Projects - Bamboo Floors

Replacement of our carpeted rooms with glue down, hand-scraped Bamboo.

We started this summer's project list with the goal of replacing the carpet in the master bedroom and the front room with bamboo flooring. After a couple of trips to various stores to select a style and finish, we selected a dark, hand-scraped bamboo from Floor and Decor. We took delivery that afternoon. Each box contains ~32 sq ft and weighs a lot.

The glue is ridiculously expensive ($200+ per) and even more ridiculously heavy. We originally chose a water based thinking it would cleanup easier, but after researching more, we exchanged it to the acrylic based glue (even more heavy).

Notice the front room mess.
 
Once we unloaded the bamboo, we decided to do the re-tile the tile section of the house first. We got bids on labor for taking up and putting it back down, knowing my back would not like it at all (not to mention the incredible mess of demo).

After waiting 2 weeks for the tile to get done, we started in the master bedroom. It took 2 hours to demo then we (wife) decided to paint the room since it would require minimum prep work. While she did the painting, I took the carpet to the dump and started setting up the saws and double checking measurements.
Once we laid down our chalk lines, we started in the left corner. The first row must of taken an hour. Since we started late (late afternoon) and started slow once we did, we got 3 rows put down by 8-9 that night. It was quite a chore to do that and trying to keep them straight. The glue is extremely "tacky" and sticks to anything that comes close. If you choose to do this yourself - be prepared for the glue. We found something to use to "scoop" it out with to try to keep drips to a minimum. Drips bad - you step in them, knees get in them, etc..
 
Day 2 - Trying to get an early start with the goal of getting the room done - we start and find out the glue underneath the male side needs scraped or it will "block" the new row. Also, the glue, which we put the lid back on good (I thought), the top inch turned to a useless rubbery "crust". We're also having trouble keeping the rows straight. The bamboo needs serious pounding together pretty damn hard - and taped as you go. I'm rapidly finding that this is harder than laying tile. It requires a LOT of attention to detail and paying attention to what is already down - it seems to move a bit no matter how well you pound it together or how much you tape.
It took all day, a hydrocodone and more patience that I really don't have, but we got it done. You may notice some gaps and a lot of glue in the pics below. If you undertake this kind of project - DON'T walk on the wood until the glue cures! The stuff finds a way through the seams no matter how well they are together.
Next weekend, we demo the front room and start on it. I really took my time on set up the first row. This room is a bit longer and the row start length needs adjusted so there isn't a 2" piece on the other end. This time we managed to get 5 rows done before calling it a day.
Next day, my back is killing me, my knee is complaining and I've decied I am not going to try to do the rest in one shot. I managed to get to the kitchen though.
I spent Monday night pre-cutting the 45 of the kitchen and decided to wait until Tuesdayy to glue. We also need to get more glue. It took most of the night, but we knocked it out.
Summary - PAY the labor - forget going the do it yourself to save money route. It sucks. We made several mistakes, most of all, we forgot to check for level. Both rooms were horribly uneven, which caused huge problems. Secondly, We rushed the bedroom and didn't "knock" the wood together hard enough. Our walls were crooked (who's isn't?), and we failed to correctly identify it. Overall, I'm happy with the product, it's very nice.