Frequently Asked Questions about Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo Flooring FAQ
- Is “carbonized” bamboo flooring stained?
- So carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo?
- What is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring?
- Can a bamboo floor be floated?
- How does bamboo flooring hold up to high humidity?
- Is strand-woven bamboo the same product as traditional bamboo flooring?
- Can I clean my bamboo floor with a mop?
- When ordering bamboo flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
- What are the different moldings and how are they applied?
- Can I install bamboo flooring in a bathroom?
- What is the difference between bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring?
- How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?
- Where can I install bamboo flooring?
- How do I install bamboo flooring?
- What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?
Is carbonized bamboo flooring stained?
No. Carbonized bamboo is darker in color because it has undergone a change, not a stain. During the manufacturing of the product, the strips of bamboo are boiled and change color (becoming browner in tone). This process also softens the material.
So carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo?
Yes. The process that changes the bamboo to the beautiful carbonized color also softens the product approximately 30%.
What is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring?
A natural bamboo stock is hollow and the walls of the plant are fairly thin. Strips of bamboo are therefore laminated together to make our 5/8″ flooring. The terms “horizontal” and “vertical” refer to the manner in which bamboo strips are laminated together. In the horizontal style, the strips are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings, or “knuckles”. In the vertical style, the strips are turned on their sides and laminated together in long, slender rows creating a different appearance.
Can a bamboo floor be floated?
Yes. There are two types of floating bamboo floors: Glue-Seam and Gluless-Click. Glue-Seam require that a bead of adhesive be applied to the edge before joining the planks together. Once glued they cannot be pulled apart. Glueless-click is the easiest installation as it requires neither nails nor adhesive. The planks are simply clicked together.
How does bamboo flooring hold up to high humidity?
As long as you let the flooring acclimate for no less than 72 hours, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where it is to be installed, high humidity should not affect the floor.
Is strand-woven bamboo the same product as traditional bamboo flooring?
No. Strand-woven bamboo is manufactured differently than traditional bamboo flooring. In the strand-woven process, strips of bamboo are coated with resins and then compressed with heat to form timbers. These timbers are then milled into flooring. This process produces bamboo flooring that is twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring.
Can I clean my bamboo floor with a mop?
Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. As with a hardwood floor, you should avoid excessive moisture. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill.
When ordering bamboo flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
As a rule of thumb for non-professionals, add 7% to 9% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.
What are the different moldings and how are they applied?
- The Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left during installation.
- The T-molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the bamboo flooring meets tile or carpet of similar height.
- The Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the bamboo.
- The Stair Nose molding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Stair Nose to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.
- The Stair Tread molding is a one-piece molding used to entirely cover the structural stair tread.
Can I install bamboo flooring in a bathroom?
Bamboo floors are typically not covered by warranty if installed in a bathroom. Like hardwood flooring, bamboo could swell if excessive water is left to stand. So it is not a good choice for bathrooms.
What is the difference between bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring?
Technically, bamboo is considered a type of grass. There are several advantages to using bamboo flooring compared to hardwood flooring. First, bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly product. It takes only a few years for a bamboo plant to grow to maturity, while it takes decades for hardwood trees. And when bamboo is harvested, the root continues to live and produces new stock. Each year, one “mother plant” generates several new bamboo stems that grow to full length in a few months, and to mature hardness in about five years. Bamboo plants are therefore quickly replenished following a harvest. Second, bamboo is actually harder than many hardwoods, including red oak, so it makes a more durable flooring. Third, in most cases bamboo is less expensive than hardwood while installation costs are the same. Hardwood installers and contractors need no additional training to install bamboo flooring. Bamboo can be installed using exactly the same tools and methods as are used for installing hardwood.
How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?
In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your bamboo flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.
- Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moister, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your bamboo floor.
- Dust mop or vacuum with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop.
- For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
- Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor.
- Avoid excessive water. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
- Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your bamboo floor.
- Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.
- Although most bamboo flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
Where can I install bamboo flooring?
Bamboo flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood, OSB, or existing vinyl flooring. There are several locations that are not recommended for bamboo flooring. Because bamboo flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that bamboo be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your bamboo flooring to warp or swell.
How do I install bamboo flooring?
There are several things to consider before you begin to install bamboo flooring. Careful preparation before beginning will make installing your bamboo floor a quick and easy process.
- Ensure that your sub-floor is flat and smooth.
- Take extra care when installing bamboo flooring over radiant heating. Ensure that you read both the bamboo flooring and radiant heat system instructions carefully before beginning.
- Read your bamboo flooring manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
- Allow your bamboo flooring to acclimate in the room where it will be installed for a minimum of 72 hours.
- Inspect each bamboo flooring panel carefully for defects or damage before installing it.
- Always use a tapping block and never hit bamboo flooring directly to avoid fracturing the flooring edge. A piece of flooring trim makes a good tapping block.
- Add at least 5% to your square footage when ordering to allow for waste and cuts. As a rule of thumb for non-professionals, add 7% to 9% depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.
What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?
Bamboo flooring is rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a bamboo floor:
- Bamboo floors are easy to clean.
- Bamboo floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
- Bamboo flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring, usually costing 25% to 50% less than hardwood.
- Bamboo flooring is long-lasting.
- Bamboo flooring can be installed over numerous types of sub-floors such as: wood, sheathing grade plywood, vinyl tile, concrete, or Oriented Strand Board.
- Bamboo floors are environmentally friendly. They use a quickly renewable crop. If they are made with safe resins, they have extremely low formaldehyde emissions and make excellent floors for healthy homes.