installing a bamboo click-lock floor

I’m a little embarrassed to say it’s been three months since we started on this project, and and I’m just now getting around to writing a blog post about it! My parents visited us in early March to celebrate my dad’s birthday, doctor and said they would love to get cracking on a project around the house. Since we had recently picked up our new kitchen floor materials and the boxes were just wasting space in the parlor, my dad suggested we install it over the weekend. Count us in!

Our contractors at Transcend tore out the vintage vinyl tile floor during the big renovation, and then repaired and leveled the subfloor when we installed new cabinetry for the sink peninsula. They would have installed the floor for us, but I wanted to save money and try and DIY it. We chose an inexpensive eco-friendly floating bamboo floor from Lumber Liquidators in Gowanus (Schon Quick Clic), partly because I wasn’t ready to commit to something more permanent and have always loved the look of bamboo. As it worked out, it was a 2-3 person job, so having the family around was a great help. What did NOT help, though, was scheduling a brunch for the day we chose to install the floor. The project took longer than expected, so it was a balancing act to get everything to the table.

First things first — my dad and Zach moved the fridge out of the kitchen and helped to lay down the padded underlayment, which cushions the floor and makes it a whole lot quieter to walk on. This part was easy.

The shiny blue underlayment came in a big roll, which they had to cut into strips with a utility knife to fit the roughly 85 square feet in which the new floor was installed. Here’s Zach taping the strips together with duct tape to make sure the coverage is seamless and it doesn’t shift over time as the floors inevitably expand and contract with the seasons and humidity.

After the underlayment went down, Zach and Dad started from a corner of the kitchen and began to cut lengths of the bamboo with our awesome new circular saw (Christmas present — Thanks, Dad!) to create a staggered pattern so that the click-lock seams would never meet up and create an instability in the floor. They started from the corner nearest our door to the basement, and regretted this later — starting near a door requires that your ends line up perfectly whereas starting near a wall or cabinetry is a bit easier. That way you can theoretically cover up any uneven seams with shoe molding, but I digress.

I didn’t get many pictures of the installation process, because this is the point at which I was trying to make brunch for 10 and people were starting to arrive, haha. Fortunately, my cousin’s husband also showed up and was excited to pitch in and help. In the meantime, the rest of us made impressive headway on our mimosas.

After brunch, we sat back to admire their handiwork, and it is definitely a big improvement in the kitchen. The light-colored bamboo makes the kitchen seem larger, is easy to clean, and comfortable to stand on while cooking. After reading reviews about how easy it is to nick or ding, I did lay down a jute runner for padding and protection, but we haven’t had any trouble with it so far.

Now we’ve just gotta lay down quarter-round molding to complete the finished look. But so far, I’m really pleased with the floor and so thankful that it’s installed. On to the next project!