Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Shopping around for any type of new home flooring can seem overwhelming. With so many options in types of material, installation and pricing, it can be easy to become confused and frustrated. Before you venture into purchasing bamboo flooring, here are some general tips to get your started.
1. Choose a type of bamboo flooring – Luckily, there are only two types of bamboo flooring in terms of look. These are strand-woven and traditional. While traditional will give you a cleaner, more uniform look, strand-woven is more natural looking. If you are going with traditional bamboo flooring, you will then have to choose from horizontal and vertical grain directions and if you would like solid bamboo or engineered bamboo. Solid bamboo is more eco-friendly since it is 100% bamboo while engineered is definitely stronger since it is also made of compressed particle board.
2. Determine hardness of the flooring – An industry standard test for flooring hardness is the Janka Hardness Test. Do not purchase bamboo flooring that has a Janka rating of less than 2300. After you have found the Janka rating, you should still request some samples to try out on your own. Test them for durability and see which ones hold up the best.
3. Find out how eco-friendly it is – Bamboo flooring that is truly eco-friendly is made without formaldehyde. Also ask if the flooring is LEED certified. (LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.)
4. Ask if it is suitable for your living conditions – Some bamboo flooring is sold for either residential use or commercial use. It is important to know this before purchasing. Also, ask the manufacturer questions about how the bamboo will hold up in your home’s particular conditions including humidity, high traffic or below-grade installation.
5. Ask about the warrantee – Think of a warrantee as a measure of how confident the manufacturer is about their bamboo flooring. A great warrantee would be a 25-year residential, 10-year commercial finish and 30-year structural.
Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Even though bamboo flooring is increasing in popularity, there are still a few little ugly rumors flying around about this quality option in home flooring. My Bamboo Flooring would like to squash these common misconceptions once and for all to let everyone know the many benefits of this gorgeous, eco-friendly material.
Myth #1: Bamboo flooring has limited options
Not only are there many ways in which to install bamboo flooring, from floating to nailing and gluing, there are also many different options in style. You can opt for a lighter bamboo which will create a more natural look or you can go for darker tones to mimic the look of oak and other hard woods. There are also different planks widths to choose from which will definitely affect the look of your new floor.
Myth #2: Bamboo floors are easy to damage
Bamboo is actually one of the strongest materials you can use for home flooring. When bamboo flooring planks are manufactured, bamboo strips are compressed under a tremendous amount of pressure to ensure the strength of the plank. Also, bamboo is very durable in humid climates unlike hardwood flooring.
Myth #3: It is hard to maintain bamboo floors
Those with bamboo flooring know that the material is easy to clean and very easy to repair in those rare moments when it becomes damaged. While you may need special cleaners and materials to get rid of stains or scratches, regular sweeping and mopping will always do the trick when cleaning your bamboo floor.
Myth #4: Bamboo flooring is expensive
Actually, many people turn to bamboo flooring when trying to save money on their home renovations. Bamboo is cheaper per square foot than most hardwood floors. It can also save you money when you install it yourself, which is pretty easy depending on the type of installation method you choose.
Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
Bamboo flooring is an extremely eco-friendly material that continues to grow in popularity in many western homes, but bamboo as a type of flooring actually predates any other kind of hardwood by centuries; it has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years in China. A lot of bamboo’s eco-friendly appeal comes from its rapid growth rate, and diversity of growing circumstances. It only takes about five years for a plant to mature, the plant doesn’t die when bamboo is harvested, and it can tolerate extremes of precipitation from a whole lot to a very little.
Bamboo is also harder than any other type of hardwood home flooring. It has often been used as rebar for reinforced concrete beams because it has a tensile strength of 28,000 lbs. per square foot; as opposed to steel which only has 23,000 lbs. per square foot. Bamboo is also fairly resistant to destruction- to give you an idea of how much so: bamboo survived the Hiroshima blast closer to ground zero than any other life form; in Limon, Costa Rica, only bamboo homes remained standing after the violent earth quake in 1992.
China has 1.6 million square miles of bamboo. Bamboo grass, the most common species, can grow as much as 40 feet tall and is a major carbon sink for the atmosphere. Bamboo is such an important carbon sink because of how quickly it grows- it is the fastest growing wood type plant on the planet, and is about a third faster than the fastest growing tree. In addition to all of these, bamboo purifies the atmosphere and the soil, making its presence extremely beneficial to other life forms.
These are all contributing factors to the increasing popularity of bamboo as home flooring in western culture. China has understood the benefits of bamboo for centuries. These interesting truths about the material will hopefully help you to consider using bamboo in your home improvement design too.
Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm
Bamboo flooring is the latest trend in home flooring these days for many reasons. It is environmentally friendly, durable like traditional hardwood, and comes in a variety of shades to suit your home décor needs. Depending on what your goals are with your home flooring, you can select a shade and cut of bamboo that will only serve to enhance your décor ideas.
If your décor I centered around classic elegance, then using vertical cut carbonized bamboo in a walnut, espresso, or cherry shade will be perfect for your home flooring needs. Vertical cut lines have a finer, cleaner look, and the grains are less noticeable than in horizontal cuts. Horizontal cut bamboo has a more rugged appearance; thus if a rugged country charm is your goal, this is the way to go.
Unfinished bamboo flooring makes for a more natural look. The blonde natural look of bamboo is good for small, dimly lit rooms because it can create the perception of more space. Horizontal cuts of unfinished bamboo will make the unique grain stand out; you can even go for a parquet design. The natural shade of bamboo is a rich, honey brown that can do a lot to brighten a space while keeping it warm and cozy.
You can mix and match shades with cuts to get other décor results. No matter what you decide is best for your home, just remember that it is best to pick a direction to lay the bamboo flooring in and that you should stick to it. If you want vertical lines, stay vertical; if you want horizontal, stay horizontal. Regardless of the direction, bamboo flooring can be installed in any room of your home, even on the stairs.
Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
While you may think that choosing narrow versus wide plank bamboo flooring is just a matter of taste. However, this is an important choice that will affect the cost, maintenance and wear and tear of your floor. Narrow plank bamboo flooring has many advantages over wide plank flooring. Here are just a few that will help you make the best decision when shopping for bamboo flooring.
While bamboo is very durable, it does have a slight weakness when it comes to moisture. You bamboo planks may warp under increased humidify. However, wide planks tend to warp a lot more than narrow planks. Additionally, when installing wide planks, they will first need to acclimate to the temperature in the house a lot longer than narrow planks will have to before installation.
Another factor to think about is maintenance. If you decide to go with wide plank bamboo flooring, you should know that you are in for a lot more work. Wide planks will need occasional resurfacing and sanding as well as thorough cleanings. While the same is true for narrow planks, they will require far less attention.
Finally, you should also consider the cost comparisons between narrow and wide plank bamboo flooring. Wide plank bamboo flooring is said to exceed to installation costs of even marble floors. You will spend considerably less money on narrow planks.
Monday, February 14th, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Bamboo has only been used regularly as a flooring material for the past ten years. Perhaps it was occasionally installed as flooring in homes here and there, but the manufacturing techniques that make bamboo flooring accessible have been more finely tuned in the last decade. Even though eastern cultures have celebrated bamboo as a variable symbol for luck, longevity, strength, resilience, flexibility, and nature for years, western culture has been slower to follow suit; as fung shui becomes more of a widely accepted concept for home décor, bamboo becomes more appealing to the masses.
Aside from the new popularity of fung shui, in addition to the cheaper cost of installation, bamboo flooring is one of the most green materials on the home décor market today. The world is paying more attention to sustainability needs and environmental challenges than ever before. Renewable resources are often more of a priority than the look of the material itself. As a result, bamboo is a star performer in the green décor market.
The way that bamboo flooring is manufactured solves a lot a problems faced by the timber industry. It can be harvested without harming the environment or killing the plant, it only takes 5-10 years for bamboo to reach maturity, and there are methods that do not release harmful chemicals into the air, soil, or water used in the manufacturing process of bamboo flooring. Additionally, bamboo flooring is just as attractive and durable. The lighter weight of the material also makes transportation less expensive and requires less fuel; just another way that bamboo minimizes carbon footprints.
As bamboo flooring continues to gain popularity in the home décor market, the manufacturing techniques also evolve; they are working to have more cost effective, green methods to make bamboo a truly (completely) renewable and safe material for the environment. While the history of bamboo flooring is only just beginning, it’s friendly impact will hopefully last forever.
Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Aside from the price, look and eco-friendliness of bamboo flooring, another wonderful thing about it is the options it presents. There are many different types of bamboo flooring, making it easy for you to find the best option for you. Here are the best choices depending on your needs and priorities.
Most eco-friendly option
If you have chosen bamboo for your home flooring because you are environmentally conscious and are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, stand-woven bamboo flooring is most likely your best option. Of all types of bamboo flooring, stand-woven bamboo flooring tends to use less adhesive in its manufacturing process. It is made by taking strips of bamboo and high-pressure compressing them into planks. This process also makes the planks extremely durable.
