Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring For You!

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Is Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring For You?

Would you like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring? The information in the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge about premium bamboo flooring.

It’s really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of premium flooring. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

Bamboo Flooring is one of the hottest trends in flooring today; captivating consumers with its beauty, durability and earth-friendly story.

This article provides basic information on bamboo flooring, tips on how to choose a floor that’s right for you and what to avoid when making your purchase. This is a general summary of and will cover some of the basic questions or, as we say in Internet lingo: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

I come in daily contact with flooring manufacturers and sales reps from all over the world and without exception, each one claims that his or her product is of the finest, highest quality. Over the years I’ve developed a talent for discerning the truth hidden in the marketing doublespeak. It is this expertise, coupled with many hours of study and hands on experience, that I am happy to share with you in this article.

Bamboo Background

Bamboo is actually a grass. It grows at an astonishing rate of one to three feet a day during its peak growth cycle, reaching heights of 125 feet or more and sometimes with diameters of two feet. Once the bamboo reaches maturity at five to six years old, it stops growing and is ready for harvest. Bamboo also regenerates at about the same time so it does not need to be replanted.


There are two basic colors of Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring available, natural and carbonized (fumed).

Natural bamboo looks just like it sounds, although it actually receives a bleaching treatment to accomplish the light tone. Carbonized bamboo, on the other hand, undergoes a heating process. This darkens the wood and produces a rich caramel color. Both colors have WIDE variations in the actual shades.

For the more adventurous type, there’s a new breed of stained bamboo floors that is being offered by higher end bamboo flooring lines. Availability of these new colors adds a whole new level to the bamboo story.

And, if you are lucky you may also find the really premium hand-scraped bamboo floors. It combines the rustic beauty of hand scraping with some interesting stain and finish techniques. This is a breakthrough in bamboo flooring when done right!


Solid bamboo is available mostly in three or six foot lengths, although it’s sometimes possible to find a company that offers random lengths as well. Solid bamboo has pre-milled tongue and groove on all four sides and can be installed by gluing down, stapling or nailing. Only solid bamboo over 4? should be considered for a floating floor application.

Longstrip bamboo typically comes seven feet long and approximately eight inches wide. It comes with a standard tongue and groove system built primarily for a floating installation; however, you can staple or glue this down as well.

One style differentiator is the look of the floor and how the individual bamboo slats are constructed. The two most commonly available looks are referred to as horizontal and vertical. This, essentially, is just the difference in how the individual bamboo slats are put together to make the flooring. The direction of the slats, changing from laying the flat horizontal to the lengthwise vertical assembly, transforms the entire look and feel.

Solid Versus Longstrip

Bamboo grows in high, narrow stalks that are cut into individual strips, glued together in many layers and made into flooring planks by applying heat and pressure. This method produces a structurally strong and solid bamboo floor. Solid bamboo floors are typically 5/8 of an inch thick. CHEAP BAMBOO IS OFTEN THINNER THAN 5/8 INCH SO THIS IS A CLUE TO ITS LOW QUALITY. Don’t get liquidated on the cheap stuff.

The other type of bamboo is most commonly called longstrip, and is also considered an engineered floor. Longstrip flooring has bamboo on the surface, a wood core board, and a balancing wooden back layer. This floating floor offers better expansion and contraction than solid bamboo.


Durability is always a sought-after quality in any flooring. In the Janka Ball Hardness test, natural bamboo scores higher than northern red oak and northern maple. Carbonized bamboo scores about five percent lower than its natural counterpart in hardness, yet is still rated higher than northern red oak. Vertical grade is typically harder than horizontal grade because of the way the bamboo is constructed on the planks themselves.

While bamboo is tough, when it comes to indentations this does not mean that it is impervious to dents, scratches, discoloration or other damage. NO FLOOR IS. The ability to resist scratches is tied more to the quality of the finish, its application and number of coats.


Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring can be installed over concrete floors using glue down method, or it can be installed on plywood using the nail down method. If you use a floating method of installation, you can go over concrete, vinyl and other stable hard surfaces.


Upside to Premium Bamboo

* Bamboo Flooring is a durable product with an aesthetic appeal that’s becoming increasingly popular with American and European consumers. With the proper finish bamboo makes a durable floor AND brilliant fashion statement.

* Bamboo is affordable. Back in the nineties, if you’d come to my retail store and asked about bamboo flooring, I would have quoted you prices of eight or nine dollars a square foot. That’s double or triple what you’ll pay for now.

* Premium Woven Bamboo can be installed in most areas of the home, including over concrete floors. It’s available in both the solid and longstrip versions, and in easy to install click together systems.

2008 footnote: more styles are available than ever in Bamboo!

Downside to Premium Woven Bamboo Flooring

* Colors and styles are limited. Bamboo is available in only two colors – natural and carbonized. The vertical- and horizontal-grained versions are available in both colors. Still, this limits you to a total of four options. There are a few companies that offer a wider choice of stains and other innovations like hand scraping, but these options are not available in most stores.

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