Sure. I put it down in my last house, in the kitchen, dining room,
and hallways. I used the vertical stacked medium carbonized version.
I liked it a lot, except it looked "too perfect". Kinda like a
bowling alley. It seemed to wear well, though it does dent. We also
have it in this house, though in a horizontal light carbonized, in the
great room, hall, and dining room. This stuff is clearly different
than what we used in the previous house. It scratches badly (it's a
new house and was badly scratched before we moved in) and has faded a
lot. It's clear looking at the line under the door to a closet.
Bottom line - I liked it a lot in our previous house. I don't like
this stuff at all. Why the difference? - no clue, but I'd probably
rip this stuff out and do wood if it weren't glued down (slab
Like everything sold in this world, there are many brands, different
manufacturers and different processes and finishes. The cheap crap doesn't
last nor wear as well as the quality stuff. You cannot just consider that it
is bamboo and not look at the many other factors involved.
Some people want bamboo because they consider it a "green" product using
renewable resources. These people haven't considered that bamboo flooring is
made up of little strips of the material that takes considerable work to
machine then is all glued together with "who knows what ingredients" unknown
glue that may outgass toxic chemicals. Most are made in China where quality
control varies greatly and the finishes they use can be as bad as the glues
they use. Buyer beware.
I, personally, wouldn't put much faith in any CR testing...
There are, indeed, a multitude of grades and the hardness of bamboo in
actual testing varies from softer than some pine to harder than hard
maple (nominal values, of course, all woods have inherent variability in
properties within the same species far more than most other materials).
There have been quite a number of articles in both FHB and FWW over the
last several years on bamboo; most (but not all iirc) of the flooring
applications in FHB as one would expect while the FWW concentrated more
on its use as cabinetwood, counters, etc. Anyway, the upshot of the
evaluations I recall ottomh include that how the flooring is
manufactured from either end or side grain and very importantly, the
actual species used makes a big difference. As well, the caramelizing
process used to impart color has a large negative impact on the hardness
of all types, again affecting some more pronouncedly than others. The
darker the coloring, the more susceptible the end product to denting, etc.
There is a pretty good manufacturers' association and other web sites
with more information; if you're really interested/serious I'd recommend
them and doing a search on the Taunton FHB site for some more in-depth
looking at the variables involved and particularly there for a couple of
articles that discuss bamboo itself from the wood characteristics in a
fair amount of detail. It ain't much at all like other woods in some
important ways; similar in others.
: Lew Hodgett wrote:
:> :> The stuff C/R tested didn't dent or scratch.:> :> There must be several grades of bamboo flooring.
: I, personally, wouldn't put much faith in any CR testing...
: There are, indeed, a multitude of grades and the hardness of bamboo in
: actual testing varies from softer than some pine to harder than hard
: maple (nominal values, of course, all woods have inherent variability in
: properties within the same species far more than most other materials).
: There have been quite a number of articles in both FHB and FWW over the
: last several years on bamboo; most (but not all iirc) of the flooring
: applications in FHB as one would expect while the FWW concentrated more
: on its use as cabinetwood, counters, etc. Anyway, the upshot of the
: evaluations I recall ottomh include that how the flooring is
: manufactured from either end or side grain and very importantly, the
: actual species used makes a big difference. As well, the caramelizing
: process used to impart color has a large negative impact on the hardness
: of all types, again affecting some more pronouncedly than others. The
: darker the coloring, the more susceptible the end product to denting, etc.
To add to this excellent post, I planned to use bamboo flooring in
my home office, but was dissuaded when I fond that every sample I could
lay my hands on dented very easily, and it's not recommended for a dry climate.
I have gone with bamboo-look laminate, which is cheaper, harder, and very nice
-- Andy Barss
On Mon, 6 Jul 2009 18:22:18 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss
Again, my sample size is two but I've found the opposite. The "medium
caramelized" I installed in VT was much harder than the "light
caramelized" I have here. Maybe the vertical laminations are harder
than the horizontal. Dunno. I'd do the stuff I did on my last house
again. This stuff, not so much.
I had no problems with it in VT. I would have loved to put it in the
bedrooms, but was moving so just threw down some new carpeting.
I wondered how long it would take...and surprised it took this long! :)
The key in the above on caramelization and hardness that was implied but
not specifically stated is that the effect is within the same species
and grain orientation, not strictly monotonic across all
So it's a crap shoot? I bought pretty cheap bamboo, since I was
planning on selling the house in a couple of years. I went with
bamboo mainly because it looked good and was cheaper than replacing
the vinyl. It worked. I managed to sell the house at the end of '07.
It was five (5) days since I posted the comments on bamboo that included
the caramelization issue remarked upon... :)
I had expected after I reread the post it would be about 5 minutes, tops...
Pretty much...the summary articles in FWW and FHB (and the data on
manufacturers' organization website confirm) there's such a wide
variation in basic properties between the various species and
manufacturing processes used it's only looking at specific test data for
a specific product that makes any sense.
Price isn't necessarily that much of a guide to the hardness in
particular; it seems w/ bamboo flooring products more in other areas
such as the orientation, finish durability, variability within product,
The bulk of the data in the FHB/FWW articles on bamboo characteristics
itself came from USFS or similar sources...otoh, if the product
manufacturers' trade associations are fronting bogus data, then there's
little one can find to use on any product w/o testing it oneself.
That's the whole point -- wood and bamboo are nothing alike--their
structures and properties are vastly different. Add to that there are a
"veritable plethora" of species of bamboo which have properties that
range from softer than some pines to harder than sugar maple, to
consider that just because a flooring material is made from _some_
species of bamboo is essentially meaningless.
It *does* dent, like anything else. It may be harder than maple, but
it certainly *does* dent. Whack it with a hammer... ;-)
I think there are. The stuff I put down in my previous house was
pretty cheap (<$2.50/sq.ft. IIRC). I bought it over the Internet and
had it shipped (pretty cheap, amazingly). Of course, the crap they
put in this house may have even been cheaper.
If you go with bamboo, I'd make sure to look at the vertical laminated
version before you buy. I like it a *lot* better than the more common
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.