Bamboo Flooring - Teragren Synergy Wide Plank Installation Guidelines

Synergy™ strand bamboo with Xcora™ technology, prefinished, wide-plank floating floor, featuring a Välinge-patented, self-locking system


Pre-Installation Notes

It is considered the sole responsibility of the installer/owner to determine if the job site's sub-floor and environmental conditions are suitable for the installation of Teragren flooring and accessories. Teragren Synergy™ strand bamboo, wide-plank floating floor is suitable for installation as a floating floor system on, above and below grade. Synergy™ floating floor may be installed over radiant floor heating systems (see Radiant Heat Systems section below).

Teragren Synergy™ floating floor should only be installed in environments where the relative humidity level can be maintained at a year-round level between 40% and 60% (although relative humidity levels outside of these parameters may not result in failure of the flooring, exposure to RH environments outside of this acceptable range may void the Teragren warranty). Prior to and during installation, the job site must be maintained at a temperature between 65° and 75°F and have a relative humidity level between 45% and 60%.

Teragren Synergy ™ floating floor should be delivered to the job site no less than 48 hours prior to installation. Distribute unopened boxes evenly to ensure all boxes can acclimate to job site temperature. Floor packaging should only be opened once installation is ready to begin.

NOTE: Do not install cabinets or walls on top of the floating floor.


Tools Recommended

Floating Installation: Hammer (1 lb), tapping block (tested to ensure it won't damage planks), tape measure, chalk line, pencil, carpenter square, scribing block, flat bar, 1⁄2" wedges, saw, chop saw, low adhesive painter's tape, 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier ("2-in-1" foam padding/moisture barrier may be substituted for polyethylene). Floating floor approved underlayment or cork not exceeding 5⁄64" in thickness may be used.


A moisture-vapor retardant such as 6 mil polyethylene film should be placed in crawl spaces. Wood sub-flooring surfaces must have no flex and must be smooth, level, clean, dry, and free of contaminants. Fix any squeaks or movement in the sub-floor prior to installation. High spots should be sanded flat. Any low spots equal to or greater than 5⁄64" over 78" should be filled (brought to level) using a non-compressible material. Suitable surfaces may include concrete, particleboard, wood floors, and both ceramic and vinyl tiles, among others. Please consult with your professional flooring installer to determine suitability of sub-floor surface. Teragren recommends using 5⁄8" CDX plywood for 12" on center and 16" on center floors, and 3⁄4" CDX plywood for 24" on center floors. A sub-floor of 1-1⁄8" plywood over joists at 16" on center is recommended for an optimal installation.

Concrete sub-floors must be tested for moisture in more than one place for consistent readings. Teragren recommends using the Calcium Chloride Test Method to quantify the volume of moisture vapor radiating from a concrete slab surface over time and if vapor pressure exceeds 3 lbs. per 1000 square feet in 24 hours to not install the floor. Concrete should be checked for flatness prior to installation and any low spots or voids should be filled to a minimum of 3⁄16" within a 10' radius or 1⁄8" in a 6 foot radius, and high spots ground to surface. Surface must be smooth and free of debris, oils, grease and solvents.

Install a 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier (or equivalent) over the entire subfloor surface. Overlap polyethylene sheets by 16" and then tape together, creating an airtight seal. Next, roll out 5⁄64" (2mm) padding (underlayment) one roll at a time over the vapor barrier, being careful not to poke holes through or damage either material during installation. Run padding up walls 1" to 1-1⁄2" and secure in place with tape. Join padding sections to one-another with tape. Make sure to tape down all loose edges. A "2-in-1" foam padding/moisture barrier may be substituted for moisture barrier and underlayment. Other approved floating floor underlayment materials such as cork may be used. Follow underlayment manufacturer's installation instructions. Note: flexible underlayment should not exceed 5⁄64" in thickness.



