Tag Archives: bamboo flooring

Green or Not, Bamboo Flooring is a Win

As early as 5,000 years ago, the Chinese used bamboo for warfare, construction, and paper. There are more than 400 species of bamboo indigenous to China which grow in greater abundance than in any other area of the world.  All of them grow quickly and provide plentiful building material.

 

Bamboo’s first international appearance as a flooring product was in the 1990s. It’s popularity has grown through its reputation for durability and the idea that it’s the green choice for floor coverings. Today, beauty and durability makes bamboo flooring a popular choice, preferred by some for its fast growth vs old-growth hardwoods that can take 30 or more years to mature.

 

The majority of today’s bamboo flooring is made from the Moso species of the plant, using only a few different manufacturing techniques.  Solid bamboo flooring is made from strips of bamboo arranged either with their widths either parallel (horizontal construction) or perpendicular (vertical construction) to the floor and compressed with adhesives to form uniform floor boards.  If you look carefully, you might be able to see the individual strips and the seams between them.   Strand bamboo flooring is manufactured with individual strands of bamboo that are pulled from bamboo stock rather than cut as uniform strips.  The strands are compressed together with much higher pressures to form floor boards.   Strand bamboo flooring uses less adhesive than solid and assumes a variety of textures depending on strand lengths and colors used.

 

There are more reasons to like bamboo flooring. It is physically similar to hardwoods and is promoted for its strength, moisture- and insect-resistance.  Whether it is eco friendly is debatable as is its durability.  Ie. It depends on which manufacturing process and which hardwood is being compared. Carbonized horizontal hardwoord flooring earns a Janka hardness rating of 1180, while some strand bamboo products reach 3000 and more. Red oak’s hardness is in the lower range for hardwoods with Brazilian Cherry at 2350.

 

Some cautionary notes.  Like any product you may purchase for your home, quality varies with manufacturer.  A poor quality bamboo flooring product can warp, cup, de-laminate and discolour.  Do your research to find products that have a good reputation.  Aim for products made with bamboo no younger than 5 years old at harvest.  Kiln-dried is a better value as are no-formaldehyde and solvent-free finishes.

Bamboo Soldiers waiting to be made into flooring
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Click Bamboo Fooring With A Twist

Bamboo flooring is now extremely popular and can be found in a ton of different styles and finishes. People all over the country are now installing bamboo floors on their own, and it’s never been easier to do.

First of all, you should always check it out on the internet, as that’s usually where you’ll find the best value. Having a floor shipped to your home is inexpensive and you still should save money on flooring. Continue reading Click Bamboo Fooring With A Twist

What’s The Best Basement Flooring?

If shopping for a basement floor, you now have a lot of options that weren’t always available to you. Choosing the right floor for a basement is almost harder than it was, because now there’s so much more from which to choose. Continue reading What’s The Best Basement Flooring?

Saving Money On Flooring

Everyone wants to save money on new flooring and there’s no shame in saving as much money as you can.  And if you’re willing to put forth a little effort, the savings on flooring you can receive is substantial and the effort you expend will be well worth it. Continue reading Saving Money On Flooring

Strand Woven Bamboo Floors: Tough Stuff

Since entering the market, bamboo has made us think a little harder before making a decision on new flooring. This green flooring material is beautiful and harder than most hardwoods, and some types of bamboo floors are even up to three times harder. Continue reading Strand Woven Bamboo Floors: Tough Stuff

Are All Bamboo Floors Green Floors?

When shopping for bamboo floors, you might automatically assume that the floor you’re looking at is environmentally friendly because it’s made from bamboo. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that you need to be aware of before purchasing a bamboo floor. Continue reading Are All Bamboo Floors Green Floors?

Bamboo Flooring – Get with it people

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.