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Old 07-20-2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


My wife and I are looking for some sustainable flooring to put in our house in place of gross 10 year old carpet. We both dislike the look of cork, but think a natural bamboo would look good. They have some at Home Depot for about $3 a square foot - comparably, maple is around $4. Anything I should be leery about with bamboo? Thanks for the advice!

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Old 07-20-2008, 07:09 PM   #2
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


There is a new bamboo at Home Depot that is click lock. The manufacturer in its infinite wisdom (not) do not put run number dates on the boxes. Instead they use colored dots

Recently the HD installers were out on a job, when I get the dreaded call. The bamboo was all different shades. The sales person pulled all boxes with blue dots. But when they were opened up, the planks had different dates stamped on the back.

There was 1/23/08, 1/27/08, 4/11/08, 4/14/08 (apprx dates) The January lots were lighter than the April lots. All I had left in the store were some March lots. I took them out and they worked, thankfully.

Make sure that you see what you are getting. If you are okay with different colours, at least see what you will be dealing with. It wasn't hideous, by the way, but it wasn't great either.

Otherwise I would tell you to have them special order the product using a special order sku, because I think it's the same price. BUT, and it's a big but, this vendor is so lousy, that you will be lucky to get your products in 4 weeks.

The only other thing I've found is that the bamboo samples in our showroom scratch much easier than other floorings.

I've never sold the cork, which apparently looks better the more abuse it gets.

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Old 07-20-2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


Thanks for the advice - there is $2.99/sq.ft. bamboo at HD here in Canada and it isn't in yet, but is coming in a month or so. The special order is around $4.27. I've noticed bamboo in general seems to scratch rather easily, and I read that the darker the bamboo, the longer it was heated, and the softer it will be. Supposedly natural bamboo is as hard as maple. I wonder if you could wax it to build up a barrier? Also, I've heard it is very hard to nail through - any concerns with using an air-flooring nailer? Does it push through? Thanks for your advice!
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:10 PM   #4
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


Sounds like a different product. We had one before that could be nailed. I have heard the same ting about the darker bamboo. I don't think you'll be able to just add anything to the polyeurethane finish to make it any more scratch resistant and you will probably cause yourself more heartbreak by ruining its appearance.

You might want to take a plank to the tool rental dept and see if it can be done.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:01 PM   #5
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


Cool - thanks. I'll see when the new stuff comes in if it is click or nail down. Thanks again!

Chris
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:52 AM   #6
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


There is some good bamboo out there and there is a LOT of bad bamboo. Old growth is the harder and more durable product. Most of the cheaper stuff is new growth and softer. The one I sell runs about $7 a SF. Just knowing the way the big chain stores work I doubt you'll find a really good Bamboo product at any of them. Other more common hardwood are easier to find something decent even at a big box store. I wouldn't count of the exotics being as easy to find.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:55 AM   #7
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


Can you see a difference just by looking at old growth compared to new?
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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bamboo flooring - to do, or not to do?


Teragren is one of the best known for quality. Here is there About page that gives you some info on their process.
http://www.teragren.com/about.html

It can be difficult to tell for certain just by looking how old the growth is. Generally I'd say if you look at the end grain you should be able to see if it has a dense grain pattern or a loose one. Denser is older and harder. Generally bamboo reaches a good height for harvest within three to five years and a lot of companies will cut within that range. It's better to wait at least five years before cutting. Here is their info on hardness and the Moso bamboo they use.
http://www.teragren.com/products_why_moso.html

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