Measure the room so that the quantity of flooring required is known. If the last board required is too narrow in width, it may be necessary to install length-wise cut boards on both sides of the room to give it an overall balanced look. Ensure that the floor will fit under doors and skirting strips. Existing skirting strips may have to be removed during installation to allow for the expansion perimeter. Ideally, the flooring should be installed parallel to the longest dimension of the room. In a square room, the long joints should follow the path of the incoming light. Allow for a minimum expansion space of 1⁄2" around the perimeter of the installed flooring. For floors larger than 16' in any one direction, leave an additional expansion space of 1⁄8" for each 48" of installed flooring. For example, a 24' square room would require about 3⁄4" expansion on all sides. Rooms larger than 40' wide (boards running length of room) require additional space such as that provided by a t-mold. Place the t-mold expansion joint every 32' as required.

First Row: Start in a corner of the room with the locking strip (groove end) facing the room (see picture #1). Using spacer wedges as required, maintain a 1⁄2" gap between the wall and the planks being installed. Install the first plank. Install the second plank (see picture #2), pressing the end of the second floorboard in at an angle to the first one and then laying it down flat on the ground to engage the locking mechanism. Continue with this method until you are ready to install the last plank of the first row. Cut the last plank of the first row to size using a rotary saw with a carbide blade then install as done for the previous planks, leaving a 1⁄2" gap at the end. After the first row is complete, ensure that all edges are even and parallel. Note: It is practical to fine-tune the gap between the long sides and the wall later, after the first three rows have been laid.

Second Row: Start the second row beginning with (if available) the piece left over (cut off) from the first row (piece must be at least 20" in length). If the piece is too short (or if there is no leftover piece), start with a new board, cut in half. Always ensure that the end joints are staggered at least 20". Maintaining a 1⁄2" gap between the end of plank and the wall, insert the long edge of the plank into the adjacent plank of the first row (see picture #3). Push forward and press down at the same time to fully engage the locking mechanism. With the plank resting flat on the floor, ensure there is no gapping on any of the joints. Next, lift the end of the plank and rest it on an installation wedge so that it is not lying flat on the floor (see picture #3). Insert the end of the next plank (see picture #4) into the end of the previously installed plank, lowering the plank until it is parallel to the ground with the long edge of the plank resting on the edge of the first row's locking mechanism. Rest the end of this plank on an installation wedge so that the entire edge of the plank is at the same angle as the end of the first plank.

Slowly and evenly push the entire length (the long edge) of the second plank's locking mechanism fully into place using a tapping block if required (see picture #5). Once completely inserted, remove all wedges and press the entire plank down to lock the plank. Use a rubber mallet and a tapping block to ensure all edges are perfectly mated. Lift up the very end of the newly installed plank and place an installation wedge underneath it in preparation for installation of the next plank. Continue to install the whole row (see picture#6).

When the entire row is completed, remove all wedges and review the row to ensure there is no gapping and that all locking mechanisms are fully engaged (all planks are perfectly flat). Note: Never hammer planks without using a tapping block or damage to plank edges will occur.

Installation Around Pipes or Columns

Drill holes and saw out flooring as required to make room for any exposed structure or pipe. Note: holes around pipes or other items must be at least 3⁄4" greater in diameter than the pipe or structure.

Installation with Transition Pieces

Flooring must be allowed to float freely underneath the overlap portion of the transition piece. To ensure freedom of movement, cut or chisel off tongue as required to allow unrestricted movement of the flooring under the transition piece.

Radiant Heating Systems

Synergy™ floating floor is ideal for installation over radiant heat systems. Please note that the underlayment may insulate the heat slightly from transferring up through the floor. The following are installation guidelines only. When choosing an installer for application over radiant heat, look for members of the Radiant Panel Association. Please refer to the Radiant Panel Association for more information.

Synergy™ floating floor should not be used with radiant heating systems that result in the surface temperature of the floor exceeding 80°F. Note: rugs placed on a floor heated by a radiant source can increase the surface temperature of that floor by 2-3°F. Before installing the flooring, activate the radiant heating system and leave it on for at least 21 days prior to installation. Radiant heating systems must be turned off for 24 hours prior to and during flooring installation. If no adhesive has been used, the radiant heating system may be reactivated after the flooring installation is complete. If adhesive has been used, wait 2-3 days before reactivating the radiant heating system.