My contractor used Roberts 1509 to intall strand woven bamboo. The manufacturers instructions said to use 1408, but the store didn't have it in stock and consulted online and were we sold the 1509. After a few weeks we had severe cupping and buckling. It was installed on concrete. We've never had a moisture problem. Any ideas?


Brian Monetti, I spent several years working in home improvement and construction

User avatar for Brian Monetti

Lots of times, these problems are more because of moisture difference between the bamboo and the floor than the glue that is used. Both of those Roberts products should be fine for bamboo, so its probably not the glue.

What normally happens is that the moisture content of the wood is significantly different than the concrete which it is laid upon. Bamboo and other woods are normally cured in the factory to about 6%, while the concrete will normally have a moisture content of almost double that, but it could be even more, or maybe even less, depending on how it was cured and the area you live in. Once the two are put in contact, the bamboo will absorb moisture from the concrete as if it was a sponge, and could cause buckling.

There are a few ways that this can be prevented. One is using floating floor panels which prevent contact between the bamboo and concrete, such as the ones described here:

Another is to use a moisture barrier coating on the concrete. An example is the ones made by this company:

Also, it is best practice to store the flooring wood in the room with the concrete floor for several weeks in order for the moisture content to adjust. Unfortunately, this is impossible in many cases, because holding up a job for weeks while no one works is often unacceptable!

To solve your current problem, I have had luck in similar situations by fully airing out the room to allow the excess moisture to leave. This might include setting up box fans in windows/doors and blowing across the floor for several days. This pulls excess moisture away, and the bamboo might return to normal. We did a job once where a flood occurred in a basement with oak flooring, which seemed destroyed but after a week returned to normal by simply airing it out!

If the bamboo does not return to flat, you still may be able to salvage it by having it sanded and refinished. You will only want to do this once any buckling stops. A flooring expert will be able to give better advice, but having the warps sanded and refinished will be cheaper than having the floor torn up and relaid!

Good luck and I hope this helps!

Your Answer