Bamboo floors are a popular choice these days. Using bamboo saves trees and can be an environmentally-friendly and durable choice, if you choose well. In the same way you get low-quality carpeting or high-quality carpeting, you can get low or high quality bamboo flooring. All bamboo flooring is not the same. How can you find high-quality, eco-friendly bamboo flooring? These seven tips will help you find bamboo flooring that you can be happy with for many years:
1. Which type of bamboo flooring would you like? There are 2 types of bamboo flooring –
traditional and strand woven. Traditional bamboo flooring comes in 2 different grain directions:
horizontal and vertical. Traditional bamboo can also be solid bamboo all the way though or engineered which has thin veneer layer on top with compressed particle board. Even though traditional
bamboo flooring is about 25% harder than Oak and Maple, it still can be easily scratched or
gouged by high heels, small pets and furniture movement. Any sort of pressure may result in
dents, scratches and even cracks in the floor. For these reasons there are a lot of complaints from
homeowners and business owners when working with traditional bamboo flooring.
A far better option is strand-woven bamboo flooring. Strand woven boards are compressed in the same direction with adhesive under extreme pressure. Eco-friendly companies use environmentally safe adhesives. This process fuses the bamboo strands together, creating a solid plank that is nearly twice as dense as regular bamboo flooring. This is what makes strand woven bamboo flooring so
strong and durable. Strand woven flooring is much harder than traditional bamboo flooring and
cannot be easily scratched, dented or gouged.
2. How hard is the flooring? There is a hardness measurement called Janka Hardness Test. Some bamboo flooring is soft and will easily dent and scratch. Look for bamboo flooring with Janka Hardness rating over 2300. Order samples. Once you get the samples, test them out. Bang on them, drop things on them, try to scratch them. Which product holds up the best?
3. How eco-friendly is the manufacturing process?
Look for bamboo flooring that is formaldehyde free and is made with non-off gassing adhesives. If your project is going to be LEED-certified, does the flooring meet LEED Submittal Criteria?
4. Are you looking for nail-down or floating flooring? Floating bamboo flooring can work well in certain situations. It snaps together and can be used over concrete and radiant heating. It can be used in projects that are not suitable for nails or adhesives. It can also easily be uninstalled and taken with you when you move. When looking for floating flooring, be sure it is self-locking. The best way to be sure is to order samples and try them out.
5. Can the bamboo flooring be used for your particular situation? Is it for residential use or commercial use? Can it be used in a high-traffic situation? Can it be used where moisture is a concern? Is it made for below grade installations?
6. Are matching accessories available?
An outstanding job will include matching accessories. Can you get matching baseboard, base shoe, thresholds, stairs, stair nosing and flooring vents?
7. How good is the warranty?
The warranty is the confidence the manufacturer has in their product. Look for a 25-year residential and 10-year commercial finish warranties and a 30-year structural warranty.
By taking into consideration these seven important tips, you’ll have a bamboo flooring project you’ll enjoy for years to come.