Check out this link - it is rather scathing!
Thanks for this link. I've been thinking about bamboo floors and wouldn't have done as much research as I usually do about home improvements because I pretty much believed it was all tough stuff. I may still get them, but I'm going to do a lot more due diligence now....
That's puzzling. I've seen lots of literature saying bamboo is harder than maple, and maple is quite a bit harder than oak. I wonder if this is a flaw in the finish rather than the wood. The poster who noted different hardness ratings for different grains may be onto something.
I do have maple floors and there are many fine scratches in the finish. It's not particularly noticable unless you look at it in just the right light. I don't think any wood is so hard it won't scratch, but some of these folks sound like they're talking about pretty noticable marring of the wood and finish.
I have now put bamboo flooring (Morning Star brand) in two rooms and love it. It stands up to 2 shelties, 3 cats, and two adults. I can't say we don't have any little scratches, but there's nothing that's broken the finish or looks bad in any way.
I would not hesitate to use it in other rooms.
I put the Westboro bamboo flooring in and it is certainly more durable than a lot of the other nonbamboo floorings I've seen. Ours is certainly holding up and looks good one year later.
Aside from the beauty and fact that it is bamboo, my other motivation was the reports of it being harder than Oak and more scratch resistant. I have 2 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and they are pretty rough on the staricase that we have, as they chase each other through the house. Now after reading the complaints on the link, I'm a bit concerned. I'm trying to think through which of the profiles - the horizontal or the vertical - would be harder? Perhaps the vertical? I like the look of the horizontal much better.
I did see another website supposedly from professional flooring installers who rated Greenwood Bamboo floors as 5 stars out of 5 - in terms of ease of install etc.
Hmmmm interesting thread. My brother installed it. I haven't talked with him too much but will ask him. I do have about 60 sq. ft. of what he didn't use. it is still in boxes. he said he couldn't find a match so he gave them to me....maybe i could use it somehow he said. I believe the box looked like something generic. I'll find out more info on his and report back.
hoosier52: Next time I'm out your way I can show you a piece of the bamboo flooring we installed and you can look it over. I will say that any wood flooring can be scratched, bamboo or not. Also, my parents put in a laminate flooring in an office shortly after I installed the bamboo flooring. The laminate was falling apart after one year and my bamboo still looks great.
BTW, Jerry Burton has had bamboo flooring for many years and it still looks good.
My floor installer buddy says the chairs without decent pads on the legs ding it up a bit. Price wise there seems to be little savings over other types.
Good point about furniture legs. Some people told me that plastic ends on the feet will not scratch but they will. Put felt on all the furniture feet, and even with that, you will someday need to refinish the floors.
If minor finish scratches are likely to bother you, you might consider going with a very hard rustic floor for which scratches would only be considered character-enhancing. Mesquite is nice, not "Brazilian mesquite" which is not really mesquite, Texas mesquite. Very very hard stuff.
My daughter installed bamboo flooring in their kitchen/dining room area. They have two active kids that
put this stuff to full test. It still looks great after
4 years despite extremely tough conditions. I have not seen scatches from chairs, childrens drag toys, ridable kiddie cars, et al. Rgds
Hmmmmm I've been really thinkin' of using the 'boo flooring due to the high humidity we have here and have read its more stable than wood. hmmmm.
Fred, can you find out what brand, grain profile, and color they used?
I'll check to see if they still have the info. Rgds
I have been teasing my wife that we should get some forks and chains and distress the whole floor, as the high traffic areas are scratched and dented pretty bad. And its only been less than a year. And we got the hardest one they make - natural wide plank.
Don't believe the hype. A few people sound like they got what the rest of us thought we were getting. But it looks so damn beautful....
Brad - My kids are having problems locating the info on their flooring. It was part of a massive reconstruction project 8 years ago and it appears the info has gone by the way-side. Rgds
I've installed and refinished alot of floors, though no bamboo. When critiqueing a floor material, some confuse dents and scratches. The hardest material in the world will scratch if it has a scratchable finish, and the best finish won't save a dentable floor from being dented or gouged. Excessive scratching is due to a poor finish (or abuse!) (or too low a tolerance for scratches to have a floor like these) so blame the manufacturer for this and not bamboo itself.
