Monday, November 19, 2007


    On Monday of last week I went over to Lumber Liquidators and picked up about 570 square feet of bamboo flooring. I had previously purchased from, but because I listen to NPR I had heard about Lumber Liquidators a lot since they sponsor a lot of programs. I price checked them against iFloor and they were less expensive and I could just go to the warehouse and pick it up. So Monday I loaded 24 boxes of bamboo into the Element and let them acclimate to the condo for the week.

    On Friday morning I rented a floor nailer from Diamond Rentals and and went to the condo and got started. I started in the front living room and started to work my way back.

    I worked non stop by myself on Friday for about 11 hours and was able to get all of the living room done.

    Earlier in the week I had put a call out to my two brothers-in-law Bricky and Luke. As a family, we have all done projects like this multiple times, so we were all experienced. They came over and working as a team, we were able to knock out the rest of the condo in about 6 hours. Twice as much in about half the time. It was great. Many thanks to Bricky and Luke. Hopefully they aren't still really sore.

    Eventually it would be a continuous run of bamboo from the living room running back through the two bedrooms.


    Miss W said...

    Just found you through renovation voyeur. Absolutely love the floor. I'd like to do a bamboo floor in my house but have some questions for you since you've had one before. How does it hold up to, shall we say, heavy use? I have a 2 year old and pets so maybe I should call it abuse? I've also recently read about bamboo floors discoloring rather quickly but haven't seen any images to know what that actually means aesthetically.

    Tai said...

    All the literature says that it is a really hard surface, though I've gotten a few dents in it when I drop things that are metal and a little heavy on it. It scratches too if you don't put felt pads on the bottoms of your furniture too. This is the third bamboo floor I've had, but I've never lived with it more than 3 years and I don't have kids or pets, so I'm not sure I can speak to that.

    My brother-in-law has two kids and a dog and a carbonized bamboo floor. I'll ask them how it's held up and post back here, or he can comment too I suppose if he reads this.

    As for discoloration. When we moved from our last place where we had lots of windows and lots of light, when we pulled up our rugs, we found that the floor was a lot lighter underneath. So exposure to the sun seemed to darken the floor slightly.

    Andy West said...

    Tai, have you ever installed Bamboo on a concrete subfloor? If so, I need to pick your brain.

    I am interested in installing bamboo in my basement, but the "subfloor" (IE hodgepodge of surfaces beneath the crappy vinyl laminate) is far from perfect. I plan on leveling it out a bit using self leveling concrete compound, but It's not going to be perfect.

    I had good success in the bathroom (on the same surface) using self leveling concrete and then screwing down hardbacker with concrete screws, and then laying tile.

    Do you think bamboo is an option?

    BTW, this is Andy West.

    amelia said...

    The floors look great!

    Brick said...

    Miss W,

    I'm the brother-in-law spoken of. We've had bamboo floors for about 3 years in our home now. We did a carbonized bamboo as Tai mentions which gave it a darker, caramel color and we have not experienced any discoloration. As for holding up to "abuse"... True it does dent went something heavy and metal is dropped (i.e a hammer- whoops!) but we have found it had done pretty well. There are a few minor scratches in the finish from the dog's nails, but nothing too conspicuous. Overall, we are very happy with the look and durability of the bamboo.

    Tai said...


    Both bamboo floors that I did at Wasatch Towers were on a concrete subfloor and the concrete underneath was also not perfect and it works fine. I used a diamond plated grinder to grind down really bad parts of the concrete but in other places it flexed pretty well over uneven surfaces. You should do just fine if you pour a layer of self leveling concrete over everything.

    For a concrete application you use a flooring glue that comes in 5 gallon buckets and is applied using a notched trowel much the same way that thinset mortar for tile is applied.

    You will want to make sure that you have lots and lots of blue painters tape on hand. With the glue, the boards have a tendency to pull apart from each other while it is drying, so you need to tape the boards together after they are laid down to keep them from creeping too far apart. Glue is a bit more time consuming than a nail down application, but it is really solid once it is down, which is a pretty nice feeling.

    Suzanne said...

    Wow, the bamboo looks great. It looks like the place is coming together beautifully!