Most durable option
Those with busy lives and homes that will experience a stampede of foot traffic may need to prioritize the strength of their new floor above all other properties. In this case, engineered bamboo flooring would be a wise choice. This type of flooring is composed of a mix of bamboo and hardwood to make solid planks. These planks are then covered with 1/8th inch-thick bamboo strips to ensure the natural look of bamboo. There is no way around the fact that hard wood is stronger than bamboo, therefore engineered bamboo flooring is the strongest you can get out of all your bamboo flooring options. While it is not the most eco-friendly option, it is still more earth conscious than all-hardwood floors.
Easiest option for installation
While bamboo flooring is pretty affordable, you can save even more money by taking the DIY approach and installing your new home flooring yourself. If you are inexperienced in this area, you may want to choose an easy installation option like click lock bamboo flooring. This type of flooring is assembled much like a jigsaw puzzle where planks are fitted together at the ends and locked into place. This floor is also known as a floating floor, which means it will not have to be glued or nailed to your subfloor.
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Bamboo flooring is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative for hardwood floors. This is due to several factors like low cost and ease of maintenance, but the most alluring quality is the eco-friendly nature of bamboo.
There are multiple components of the material that make it and eco-friendly choice. Bamboo has rapid growth and regeneration. Since it is technically a grass, bamboo starts as rhizomes and sends shoots and leaves above ground. It can also be harvested on a regular basis because it does not die when cut down- much like grass- bamboo just keeps on growing. It only takes between four to ten years for the usable wood to mature. Whereas trees that produce other hardwoods die when cut down and take decades to reach maturity.
In addition to the rapid growth rate, bamboo plants have higher carbon sequestration rates; this is because of the fast growth rate. Two and a half acres of bamboo sequesters approximately 62 tons of CO2 per year. In contrast, young forests only sequester about 15 tons. Bamboo also generates about 35% more oxygen than the equivalent number of trees.
High quality bamboo flooring can often be stronger than traditional hardwood floors because of its flexibility. Bamboo is able to bend and blow in the wind to a much greater extent than trees. This flexibility can make for greater durability in home flooring needs.
There are a few negatives to bamboo flooring, but the pros tend to outweigh the cons. Regardless it is best to know the facts. Be sure to check and see what kinds of chemicals were used to manufacture your bamboo floor because some of them are extremely harmful to the environment; a certain type of formaldehyde known as urea is often used and is particularly toxic. In addition, most of the bamboo used for home flooring needs is grown in Asia and shipped across seas, which has a large carbon footprint. For the most part, however, bamboo floors are an eco-friendly alternative that can help you turn your household green.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 1:00 pm
If you are looking to self-install some new home flooring, a bamboo floor is actually a relatively simple floor for even beginning DIYers. This article will teach you how to install solid plank bamboo flooring by nailing it to the underlay.
First, you will need the following materials to install your bamboo floor:
- Construction goggles
- Tape measure
- Quarter-round shoe molding
- Underlay padding
- Rubber mallet
- Pneumatic flooring nail gun
- Circular saw
- Tapping block
- Bamboo flooring
Your first step in installing a bamboo floor is to take careful measurements of the area that will be floored. This area should already have the previous flooring removed. Evenly lay down the underlay padding without overlapping as this will create unevenness in the floor.
After putting on your protective goggles, lay down the bamboo floor starting at the longest wall. You will want to leave about ¼ inch of space between the flooring and each will, which can be filled with spacers. Once you have laid the flooring against the longest wall, start staggering the bamboo planks away from the wall and tap them together with your mallet and tapping block.
Align your nail gun against the edge of the newly installed row of bamboo planks and nail the entire row down. You will not see the nails as they will come in at an angle. After you have finished installing your bamboo floor, replace or reinstall the baseboards. Then, apply the quarter-round shoe molding directly below the baseboard.
Saturday, January 29th, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Bamboo flooring is one of the more economical choices for your home remodel. If you like the look of hard wood but are looking to save money while reducing your carbon footprint, it is really the best way to go. Here is some pricing information that can help you when shopping around for bamboo.
On average, bamboo flooring tends to cost between $4 and $6 per square foot. This pricing usually pertains to DIY bamboo flooring. The size of the room you are looking to floor with bamboo will definitely affect your costs. For example, a 12×12 area can cost you between $575 and $865 on average.
More expensive types of bamboo flooring include exotic or prefinished bamboo. These can run you as much as $13 per square foot.
On top of this, there could also be some additional costs for your bamboo flooring. A border or custom pattern can add a dollar or two per square foot. Flooring an oddly-shaped room can also cost a little more. This is because you may not be able to get an exact measurement and will have to overestimate the amount of bamboo you will need for the room.
Not to mention, if you have to first get rid of old flooring before installing new bamboo flooring, this can also increase costs. However, you can always save money by learning how to take out old flooring yourself. If not, you can hire a contractor. Just remember that they will charge you for moving furniture if you have not done so yourself.