Is unfinished bamboo flooring available? Sometimes putting on a finish after installation works better...
incidentally, I am entirely ignorant of bamboo flooring.
I'm reaching the conclusion that there are a lot of 'junk' quality bamboo floors out there, that are creating the bad impression. The trick is to find the high quality ones so I'm really interested in hearing brands of the floors that are holding up well. Greenwood talks a good game on their website but I have not found anyone who has installed one.
Anybody out there have a Greenwood bamboo floor?
I wonder if manufacturers are using immature culms that haven't fully hardened because of the high demand for the product.
OK here is the scoop on what my Brother had to say about his floor. Just more input from someone. "My flooring is holding up pretty well, especially considering it is a main traffic area for us coming in from the driveway. Other than my stupidity of putting an exercise machine on it with no padding, which made some dent impressions in it, and my scratching it once with a big metal something that I dragged by accident, it's fine. I have the oxide finish on it so it's always shiny... cleans well with a damp mop cleaner (of course, I sealed mine in the joints as a floating floor so water can't get through). You could still use just a damp cloth/mop on it though. I don't know the brand... I got it from the Home Depot Expo Design Center in Union, and when I went back there a year or so after I got mine, they only carried types that had to be nailed down - the tongue and grooves were not the same roughed up material that I had so the glue wouldn't stick well. But if you scratch it or dent it, you're done. Hardwood you can always fill/sand/stain, etc."
Kurt in Stillwater NJ
I am amazed by this thread. What do you guys think this stuff is coated with? Diamonds? Any kind of finish will eventually show some scratches. Especially if there are dogs or kids.
Be it bamboo, oak, maple, ironwood, concrete, whatever. The finish will get scratched. Anyone that tries to sell you a "maintainnace free" floor is blowing smoke up your ass.
Any wood floor wil need to be re-finished every 5 to 7 years. I have lived in houses with wood floors my entire life, and I think that wood and bamboo are the most beautiful and most comfortable floors you can buy. Like all "living" things, however they require occasional care and feeding.
Of course, if you have to maintain your finish after only a year, then something is wrong with the finish, or it is being abused in some other way (tracking water into your house, dogs peeing, etc.)
My impression after reading through a bunch of comments is to avoid the carbonized, vertically laminated bamboo flooring since it appears to be the weakest and show marks easiest.
Hey Manny, don't be a know it all and back off. When my two year drops a PLASTIC cup on the floor from 2 feet and it leaves a 1/8 inch dent, that's a soft floor. They've done the same on my sisters oak floor and it doesn't leave a mark, much less a gouge. Keep in mind that most flooring retailers are saying bamboo is about as hard as the come.
I know a half dozen people who have bought bamboo floors from different retailers coming from different manufacturers, and we are all having the same issues. We didn't get what they are advertising. We all expect to be refinishing after 5 to 10 years, not after 5 to 10 months.
Funny i responded to the other flooring thread with hesitation. There shouldn't be an argument about flooring and such (I would assume that if i took a d-9 over a hard wood floor it would scratch....lol)....just some friendly adivice or suggestions. Manny i don't see you much in here but i do see plenty of people and this thread might amaze a bunch of people if they don't frequent this forum. this place is a more laid back approach to things. Just an FYI.....and that is just my opinion but i think others might agree.
Last time someone tried to blow smoke up my ass... well he didnt like it to much, chased the fella around and pretty much had his way with him...
I work in the construction related field and the jury is still out on bamboo floors, but the jist I am getting is it is to soft..
I have strand woven carbonized bamboo in my house. It wears like concrete, but looks beautiful. Mine has an oxide finish on a 1/2" thick floor. You would need a sledge hammer to put a dent in this stuff. I agree that any floor will need maintenance, and they will all scratch. I dropped a hammer on mine from about 2-3 feet (top of the head hit, not the claw) and I couldn't see any damage at all. The stuff I have is not from Hilo, but the description there, and pictures, are just like my floor. Normal use has not put any dents in it either, only a few light scratches.
DO NOT BUY FROM LUMBER LIQUIDATORS. We purchased our floor from them and every box was damaged. We need help finding a reputable dealer.
My husband and I installed our bamboo flooring our self. It was easy. We have 2600 sq. feet of it. We also have 2 poodles who walk and run all over it. The flooring has been down for 2 years and still looks great. Yes, it is hard, but you can dent it if you try. It's not indestructible. No fading too.
