Buying Guides


Travertine Buying Guide


Area Rug Buying Guide – Finding the Right Size


Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide


Bamboo Floor Buying Guide


Laminate Flooring Buying Guide


Frequently Asked Questions


Travertine FAQ


Hardwood Flooring FAQ


Bamboo FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions about Laminate Floors


Glossaries


Travertine Tile Glossary


Hardwood Flooring Glossary


Bamboo Glossary


Laminate Flooring Glossary


Installation Guides


Travertine Tile Installation Tips


Installing Moldings & Trim


Installing a Hardwood Floor


How to Install A Bamboo Floor


How to Install Laminate Flooring


Buying Checklists


Travertine Buying Checklist


Hardwood Buying Checklist


Buying Checklist: Questions to Ask when Buying Bamboo Flooring


Laminate Buying Checklist



Bamboo FAQs

 
 

  • 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?

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    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.

    iStock 000005371274XSmall 300x199 Bamboo FAQs

    Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

    So carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    • 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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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.

    Related posts:

    1. Bamboo Flooring DIY Videos
    2. Types of Bamboo Flooring
    3. Bamboo Glossary

    This Learning Center belongs to you. We invite you to contribute to it.

    Have you got a question about what you've read here? Tell us about in the comments section. 

    If you're an expert in the field, and see something that is inaccurate, tell us, and we'll make the correction. 

    Also, if you think there is important information that is absent from any of these articles, please let us know!

    { 1 trackback }

    Blue Marble Tile Flooring Blog
    March 6, 2014 at 2:20 am

    { 15 comments… read them below or add one }

    howard smith October 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    i have hot water radeation under hy sub floor. and im wondering if bamboo flooring is accepable product to use?

    Rob Jones October 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Howard,

    There are going to be a couple of factors to consider here. First, it might be a good idea to talk to your radiant heat vendor, or at least refer to your user’s manual/warranty with regard to compatible flooring. Second, I might investigate the possibility of engineered bamboo flooring, just to be safe. With engineered bamboo, you still get real bamboo surfaces. But, they’re bolstered by a core layer designed to manage changes in temperature to a greater degree than a solid floor made with purely natural material would be.

    Many types of engineered floors are specifically designed to be installed over radiant heat. Even still, when shopping, get a conversation going with your vendor about the kind of radiant heating system you’ve got, and find out whether or not your choice in engineered bamboo floors is designed to be installed over them.

    I hope that helps, and happy shopping!

    Joanne T. November 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    How about durability of bamboo flooring with German Shepherd dogs. There is a problem with regular hardwood floors and dog toenails. Right now, I have area rugs and plastic runners and a lot of carpet to help protect the floors I have now. I would like to get rid of the carpeting in my downstairs living room and bedroom. (Mainly, because of the dogs.) If I get bamboo flooring, can I at least eliminate the plastic or vinyl runners?

    Also it says to cleaning only with swiffers or damp mop. Can you use a steam cleaner on bamboo? I have on the hardwood, and it dries immediately with no damage.

    Julie November 7, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Hi I am looking at an OUTDOOR strand woven bamboo decking…. Has anyone got any info about durability, in wet climate, swelling, warping, how frequently you have to oil? How long does it last?Looks fantastic if it can hold up !!! Great Green product I would love to promote.

    David Tomson November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Julie

    This is a product that we have been looking at adding to our line up. We are still researching it but it looks like a great product. Bamboo naturally is a stable product when it comes to changes in temperature and moisture. I would have to assume that there would be more in the mixture of things than for your standard strand woven bamboo flooring. All in all I haven’t heard any bad feed back on it but on the other hand it is not as common a material as others so that might be hard to gauge. I say this more towards the US market. Lots of times products like this are used over in Europe for years before it makes it over here.

    While this may not address your exact question I would say this, the natural characteristics of bamboo in combination with the science behind strand woven bamboo I would feel comfortable using it for my deck. Obviously there will be a premium cost compared to domestic wood decking but it should be far less than the exotics from South America all the while still having that unique look everyone is trying to get.

    Dave

    Mary April 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Would you recommend bamboo flooring in the kitchen? I need to replace a laminate floor due to a refrigerator leak. The laminate did not hold up well with the humidity. I live at the beach and I don’t want to replace another floor. Thank you in advance for any insight you may provide. Mary

    P. Cesario February 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    considering bamboo for my kitchen. Can I put radiant heat under the bamboo floor? thanks

    C. Fais June 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    On line research about bamboo flooring reveals that is tis made with formaldehyde. If sanded for touch-up or refinishing purposes, the formaldehyde is released into the air, can be ingested, and is harmful. Can someone please confim or deny this? Besides being environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive, is it safe to use in the home?

    Eileen September 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Can bamboo floors be installed over tile?

    Patricia January 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    HELLLLLP!

    I spilled nail polish thinner, two drops, on my beautiful, pale cream colored bamboo floor. There are now two watery, reddish drop stains. I know…no scrubbing, no harsh soaps, but can I use anything short of replacing the board? The floor’s 8 years old and I know the replacement piece will be a different color.

    S. McGill March 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Think very long and hard about installing bamboo, especially if you live in Florida. Many installers are now refusing to install and/or warranty installation as there have been so many problems. Minimally, get a certified wood inspector to moisture test your sub floor before installing. Bamboo is a grass and no matter what, grass likes to absorb moisture. I know this from a first hand nightmare. I have $5000. worth of the most beautiful floor you ever saw, coming up all over my house. We did have a moisture test done prior to the install but it was not a drilled test done into the foundation. And anyway, they only test a few areas , not the whole floor so it is still an inexact test. We acclimated the floor in the house for 2 weeks! before instaling and still, less than 6 months later, the floor started coming up. And to make matters worse, noone can agree on whose responsible to fix it and so we may have to eat a great deal of the cost to re floor the house. And the installers do not want to install even wood after this. I just want to clarify that I did NOT buy this product from Build Direct but still want to caution any buyers.

    Holly March 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Can strand woven bamboo floors ever be sanded and refinished if needed (like you would with hardwood flooring?

    Mary Kay July 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    hello, I am looking to pull out the carpet in my family room and replace with wood: This is a heavy traffic area to my back yard. the room is an addition to the house and stands on a concrete slab. How will bamboo hold up to this area. I need something that is scratch resistant, wears well, looks good and is comfortable. Any suggestions about Laminate flooring. Thank You for your time.

    anne DArcangelo July 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    My contractor layed the bamboo floor over a subfloor and moved straight into the dining room which still had large tumbled tile flooring. He said he sanded it all down so it was level with subfloor in kitchen area. I now have a couple large gaps between two pieces that should be connected with mo gaps, ? I also see a few other spots where the gaps between two pieces is larger than the rest if the fkor. Did he install these over the wrong service or did not prep the tiled floor properly? If so, please tell me how i can fix this ugly lookibg defects i have to look at everyday ans compant pucks up on it. Very embarrassing. ..thank you!
    Anne and sad

    Bill July 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Can you install a floating bamboo flooring over a hardwood floor? The hardwood flooring has been glued down to a concrete slab and it would be very difficult to get the hardwood flooring up.

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