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Can You Put Bamboo Flooring on Walls? (How To)

Bamboo flooring looks particularly nice, and is available with tongue and groove edges that need to be glued, or click and lock which don’t need any glue. Walls are vertical rather than horizontal and therefore have some different considerations compared to floors. In this article, I will explain if it’s possible to put bamboo flooring on walls.

Overall, it’s possible to put bamboo flooring on walls. It’s somewhat common to install wood paneling on walls to create an accent wall. The main thing is to allow a 1/2th inch (1.25 cm) gap for expansion on all edges of the walls, and to nail it into the wall studs.

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There are a range of different options for walls including vinyl planks, and the tried and true wallpaper, and paint. Below, I will cover if it’s a good idea to put bamboo flooring on walls, or if there’s a better option, what preparation steps are required to put bamboo flooring on a wall, as well as, all the tools you will need to do it, and exactly how to do it.

Should You Put Bamboo Flooring on Walls?

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It’s not very common to find wood paneling on walls, and even less common to find bamboo flooring. Therefore, it’s hard to know if it’s a good idea to put bamboo flooring on walls. So here is if it’s a good idea to put bamboo flooring on walls, and if there is anything you should be aware of that could influence your decision.

As a general rule, you should put bamboo flooring on walls. However, wood panel walls are a matter of personal taste. So, if you plan to sell the house soon in the future, it’s better to go with a more generic option such as paint. That way it will be easier to sell.

Bamboo flooring has a unique look that is particularly attractive, however, there are some other materials that create a similar look and are easier to work with. Laminate flooring for example is more lightweight, just as durable, and looks about the same.

So, it is a better option if you’re not totally set on the bamboo flooring look. Or, aren’t too fussed with the environmental and sustainability benefits of using bamboo flooring.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Bamboo Flooring on Walls?

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When installing bamboo flooring on walls there are only a few tools you need. Below is everything you need to put bamboo flooring on walls, as well as, what each tool is used for.

A power saw or regular saw, nail gun or hammer, tape measure, pencil, jigsaw (not always required), and carpenters level, are required to install bamboo flooring on to walls. A paint roller, paint brush, and paint tray are also optional but are a good idea. More on this below.

Bamboo like all wood expands and contracts in relation to humidity. Therefore, there is a small risk minor gaps will develop on the interior of the wall at certain times of the year.

Painting the underlying wall, where possible, is a good idea because if gaps do develop they won’t be as noticeable as if the wall is a lighter color. With that said, here’s a table that shows what each tool is used for when installing bamboo flooring on a wall.


What it’s used for

Power saw or regular saw

Cutting the bamboo planks to length and width

Nail gun or hammer

Nailing the boards to the studs

Carpenters level

Ensuring the first board is horizontal


Marking out where the studs are. Optionally you can use a chalk line to make the job faster.


Make in interior cuts for fixtures like wall outlets

Paint roller, paint brush, and paint tray (optional)

Painting the underlying wall a dark color

Generally, there are special types of glue for tongue and groove bamboo planks, and these typically don’t require a caulk gun. But, it’s possible the type of glue you decide to use does require a caulk gun, so you may need one of these as well.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Bamboo Flooring on Walls?

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Before installing bamboo flooring onto a wall, there are a few preparatory steps to ensure the end result looks amazing. Here is everything you need to do, and be aware of before putting bamboo flooring on a wall.

In general, ensure the wall is flat by removing anything that’s protruding. The bamboo planks should be acclimated for at least 5 days. Also, optionally you should paint the underlying surface a dark color if applicable.

For all types of wood paneling including bamboo flooring it’s recommended to leave a 1/2th inch (1.25 cm) expansion gap around the perimeter. As well as, around fixtures like wall sockets.

Doing so will allow for the natural shrinking and swelling of the wood in response to changes in temperature. This rule applies to walls that are 30 feet (about 10 meters) wide, for every 10 feet add another 1/16th of an inch (1.5 mm) expansion gap.

How to Put Bamboo Flooring on Walls

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Installing bamboo flooring on walls does not have too many steps, and is very simple to do once you know how. Below is a summary of what you need to do, followed by full step by step instructions.

In general, start by smoothing out the underlying wall, and painting it a dark color (optional). Next mark out the studs using a pencil. After that allow a 1/2th inch (1.25 cm) gap on the bamboo board starting at the bottom, and nail each board individually to the studs starting from the bottom.

Before attaching the bamboo flooring to a wall it needs to be acclimated to the environment where you are installing it. Doing so will reduce how much it changes in size after you have installed it. Some people state that the boards need to be acclimated for 2 days.

It’s possible to acclimate them at any time during the process. However, because it takes quite a while, it can be a good idea to do this step first.

1. Prepare the underlying surface

The wall should be as smooth and as flat as possible. While divots in the wall are generally not a concern, but things that are protruding should be removed. Such as, nails, and screws.

These should be removed. Also, it can be a good idea to make the wall as level as possible by building it up with spackle, and then sanding it off.

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Just be aware that if you nail into the spackle it will crack and fall apart. Therefore, only do this on areas that aren’t directly on top of the studs.

2. Paint the underlying surface (optional)

Due to the nature of wood paneling including bamboo flooring panels, small gaps can often develop in response to changes in the humidity of the air. When this happens a small amount of the underlying wall will show through.

It’s a good idea to paint the wall a dark color such as black or dark brown. Then if small gaps develop, they won’t stand out as much, compared to if the wall was a lighter color.

3. Mark out the location of the studs

The boards should be nailed where the studs are. Studs can be located in a number of ways.

But, often there are wires underneath which can be very time consuming to fix, if you accidentally drive a nail into them.

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Also, it’s best practice to disconnect the main electricity at your circuit breaker to be on the safe side. Mark these out using a pencil or similar so you know exactly where they are. You will need to know where they are so that you know where to nail each bamboo flooring board.

4. Nail the first board in place, and each subsequent board

Boards will need to be cut using a power saw like a circular saw. Around fixtures like light switches you should leave a 1/2th inch (1.25 cm) gap, as well as, on the entire outer edge of the wall. For example, where the corner of the wall meets another wall.

Now starting at the bottom, nail each board in place individually. Nail them to the studs, which you marked out in the previous step. It’s generally easiest to start on one end first.

You can also create a staggered look by starting each row with a different lengthed board. Nail each board in one by one along a row, then start on the next row. For click and lock boards you will need to orient them all the same direction.

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