We sure are happy with our good old American hickory...beautiful, hard, incredibly expensive...and worth it :)
At least one flooring installation company in my town refuses to install bamboo flooring. They got tired of dealing with the customer complaints! But obviously, it depends on the flooring manufacturer, as there are satisfied customers in the forum too. One thing for sure - low-end T&G bamboo floor strips are produced very cheaply in Vietnam without concern for quality, and the end customer has no reputable firm to hold accountable for quality failures. Best to ask your flooring installer if they've found a bamboo floor that they will stand behind.
fear of the bamboo floor led me to instead go with 'good old american hickory', a prefinished product i forget the brand but norm abrams is their spokesperson, but we seem to have had different experiences than elvis. the dogs have scratched the daylights out of the finish and the hickory looks junky. later i installed vertical grain bamboo flooring in an adjacent room and the dogs have not been able to scratch it at all, in fact i just bought more of the bamboo for the next 2 rooms. without a doubt there is junk bamboo flooring out there but the one i found from MWANZI Silkroad in NY is a great product.
Well, it has been almost 2 years since my last post on this thread, about about 3 years since I installed the flooring.
We bought stipped/laminated flooring from some place in long beach, ca, that claims to get it straight from asia. we got the click type that floats.
After 3 years (and having lived with oak floors before, and my sister in town having an oak floor that I am familiar with):
It is about the same as other wood floors. If you drop a coffee mug on it, it's gonna dent. Doesn't matter what kind of wood floor you have. It does, however, seem to keep it's shine better than the oak floors I've been on. It also cleans very easily (Bona products are great, by the way). It doesn't swell/shift nearly as much as I thought (or the manufacturer warns). consequently, on the long runs where they recommended upwards of an inch of space off the walls (1/4" per 10 feet of run), I had to figure out what to do with the gap. Nice, big baseboards all around, with a quarter round of the bottom!
Anyways, the stuff looks really, really good. I've got 3 kids under the age of 3 1/2, and we had a dog on it for about a year too. It gets a ton of traffic and abuse, and I can't say that is any better or worse than a tradition wood floor. The oxide coating, though, has held up very well and continues to look better than most oak floors I've seen, so that is a bonus.
My wife and I are still wanting to put in the bamboo floors. Which brand do you recomend. I have seen some say they have had great results, but I would like to know more good brands.
silk road brand has held up way better to large, rowdy dog feet than our hickory in an adjacent room. i'm getting ready to install more of it in 2 other rooms. i had it shipped from NY state, with shipping it was around $3.80 psqft. mwanzi, i believe is the supplier, my only comment would be that i wish i had gotten variable lengths, instead of all the same.
We had Pacific Rim "E Boo" Carbonized Stranded bamboo floors installed one year ago and the installer used Bostics MVP Sealer (the best adhesive you can use). After about 6 months noticeable gaps started to appear between the planks. Splits down the middle and at the ends of the planks started to appear, too. The installer contacted the distributor who then had an independent inspector come out and look at the floor and he took moisture readings which he said indicated moisture was causing the splitting. The Bostics rep and the installer then came out to look at the floor and determined that the floor was clearly showing signs of drying out which was causing the gapping and then the pieces were splitting where they were weak. We had some extra planks we pulled out and looked at and some of them were also starting to split down the middle and at the ends, identical to what was happening on the floor. Anyhow, there has been a lot of back and forth between the installer, distributor, and bostics. I believe it is a faulty product batch from Pacific Rim Bamboo. I believe this because the pieces we hsd left over AND the sample at the show room had the same flaws. If Pacific Rim do not acknowledge this is a faulty product (batch) I will question the integrity of the company and would NEVER recommend the product. It is beautiful, but now we have to have it replaced. I am NOT going with bamboo again. We have chosen an engineered product from the US. I will repost once this is resolved, but the product is most definitely the problem, not the installation or the adhesive.
For anyone who has had GREAT or TERRIBLE experiences with the bamboo flooring, would you please let the group know what manufacturer you went with? From the research I've been doing, it appears to make a vast difference. I'm aiming to be one of the ones with a 'great' floor, not one of the ones that dents easily.
aRRRRGGHHHH. I was revisiting this thread after many years and amazed at my own response. What must have been my state of mind to get so worked up about wood floors? Anyway, sorry about that. SoCalBoo was completely justified in admonishing me. Let that be a lesson kids... don't drink and post.
