When it comes to installing bamboo and other hardwood floors, there are a few options to consider. Here is a guide to each style you may hear about while researching which floor is best for your home.
Nowadays this is the more common option and is our preferred method of installation for bamboo flooring.
A direct stick refers to the floorboards being glued down directly to the concrete subfloor. Glue will be troweled onto the entire surface of the floor and the floorboards are all adhered down. This makes this method long lasting, clean and affordable – hence why it is our preference. You’ll experience a floor that is quiet to walk on, that you can sand and re-polish later in its life, and that you’ll never have to give any further thought to aside from those occasional moments of reflection when you congratulate yourself on what a sound choice you made.
Be warned though, this is not the method to use if you want to remove the boards later down the track without the heavy use of jackhammers and an enduring spirit.
A floating floor is that in which the floorboards do not get stuck down to the subfloor at all and are simply glued together to sit upon a foam underlay. Firstly foam matting is laid down over the concrete and each board will “float” on top, fixed together with glue along the tongue and groove join (or some form of glueless click-lock assembly). Because there is nothing securing the boards down (just kept together) this style of flooring can’t be sanded and polished at all later. It is, however, much easier to remove if you need to at the end of a lease.
It is worth noting that from time to time sometimes while researching you may hear suggestions that bamboo floors are best to – or can only – be floated. We understand where this confusion stems from, yet this is not our experience and can result in a disappointing result. This idea is usually put forward by companies concerned their product is unstable in Perth conditions (which is exactly what we found to be the case for the first style of product we had when we initially introduced bamboo floors to WA too). The reason for this is that the earlier floorboard technology is more prone to expanding. So the theory is that if the boards expand, don’t stick them down so they have room to move. If you do that though, the expansion has to go somewhere, and in our experience that means you end up with a floorboards that lift up off the floor entirely – in what we refer to as the hippo-bum effect! Not ideal. Best to get a product that is suited to our local conditions instead that won’t expand in the first place – say, for instance, something like Bamwood ;-).
Secret nailing onto ply
This method of installation is primarily used for traditional timber floors. It is designed to keep solid boards in place. Plywood sheets would first be laid and then floorboards are nailed down to this individually from the side of the board, so no nails or holes are visible from the surface of the floor.
This is a far more costly installation method because of the plywood, but is used commonly to a) protect the timber from moisture in the concrete, b) to help hold down thinner floorboards from buckling and c) overcome any undulations in the concrete.
We have found we can save homeowners the expense of using ply with the way our product is design. For pre-finished Bamwood floors the boards come sealed on the underside so moisture from the slab typically doesn’t become a factor. If the moisture levels were high, then applying a moisture barrier would be a more affordable alternative than ply. Because the Bamwood boards are 15mm thick and are backed with StayFlat technology they also don’t need to be secured down with nails to prevent buckling – they simply don’t buckle to begin with. The glue that we use in a direct stick floor is quite thick (2-3mm) which we find overcomes minor undulations. A Bamboozle installation manager checks your home for any such thing that may complicate a direct stick prior to installation, in order for it to be remedied in time, so again this would negate the need for ply.
TLTR: Direct stick unless you need the floor to be temporary. If a flooring company suggests their bamboo boards must be floated – RUN!
– See more at: https://bamboozle.com.au/blog/wood-flooring/flooring-installation-methods-should-you-float-direct-stick-or-secret-nail-onto-ply.aspx#sthash.15Lrbb8J.dpuf