Too often generalizations about products become the “fact” about those products. Bamboo flooring as a category has generally good characteristics like being fast growing and therefore sustainable as well as being flexible to apply colors and styles to the flooring like staining and hand scraping.
However, due to the overall market not being very knowledgeable about bamboo the general understand of bamboo floors are too often limited to the 4 basic skus. Horizontal Carbonized, Horizontal Natural, Vertical Carbonized and Vertical Natural. These 4 basic skus have their place, but they are often oversold and therefore expectations can be missed.
Having watched many complaints online about certain bamboo brands and styles there are clear reasons why some brands fail to deliver a positive experience. Some of it is overselling, but some of it is just clearly a poor specification. (in non-flooring geek terms that means the sales guy sold you something that would not work in your home or office installation and they should have known that.)
Those old styles of bamboo ARE NOT worth your time. Stop buying them. You should instead focus on the world of strand bamboo flooring. Strand now has a multitude of construction options including solid, solid click, engineered and hdf. Once again to take the floor geek out of the equation that means there is every possible type of strand available for ANY installation scenario therefore you shouldn’t waste your time worrying if strand can work for you.
In addition to the construction options there are tons of new styles. Stain colors, handscraping, freech bleed, wire brushing, oil finishes and much much more. These floors have all of the benefits of bamboo’s sustainability, but are literally 4x tougher when it comes to denting and overall durability. Yes 4x – that means 4 times better for you.
For those who need extra convincing just do what has been recommended by the best and brightest in the business. Order a sample of regular horizontal carbonized bamboo and then get a strand sample. Hit them both as hard as you can with a HAMMER. Then you can see the difference for yourself.
As always there are tons of differences in how different brands make their products. Not all floors are created equal and some folks are short term in their approach which can make their products dangerous in your home. Strand uses glue to make it therefore if a brand is not a long term strategic player then they are more likely to cheat and use cheap glue which will be packed with formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. That means the wrong floor could cause cancer. And if you don’t think it could happen does anyone remember the toxic toys that were recalled over the past few years or the chinese drywall that created so many problems? (just to be clear this can be a problem in regular bamboo, laminate, engineered hardwood and virtually any other flooring too – it is not just about strand bamboo.)
The fact is 95% of all bamboo comes from China which is not a bad thing. Another clear fact is that only 50% of the products are of proper quality for your home – the age old problem the buyers of strand bamboo flooring struggle with is which 50% is good and which 50% is bad.
In the coming months a BRAND WARS: STRAND BAMBOO article will compare top brands of strand bamboo joining the ranks of other BRAND WARS articles which have been read millions of times and been the foundation for people flooring choices hundreds of thousands of times across the world.
So as much as we may say get with it, we also say we’re with you and will guide you to what is right.