I do maintain that there is no such thing as a "no-mar" floor, though some will be more resistant than others. I think it has a lot to do with the quality of the material.
For example, my house has two floors, a 70 year old oak plank floor and a 15 year old oak floor that mimics the style of the old one. The (I assume) old growth 1 inch thick original floor still looks great after all these years, but the newer, 1/2 inch thick flooring is already looking like it needs to be completely replaced. I guess bamboo is similar.
Installed Morning Star 5-8 x 3 3-4 prefinished strand carbonized bamboo less than a yr ago. Very hard and rather pleased with it. 3-4 plywood secured to concrete slab, with nail-staple down. Have to two 70 pound Weims. The can not scratch it. Can make light white scratches if sharp (furniture leg, rocks, etc) are dragged across floor. Never let half inch water (sink suppply line came loose) set overnight. Soaked it up, ceiling fans, ac, even dehumidifier for 6 wks. It cupped severely. Went down to fairly acceptable after 3 mnths. Then it started to bubble-flake. Have to replace it now. Without water damage, very happy with the product.
Looking at installing Morning Star Carbonized, 9/16 X4-3/4. Any pros and cons of floating floor????????
We just installed Bamboo flooring. It has been in my house less than two days. My husband dropped his Timex watch(not all metal, band is cloth) and we have a big dent, past the finish. Tonight my son dropped his Harry Potter plastic chest pieces from the kitchen table, and now I have at least twenty dents past the finish. The salesman said this was harder than oak. These objects were not as heavy as a fork or a spoon! Will these floors with stand anything??????
what exactly did you install? what was the cost/sq foot? we are thinking about getting bamboo- but there is a lot of variability depending on product. thanks for all the info, everyone.
Based on living with my own installation for two years, I would have to say that bamboo flooring seems to be a bit of a durability enigma. It is quite durable in some respects, yet easily damaged in others.
In my case, the finish itself seems to be quite durable. Dog claws and beach sand tracked in on shoes have had only the most minor effects of scratching...not noticeable, really, unless you get down on your knees. But, like Victoria, I've found that dents from minor vertical drops and deep gouges from sliding chairs happen much more easily than what is seen with even medium-density hardwoods. It only makes sense that a material that is as flexible as bamboo is going to have a certain amount of fiber compressibility, at least in the horizontal lay-up. This seems to be its Achilles' Heel as a flooring material. However "strong" it make be in terms of standing up to tensile force or longitudinal compression, it dents easily. Additionally, since bamboo flooring has more of a manufactured look than sawn wood, these scars are more noticeable and do not melt into the background as happens with the the knots and variations of natural wood.
I also question the putative "green product advantage" of bamboo. It may be a green building product when used where it is grown. But I find it difficult to believe that laminating all these strips with all those polymer adhesives and shipping it across the ocean is a lower-impact resource than using locally harvested hardwoods. I doubt if I'll use bamboo flooring again in the future.
Many of the posts are helpful but old -- does anyone have recent experience with bamboo? Have manufacturers made improvements with aluminum oxide scratch-resistance? I'm looking at a carbonized Mohawk Hilea Uniclic, which is engineered strand woven to go over a concrete slab. Has anyone put this in, and what was your finish scratch experience? Thanks!
How is Bamboo for water resistance? I'd like to put bamboo in the entrance way.
The July 2011 Consumer Reports rated EcoTimber Woven Honey as the best strand bamboo solid wood. I looked at it as I would like to do bamboo throughout a new apt renovation but was concerned about the ease of denting > scratching. This was rated "very good" against scratching so I looked at the product. The boards are a narrower design and the finish is a little dull to me. The engineered jacks up $7-$8/sf as opposed to the approx $5-$5.40 for the woven honey. I did see a product called Trilium stranded bamboo (caramel lifestyle color) which had a nice sheen which I prefer and was comparable to the woven honey in price at $5.26/sf.(These are pricings in Chicago). Does anyone have any experience with Trilium?
