1. Make sure that your bamboo flooring installation comes without formaldehyde in the adhesive. Formaldehyde glues are not environmentally friendly and may give off toxic gases after installation.
2. Buy only bamboo flooring with Forest Stewardship Council certification. This reassuring stamp certifies that the plants came from a forest that is sustainably managed and cultivates a biologically diverse range of bamboo.
3. In most cases your flooring will need to acclimate for a period. Follow the manufacturer's guide in this regard. Usually 48 to 72 hours in opened cartons will suffice, so make provision for this in your planning.
4. As with a laminate flooring installation, you have to take the time to make sure that the sub-floor is absolutely dry, clean and smooth. Don't rush this part of the job. Fill up holes and sand down bumpy patches.
5. You need to use a quality polyethylene moisture barrier sheet below the bamboo flooring. Place duct tape over all the seams.
6. Create the recommended expansion space around the perimeter of the room with the help of spacers. Your supplier will be able to give you an indication of the correct size, according to the measurements of the room. If you don't follow the guidelines here, you will face a buckling floor later on.
7. Never align all the bamboo flooring joints. These have to be staggered. This is also why many companies supply a variety of plank lengths. Staggering the joints ensures a strong floor, and looks more natural.
8. Use matching moldings around the perimeter, in doorways and against cabinets to give your room a professional finish. A wide range of decorative matching moldings are available.
9. Be careful when using a rubber mallet. You don't want to be saddled with dents and chips after your bamboo flooring installation.
10. Always purchase more than you expect to use. There may just be a mishap during the process. You also need to make sure that you have some extra planks to put away, in case a replacement of a flooring section is necessay at some point in the future. That particular range may be discontinued by then, or the shading of a different batch may vary slightly.
11. As shading may vary slightly from carton to carton, it is a good idea to work from about three boxes at the same time. By alternating planks from different bamboo flooring cartons, you will ensure an evenly shaded floor.
12. To prevent splintering, you can tape the end of the plank that needs to be cut. It also helps if you have a fine-toothed circular saw with a carbide blade.
13. Cleaning involves little more than a damp mop. You can also use your vacuum if you add a padded cleaning head. The idea is to catch grit and grime before it has a chance to scratch your floor. Never use steel wool or scouring powder. Don't make the floor too wet and wipe any spills immediately. Never use floor waxes, as these will damage the finish of your floor.
14. Use area rugs in doorways to help to reduce the amount of dirt landing on your floor. Use felt pads underneath furniture feet.
15. Be especially careful with spiked heels on shoes and animal claws on bamboo flooring.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. If you don't, you may void your warranty. Don't choose the cheapest discount bamboo flooring. You get what you pay for. If you opt for unfinished bamboo flooring, it may be sensible to call in the services of a professional.