.
Avoid board grouping, board sizes should be intermingled.
Use breathable materials like paper when covering a newly installed floor.
The customer is advised to be home during the installation for consultation/direction.
Customer and installer should discuss installation and layout to maximize satisfaction.
Floor should be installed from several cartons at the same time.
Save the item number found on the packaging box ends for future questions.
Use caution when using staples on bamboo. Staples may increase the risk for tongue fracture and surface dimples.
Do not mix fasteners when nailing. Staples and cleats hold differently and when mixed can result in irregular fastening and/or may allow excessive movement.
When face or top nailing, pre-drilling is recommended. Pick areas of the grain or pattern that would best hide touch-up fillers.
Do not use significantly bowed, crooked or twisted boards. Use a wood spline or slip tongue whenever a change in board direction is needed. Splines should be glued with PVA wood glue and nailed into place. Forcing or pounding floor boards together with a rubber mallet during assembly can bruise or damage board edges.
flooring can be glued:
flooring can be glued to:
OSB (2/4” min)
Plywood (5/8” min)
Firm kitchen vinyl
We do not recommend bamboo for use over radiant heat flooring. For greater thermal insulation and sound isolation, the floor can be glued over an approved underlayment (see Approved Underlayments above).
- The first three rows MUST BE STRAIGHT.
- Determine the starting wall, usually the longest or outside foundation wall. At the two opposite ends of this wall, measure out and mark on the subfloor the width of the new floor plus an expansion gap. An Expansion gap or space must be left around the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions. This space is normally the same as the thickness of the new flooring, for example; 1/2” flooring requires 1/2” expansion.
- Keep the flooring straight, snap a chalk line on the floor connecting the two floor marks. Align the tongue side of the first row of boards on the chalk line with the groove side towards the starting wall, maintain the expansion space.
- Pre-drill and top nail the first row of boards only. Hand nail the following rows until nailing machines can be used. Ensure that the nailing machines do not damage the pre-finished edges or surface. Nail into the tongue side not the groove side, refer to picture.
- Complete the floor.
- Rip-cut final row of boards to fit. If the final board row is less than 1˝ in width it should be edge-glued with PVA wood glue and fastened to the last secure row.
For best matching of sheen or milling save a box of flooring for future repairs.
Have more questions? Call our Tech & Installation team at 800-366-4204 for additional assistance!