If anyone is think to install Bamboo flooring please do NOT install:
GOODFELLOW STRAND BAMBOO
sold by Home Depot and Rona it literally is about as durable as a Bamboo skewer.
The installer laid the floor and my 20 LB dog sat down and got up and she splintered and cracked the surface through the stain and the terrible finish (her nails are short)
When the Goodfellow rep came out to my home to inspect the flooring he was smug and rude telling me it is performing as it should. When I asked him about 2 other Goodfellow products he said they were GARBAGE.
Seriously - this is a terrible product and the company has the worst customer service in Calgary - AVOID!
I also bought in on the Bamboo craze when a few years ago. I got the light color bamboo stuff from ifloor.com. I regretted it now because my traffic areas looks all pitted with scratches. Yes I also have a dog which didn't help. I covered the entrance area with a carpet and strange thing is that when you take the carpet off after a few months, the covered area becomes darker then the uncovered area. Now I have a dark patch where the carpet was. Luckily I only did half my house. The original hardwood on the rest of the house still looks good considering it is at least 30yrs old. I'm gonna rip out the bamboo because it's looks dirty everywhere since dirt gets into all the pits and scratches and becomes very noticeable. I'm going back to true hardwood..Amen.
Hi - Interesting post. I am also looking to install a bamboo floor. I am willing to get the stranded for extra strength. Is this as good as a hardwood floor? Can anyone recommend a manufacturer of strand bamboo flooring??? thank you for your help.
Do not get BAMBOO. I got bamboo uniclic strandwoven coffee colour and in Nov last year and have had the suppliers out 3 times as my floor has some kind of disease in it and spreading fast..It is bubbling and splintering...They are being very nasty about it. I may be taking it further as im not getting anywhere with them. Im from australia and really annoyed as you can see the problem but they keep fobbing me off.:( Allot of money for a floor that you are told is the hardiest floor yet my 4kg mini foxie scratches it.. If they rip it up i wont be getting it again. Really unhappy with Bamboo..AVOID
I've always heard scratching is a function of the finish and denting is a function of the hardness of the wood species.. The hardest wood on the Janka scale (exotic wood Australian Buloke) will still scratch, it's just harder to put dents in it.
I installed Ambient Strand Woven bamboo flooring almost a year ago in my entire house except bathrooms and laundry
room. It looks great in less traveled areas, mainly bedrooms.
My 2 dens and kitchen have scratches everywhere. We entertain quite a bit and also have a lab. Drops, spills, dog hair all show up constantly. The only way I can clean the flooring is to get on my hands and knees and wash with one cloth and immediately wipe dry, otherwise the water marks show. I already regret putting it in and can't wait to come across some extra money to replace it.
I am writing from Sydney and we have the same problem it has been laid 6 months and still stinks. Since you Americans normally ahead of the rest of us. Has anybody contacted a government body about the possible health effects to get some proper facts. I am in the process here but it is hard.
Interesting to hear that you think we are ahead of you on such issues...I have the reverse view! In any case, when you say it stinks, do you mean that literally as in giving off a gassy smell? If so, that may be brand dependent or a bad batch from a good supplier. Any more info you can supply?
Couldn't read all the messages but I wanted to post my 2cents. Bamboo is WAY oversold for it being "hard". I've had more claims on bamboo than any other flooring product in my 20 years in the business. Mostly because people are oversold and not prepared. It DOES scratch... the stranded is the way to go if you want bamboo. Becareful with the install and make sure you acclimate. Remember it is NOT a wood product, it is grass... ;)
Like everything else, you get what you pay for brand wise.
