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Frequently Asked Questions
We've organized our Frequently Asked Questions into four different categories. Click the link to view the category. If you have further questions please contact us.
About Our ProductsTopics in this section:
- What is the difference between a solid and engineered floor?
- What about bathrooms and radiant heating?
- What is the difference between Ambient classic and strand woven bamboo flooring?
- What does "carbonized" mean?
- What's the difference between a horizontal and vertical grain in Ambient classic bamboo flooring?
- Should I be worried about formaldehyde in my flooring?
- How does humidity affect bamboo flooring?
- I have pets. Will their claws harm the floor?
- Do you sell bamboo stair treads and stair nose?
- What are the Janka hardness levels of Ambient Bamboo Floors?
About Our Products
Q: What is the difference between a solid and engineered floor?A: Solid bamboo flooring is made solely of bamboo - it is 100 percent bamboo throughout. A solid bamboo hardwood floor can be installed in many different spaces, but it is not recommended for basements. Engineered flooring is made of a wear layer of bamboo on top, with an engineered, multilayer core below. Our exceptional four-ply core is different -- and better -- than other engineered flooring cores, most of which have only two or three plies. More plies add dimensional stability and strength to the flooring, so the higher the ply count, the better. Some of the best benefits of bamboo flooring that is engineered are dimensional stability and humidity resistance, which make it an excellent choice for below-grade or basement installations. While some companies sell this product to be installed over radiant systems, its long-term performance is unproven. Most Ambient bamboo flooring is solid bamboo, but we have several engineered options for basement bamboo flooring as well.
Q: What about bathrooms and radiant heating?A: We have many products suitable for use with radiant bamboo flooring, including most of our strand woven offerings. Be sure to check before placing your order.
Installing a bamboo floor in the bathroom is a different story. We don't recommend using our solid bamboo flooring products in a high-moisture environment, just as we wouldn't recommend the use of a traditional hardwood, either. We do, however, offer engineered flooring with superior moisture resistance that can be used in the bathroom. Contact our sales team for more information!
Q: What is the difference between Ambient classic and strand woven bamboo flooring?A: Ambient classic bamboo flooring looks like traditional solid bamboo flooring, with visible bamboo nodes. It is made of whole strips of bamboo bonded together in either in a horizontal or vertical pattern. Our classic bamboo flooring is a bit stronger than oak flooring. Properly installed, it can be used in almost any space except basements and bathrooms. Ambient strand woven bamboo flooring looks almost like traditional hardwood flooring, but it is extremely hard -- more than two times harder than oak flooring. It is made by heating long strips of bamboo, which are pulled apart into strands, woven together, then compressed them under extreme pressure and heat. (Our strand woven flooring is harder than most because the machines we use compress more material, increasing the floor's strength and durability.) Our strand woven bamboo flooring is extremely durable, pet- and family-friendly. With Ambient strand woven bamboo flooring, you get the strength and eco-friendly aspects of bamboo with a hardwood look. Read on for other bamboo flooring pros and cons.
Q: What does "carbonized" mean?A: "Carbonized" refers to a process during which the bamboo strips are heated, which changes their color from their natural blond to a darker tone. Carbonized bamboo is not stained -- it is darker all the way through. Because of the carbonization process, carbonized bamboo flooring is slightly less strong than our other solid bamboo floors. Contact us for bamboo flooring cost comparisons.
Q: What's the difference between a horizontal and vertical grain in Ambient classic bamboo flooring?A: The only difference is in their appearance. Horizontal grain planks have wider bamboo slats because the bamboo strips are laid flat before melding. Vertical grain planks have narrower bamboo slats that have been turned on their side when melded. Both patterns have been used in a wide array of beautiful spaces, including bamboo stair boards and moldings. It really just comes down to personal taste.
Q: Should I be worried about formaldehyde in my flooring?A: Every flooring, accessory and maintenance product we sell is safe and environmentally friendly. All of our floors have been tested by independent labs, and have formaldehyde levels of less than 0.03 ppm - well below U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), European (E1) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) guidelines. For details on each Ambient floor's formaldehyde levels, please see the product detail pages or request a copy of our formaldehyde testing documents. If you need zero-formaldehyde products, they are available by special order.
Q: How does humidity affect bamboo flooring?A: Generally, bamboo flooring is more humidity resistant than traditional hardwood flooring. But as with all wood floors, a normal range of 40% to 60% relative
humidity should be maintained in the home. Because Ambient bamboo flooring is made using a 10-coat process, including a moisture-resistant layer on both sides, it performs better in a higher or lower humidity range - as long as you let the flooring acclimate on-site for a minimum of 72 hours before installation and follow our installation and maintenance guidelines.
Note that our flooring has been installed in many different climates, from the sun of Arizona to the snow of Alaska, from the mountains of Colorado to the beaches of Florida. Our clients report that with proper acclimation, their floors have held up beautifully.
Because of its extreme stability, we recommend installing Ambient strand woven bamboo flooring in locations where humidity is a concern.
While we don't recommend installing solid bamboo floors in the bathroom, we offer a number of engineered flooring products more suitable for high-moisture environments.