Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

If you consider yourself an eco conscious consumer, look no further than bamboo for your next sustainable floor. Most Bamboo flooring is constructed of Moso bamboo; a unique type bamboo native to the deciduous woodlands of China. Moso Bamboo is truly incredible. This giant stock is not a tree, but a grass with a hard wooden stem known as a culm. Moso Bamboo has greater compressive strength than concrete, making it an extremely durable flooring option excellent for high traffic areas. It is a rapidly renewing resource, as it can be re-harvested every 5.5-6 years without harming the mother plant. It Grows around 1 meter daily and can reach its full mature height of 80 feet within just 2 months! This impressive plant is sustainably manufactured into exquisite bamboo flooring that rivals the appearance of hardwood and is unmatched in durability.

Picture: Teragren Xcora Wheat, Engineered wide

CONTACT US NOW to purchase bamboo or get more information!

Moso Bamboo sequesters up to 70% more carbon per acre and year than the average hardwood tree can.

Statistic: ambient.com; photo: https://www.moso-bamboo.com

Types of Bamboo Flooring

The look you wish to achieve will be determined by the type of bamboo flooring you select. It's important to understand that not all types bring the dent resistance and stability one may expect. Continue reading below in "application" to determine what is best for your flooring project.

Image from: https://www.flooringclarity.com/refinish-bamboo-flooring/

Who should buy Bamboo Flooring?

Eco Floors has put together a Six point guide to help you decide if Bamboo Flooring is right for you

Application - Bamboo flooring is best for the individual that likes hardwood flooring, but wants something even more eco friendly and durable. It can go in all the places you'd traditionally put hardwood floors but it has a better chance of maintaining its appearance in the areas where hardwood might wear down quicker. For example, an individual with a growing family and young kids might consider strand woven bamboo because of its exceptional hardness and dent resistance. It would also be good for a higher traffic office, or a retail shop. These are some instances wear bamboo flooring will out perform most hardwoods. If you're not quite sold on the look of vinyl plank flooring or laminate but love their durability, give bamboo a try.

It's important to recognize that not all bamboo is created equal. Lets revisit the different types of bamboo:

Strand woven - High quality, Solid strand woven bamboo is considered more dimensionally stable than many species of hardwood floors. What this means is that you can expect less expansion and contraction from the bamboo flooring when placed in the same conditions as other types of hardwood flooring. To put that in context, strand woven bamboo could be a good option for a rental or second home in which you turn off the HVAC system when it's not in use (this will likely void your warranty, but turning off HVAC is a popular practice with vacation homes). Strand woven bamboo may also be less prone to seasonal floor gapping, that is the hairline cracks that usually appear in the winter. Strand woven bamboo also boasts the highest hardness of any type of bamboo flooring, and is around twice as hard as oak on the janka hardness rating system. This is your best bet for durability.

Horizontal - Horizontal bamboo is less stable than strand woven, but more stable than vertical. As we see in the image above this, it produces a unique look based on the way the strips are pressed together. Horizontal and vertical bamboo are less hard than strand woven bamboo. Be sure to check the ratings on specific products because many claim to be harder than oak but have similar durability once lived with.

Vertical - This is for people desiring a tighter grain look. Again, this boast similar durability to horizontal bamboo flooring but is less dimensionally stable.

Engineered - The least stable product of the types of bamboo flooring. In many cases, we'd recommend selecting an engineered hardwood over these. However, that is not to deter you from an engineered plank bamboo. Just remember, quality is paramount! Do not buy a cheap engineered bamboo because you have a much higher risk of encountering noisy, cracking, and/or delaminating boards. Look for a floating floor with a click lock system. This will let the floor expand and contract more freely. An excellent option is Wellmade's HDPC strand woven engineered bamboo. This brand boasts a waterproof rating and is 3x harder than oak.

Where should you NOT put bamboo flooring? Again, it's wise to treat most bamboo products like a hardwood floor - no outdoor use, no areas that are prone to standing moisture like full bathrooms, and no areas that are prone to large temperature fluctuations. This will give you the best chance at a long lasting floor. If you are cautious, you can use a strand woven bamboo or some specific engineered products in laundry rooms or utility rooms, but note that this will likely void any manufacturer warranty. As discussed above, It may have a better chance of of success than traditional hardwood flooring in areas with larger temperature swings, but this is a proceed at your own risk situation. Keep in mind, strand woven bamboo flooring is your best bet in this scenario. If you intend to use the bamboo flooring below grade, such as in a basement, be sure that the basement is dry and the concrete is well sealed. For this application we recommend strand woven or a specifically designed engineered bamboo flooring product like Wellmade's HDPC Bamboo. Be sure to check the manufacturers recommendations.

Teragren Xcora Tundra - 7.5" wide plank

This engineered, strand woven bamboo flooring provides a great alternative to Brazilian walnut or Brazilian cherry while capturing the modern wide plank look. Teragren boasts it is 160% harder than oak and offers it with a floor score certification. Notice the beautiful yet subtle wire brushing and natural saw marks. If you are drawn to exotic flooring, give this bamboo a shot on your next flooring project!

A piece of advice...

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. There are a few specific risks involved with buying cheap bamboo flooring. In most cases there is not warranty attached. If you run into an issue with the flooring, such as cupping, warping, noisy boards, cracking, or delimitation, your are on your own. Manufacturers of lower quality bamboo flooring often do not harvest there materials at the right time, or in a sustainable manner. Sometimes they'll buy lower quality sections of the bamboo shoot and manufacture it in a way that compromises it stability by not opposing the tension in the pieces of bamboo they press together. In addition, not all bamboo flooring manufacturers use low or no VOC adhesives when bonding their strips. The last thing you want is for your newly installed floor to off gas and affect your health. The brands we offer are hand selected by our team. They offer cutting edge products, produced in the most sustainable manner so that you will get everything you dreamed of in your new bamboo flooring.