We installed 720 sf of the Morning Star Click bamboo flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators in June of 2013. The finish on the material scratches easy, however, the scratches are the least of our problems. The cupping started with the shorter pieces in the hallways. By December 2013, the entire installation was cupping and gaps appeared in random areas. After contacting Lumber Liquidators about the problem, We were told that since we did not hire someone to test the moisture of the subfloor and the humidity in the house prior to the installation of this material, the warranty was void. In addition, I was told that our method of cleaning resulted in the problems with the floor. It seems that if the cleaner is sprayed directly on the floor, the material absorbs the moisture along the edges and this was another reason for the damage to the bamboo flooring. We purchased a 32 oz. bottle of cleaner after the floor was installed. Most of the time, the cleaning involves sweeping and using a dust mop. About once a month we get on our hands and knees, spray a fine mist of cleaner directly onto the floor and use a cloth towel to clean the floor. Since the installation, we have used the liquid cleaner about five times and still have about half of the cleaner left in the bottle. I guess 16 oz. caused the damage to the entire 720 sf of the floor, including the material under the furniture and area rugs!! Seriously?!?!?!? In reading the various reviews on independent web sites for this product, it seems that there is a chronic problem with scratching, cupping and separations. The reviews for this product on the LLI website are "selected", gee....I wonder who selects them. Our first mistake in selecting our new floor was believing that the reviews on the LLI site were unbiased reviews. Our second mistake was actually purchasing this product. It seems that Lumber Liquidators will use any excuse to avoid the liability for providing the customer with a very poor product. I understand that a product warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it and our experience with LLI is shared by too many others. We made a $5,000.00 mistake, please don't make the same mistake that we did. LLI should condense thier warranty to read "Warranty void if material is removed from factory packaging". We will have to replace our six month old floor and it sure as heck will not be with a product supplied by Lumber Liquidators. STAY AWAY!!!!!
That's a really unfortunate situation, and I can understand why you feel that way. Thank you for posting in that amount of detail as it is valuable to the rest of us considering bamboo floors.
We installed 1200sf 5/8's strand bamboo in 2010. We've been very impressed with the scratch resistance, we live near the beach and we track sand in and have two dogs with sharp nails. So far we don't have a scratch. Our problem is, when our washer sprung a leak and we had water on the floor, the bamboo seems to have swelled at the joints. It's not too noticeable, but if the light is just right you can see it. We also used the bamboo for thresholds, bad move because it's so brittle. Every threshold has cracked from dragging the vacuum over them. Bamboo can be a cost effective alternative to hardwood, but I think it got too popular before the bugs were worked out.
So, here's my two cents. We like jimbobreese have had a horrible experience so far with our bamboo floors, ours came from Cali Bamboo. Following the installation guidelines for a floating floor over concrete, I installed the stuff myself with the manufacturers recommended underlayment. At first the cupping began in the hallway and now there's cupping and lifting happening everywhere across the 780 sq ft of flooring. The flooring is spread across 2 elevations as the entry and dining/kitchen is 6" higher than family room and hallway.
Last week a highly recommended hardwood installer came out per my request to assess the situation. He said that the install was great and couldn't see any reason why the floor was behaving the way it is, other than a possible plumbing leak. He has since picked up a calcium chloride test for me that I'll use this week to verify moisture content of the concrete. I found it a bit disheartening when he informed me that his hardwood supplier won't sell him Bamboo...
After moving here from Seattle where Bamboo is used all over the place, I assumed that the dry climate of SoCal would be great with the product, apparently not. I'm to the point now where I'm secretly hoping for a slab leak so insurance will cover replacement, we certainly don't have another 5k plus to redo the flooring. Guess it kinda makes sense when you consider Bamboo is more like a grass than a tree in growing rates, my recommendation is to steer far and clear of the product.
I also am having trouble with the 1000 sq. ft. of Java Wide Click Cali Bamboo that I just purchased. Long, painful story short: the floors won't click lock and we can't install. The company, Cali Bamboo, first blamed my installer then later told me that the boards need to acclimate even longer (at that point it had already been a month). I felt like the company didn't believe me and hoped I would just disappear if ignored. It was so frustrating! Actually, now I see that I've been saved from an even more expensive and stressful nightmare in the future. I've just looked at the sample pieces of Cali Bamboo I got in December and they have mold all around them. Nothing else here has mold. Things do mold here in Hawaii, but 3 months is unacceptable. I can just imagine if the floors had installed and then months passed before the joints swelled up and the boards started to come apart exposing all the mold. GROSS!!! The inspector and the company would have blamed my installer and the environmental conditions. My installer and I would have both been completely victimized! The Universe is protecting us. This is why I am dedicating time now to share my experience online. When I was researching bamboo there wasn't a lot of info out there, especially naming manufacturers. I was under the impression that people were having trouble with the cheap stuff. The Cali Bamboo is beautiful, but don't be fooled by looks and beauty. It's a trap! BUYER BEWARE! I'm going to try to attach a photo of the molding samples.