I have bamboo floors, very nice to look at for a SHORT WHILE !!!!!!!!
Bamboo is VERY soft it dents faster than pine. If anybody wants to use this
material I would restrict it's use to bedroom floors. In my dining room and
kitchen it is a complete and total disaster. For a simple check, take a
sample of what you what as a floor. Then drop a plier on it from waist
hieght. This does a close aproximation of a "normal" female in spike heels.
Aslo the sliding action of chairs, either on rollers( Nice ruts) or standard
chairs, as they are pushed back by a typical 200 lbs male, again nice ruts
in the floor.
I could have written this about my bamboo floor.
Mine is a floating product from Ikea called Kvist. Not only is it soft
(yesterday I dropped a cabinet knob on it from about 3 feet and it dented)
but it has a very poor finish. I have coated it with two coats of
polyurethane which is a great improvement.
It looks beautiful when you first install it, though.
I have read that some bamboo is very hard and durable, so if you decide on
bamboo, do some research.
Ikea don't do bamboo floors. They do laminates with a bamboo
Bamboo itself is medium hard. It comes in at 1642 on the Janka
hardness scale. At one end of the scale is Douglas Fir which comes in
at 660 and, at the other, the extremely hard and expensive Brazilian
Walnut at 3800. Bamboo is harder than red or white oak or hard maple.
As I reported in a previous post, bamboo isn't the best flooring material. I
have 'engineered' bamboo, 'toasted'. This comes in on the Janka scale around
1200 pounds, not psi. The rest of the 'engineering' consists of two crossed
plantation pine layers, whatever plantation pine is. The bamboo is 1/8"
thick, the whole assembly is 9/16" thick. The Janka test could only have
been proposed by people not interested in informing the public of the
hardness of materials. The test imbeds a .444" dia steel ball into the
material being tested. When the ball penetrates .222", the force in pounds
needed is the Janka hardness...
Look elsewhere for flooring material for areas with moderate to heavy
Uh, that's basically the same method that the Rockwell and Brinnell
tests use for determining the hardness of metals, only difference is
the size of the penetrator and the amount of force. Sounds like a
pretty fair imitation of a punker pogoing in cockroach stillettos to
On the other hand, Brazilian Walnut (which is usually called "ipe" and
isn't all that expensive) isn't the other end of the scale--lignum
vitae goes to 4500, and I believe there are a few others between. And
I can say from personal experience that ipe can knock a dent in hard
maple without showing a mark, and LV can do the same to ipe.
Incidentally "bamboo" covers a lot of territory--one flooring site
lists "natural bamboo" at 1410 and "carmel bamboo" at 1120, with a
notation that "will vary substantially from different manufacturers".
Another lists 1640 for "timber grass bamboo". Horizontal vs
vertical grain makes a difference too. And I suspect that there are
species of bamboo out there that don't come close to hitting that
Personally I wouldn't want the stuff--grew up around bamboo--it's
amazingly tough stuff, but I've gotten too many bamboo splinters in my
life to want to be walking on it.
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