Cost of bamboo flooring

Product - You should expect to pay $5.50 - $12.50 per square foot (sf) for a high quality bamboo flooring. Our Wellmade products are in that $5.50/sf range with some of our Tesoro products getting up around $12.50/sf. Many products will also require an underlayment pad ranging from $.60-1/sf. Be wary of cheaper price points! If you are going to pay more than this range, be sure there are extra defining standards that set the product apart. If you are interested in buying bamboo flooring, please fill out a contact form or give us call at (503) 775-3628

Install - Pay the money for a quality install. Do not scrimp on this step. A good installation team will follow manufacture guidelines for installation and help you have the best chance of qualifying for warranty in the event of an issue. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area book a free estimate now

floating click - $3.50-4.50/sf

floating tongue & groove glue - $4-5.50/sf + cost of glue (approx. $100-200/ 1000 sf)

nail down - $4-6/sf

glue down - Liquid moisture barrier $1-1.25/sf + glue $1.50-2/sf + install $6-8/sf

These prices should reflect a national avg. cost of a good installer in most major cities. These are also an accurate estimate for Eco Floors pricing. We DO NOT recommend DIY'ers attempt bamboo installs, especially strand woven. Special nailers are required to penetrate strand wove bamboo flooring, and small indentations can be made in the product by an inexperienced installer. A good installer or team will also be aware of the best installation method for the product you choose.

Durability of Bamboo Flooring

Janka Rating Range

Oak 1200-1300

Strand Woven Bamboo 2900-5000 lbs

Horizontal/Vertical Bamboo 1300-1800 lbs

Engineered Bamboo similar to horizontal/vertical bamboo with real top sheet of bamboo; engineered with different core and top sheet can vary but is typically in the strand woven range.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

Aluminum Oxide Top Coat

Most bamboo flooring uses aluminum oxide as an additive in their finish. It is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen naturally found in crystal form that is ground down and added to flooring finish to enhance the scratch resistance. Combined with high dent resistance, aluminum oxide finish makes bamboo floors highly scratch resistant, think more so than a site finished hardwood floor. Manufacturers typically bake on 5-10 coats of finish. Off gassing is not usually a concern with prefinished flooring containing aluminum oxide. The Downside come when it is refinished. Strand woven bamboo is too hard to refinish, however horizontal, vertical, and some engineered may be refinished which then poses a concern. When the aluminum oxide becomes airborne during sanding, it may cause skin and eye irritation. Exposure over a certain amount could lead to "metal fume fever (https://www.nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/0054.pdf)

Picture: Tesoro Solid Bamboo, Honey Wide

The appearance of bamboo flooring

As you can see in the image above, bamboo flooring comes in 3 distinct appearances. If you are set on the look of horizontal or vertical bamboo, there will be a compromise in durability compared to strand woven bamboo. Some manufacturers use a process known as carbonizing to darken bamboo to a honey, caramel color. They place the raw strips of bamboo in a steam oven and fill it with carbon to cause the bamboo strips to darken. This does weaken the bamboo but companies like Teragren offer a carbonized bamboo that is 40% harder than oak flooring.

Bamboo can also be stained to achieve many different looks. All the bamboo flooring we offer at Eco Floors comes prefinished, so be sure to check out each of the brands we offer and their full color selection. Some of the companies even offer hand scraped, live saw marks, and wire brushed textures on their products. Along with the modern looks, you can find most bamboo flooring from 3"-7.5" in width. Request as sample now for a small fee.

picture: https://www.greengoodsusa.com/blog/engineered-vs-solid-strand-woven-bamboo-flooring/

Interested in purchasing bamboo flooring?

So you've decided you're ready to purchase eco friendly, bamboo flooring. Many of the supply chain effects from covid-19 have been sorted out, but some still remain. Still, we can have most of delivered to you in

If you're in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas, come visit our showroom or book an estimate with the link below.

Showroom: 4726 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Hours: Mon-Fri: 9-4, Sat: Appointment, Sun: Closed

Phone: 503-775-3628

Picture: Tesoro Solid Bamboo, Caramel Antiqued

Contact us now to purchase or book an estimate

Teragren is founded on the principle of being environmentally, socially and economically responsible, while providing durable and beautiful products.

With 20 years of experience behind us, we employ both raw material selection techniques and our fine-tuned manufacturing technology to create high-quality bamboo products that are harder and more stable for lasting performance.

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Tesoro woods is a certified advocat of sorucing sustainable materials to create truly sustainable flooring, and using eco-friendly, low-VOC finishes and glues to minimize the impact on indoor air quality and health when it comes to flooring. Fully believing that wood is a natural treasure, every Tesoro Woods product meets the highest environmental and health standards while looking beautiful.

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Family-owned, Wellmade’s state-of-the-art and energy saving manufacturing facility is committed to achieving the ultimate in quality and innovation. With a 12 million sq ft monthly production output, flooring is produced to exacting standards and precision tolerances. Meticulous attention to detail yields floors of unique style and distinction that are guaranteed to perform, year-after-year.

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In addition to our commitment to the environment, we are also dedicated to providing our customers with the highest level of quality and service. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the process of selecting the perfect hardwood flooring for your home, from choosing the right species to deciding on the perfect finish. Whether you’re looking for a classic, timeless style or a modern, contemporary look, Allwood has a wide range of hardwood flooring options to suit any taste and budget.

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