BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Scratches on Bamboo Floors

Way back on January 11, 2008 I wrote about one of my pet peeves “companies who claim to have Anti-scratch finishes on their bamboo floors”.  Well 3 months later I came across a Bamboo forum that is dedicated to the problem of scratches on bamboo floors and it got me hot under the collar again!!!

I estimate at 90% of the bamboo floors in North America are finished with some sort of Aluminum Oxide finish and when it is scratched it will leave a white mark.  These marks are more evident on a carbonized floor rather than a natural coloured floor because of the darker base colour.

When a pre-finished floor is manufactured it actually has up to 10 coat of finished applied. Many manufacturers were (and are) using the aluminum oxide on all these layers, which is acceptable but the when it scratches is will be white right off the bat.  What we have done to help resolve this problem is float the aluminum oxide layer within the finishing layers. Instead of applying it on layers (1 to 7) we adjusted our method and only apply it on layers 3 to 5. By doing this and removing the Aluminum oxide on the top layer we have reduced the potential of scratches and not jeopardize the hardness of the product.

By no means am I saying that our floors will not scratch but day to day traffic will not damage the floors as reported in the forum.

Matt Dickinson





  2. Matt,

    Maybe your products have improved over the years, but as one of your early customers of strand woven carmelized bamboo from 2005, I can confirm AO is on the top and the product gets nice glowing white scratches quite easily. After moving into the house in early days, gravel on shoes was the culprit, which was understandable. However, over the last two years I have seen wood chair legs, plastic toy edges, smooth metal bed rails, carpet bottom, almost any remotely hard item scratch these floors. Definitely NOT what we were led to believe when purchased. I would like to see BD provide solutions for the white scratch problem.

  3. Amen,
    We have Clic Bamboo, Coffee color and many, many very white scratches! It is a new medical office and even with extreme care, we have dozens of scratches with more every week! Is there no way to fix, or ever lessen their appearance????

  4. We had a carbonized strand bamboo floor in our previous home. We also noticed the white scratches soon after installation.

    Luckily, we found an easy fix: buy one of those inky wood pens (like Miniwax wood stain marker) at a hardware store in a similar color. There are tons of color options and they cost around $6. This was an easy, cheap and effective fix for the problem. I cannot remember what color we used but it was a medium brown.

  5. When I purchased a natural finish, vertical bamboo floor, I was assured “it’s harder than oak.” AS IF…. !!!
    Even with extreme care, a chair leg or high heel scratches the floor as if it were Styrofoam. I am amazed manufacturers continue to make this claim. If I had it to do over again, I would NEVER go with the bamboo. It looks worn and shoddy almost immediately.

  6. I am a certified flooring installer for the union. You get what you pay for. Obviously everyone with complaints did not do any research on the product they were purchasing or having installed. Pre finish floors or engineered wood is garbage. Your already spending BIG money. Have it finished the correct way. Sanding and finishing on site. Second why would you put this in your office or place of employment. Vinyl plank looks just as nice and is just as durable.

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