In Phoenix do you still need to seal the concrete before gluing down bamboo flooring?

Asked by Tracy Black
Scottsdale, AZ

We are replacing the old carpet in the family room and installing new bamboo flooring on a slab foundation. I have been told that we need to seal the concrete before we glue down the bamboo flooring, otherwise it may warp after a few seasons.


Maggie Michel LEED AP

Answered by Maggie Michel LEED AP

Tucson, AZ

Air Fresh Consulting

June 21, 2010

The reason it might warp is because you will be changing the way the slab breathes. That is, water vapor might be coming up through the slab and not have anywhere to go except through the concrete and the flooring.

I would highly recommend sealing the concrete before you lay down bamboo.

Even here in Tucson, I have had to remediate a few floor failures due to an engineered flooring with an underlay. That pungent smell of mold growth after a few months is never fun. This was in homes with NO condensation drips, bad drainage or other moisture issues other than water vapor still comes up.

Possible duct supply leaks could put the home under negative pressures thus "pulling" vapor up through the slab. These are all things to watch out for and be aware of.


For more information:

Check out Mary Cordaro's Q&A "Can you recommend a green concrete sealant and an adhesive for bamboo flooring?"

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