Bamboo Flooring Product FAQ | Ambient Bamboo Floors
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BAMBOO FLOORING FAQ - PRODUCTS

  1. Why should I purchase a bamboo floor?
  2. Why should I purchase my floor from Ambient?
  3. How much natural color variation do bamboo floors have?
  4. What is the difference between a solid and engineered bamboo floor?
  5. Are your floors toxic or do they have formaldehyde emissions?
  6. What is a moisture-cured urethane?
  7. Where does bamboo flooring come from?
  8. What species is your bamboo?
  9. Do you sell flooring, adhesives or underlayment with a sound barrier?
  10. I had a water leak in my home and it ruined my floor. Can I just order more of the same color?
  11. Do you have random length floors?
  12. Can bamboo flooring be refinished? Will I ever *have* to refinish it?
  13. How do your floors react to water? What about in kitchens, baths or restaurants?
  14. Can I use your floors in my bathroom?
  15. Do you sell laminate floors?
  16. What are the differences between bamboo/eucalyptus and other flooring types?
  17. What kind of finish do you use?
  18. Do you sell high gloss or unfinished bamboo flooring?
  19. What is the difference between natural, carbonized and stained?
  20. What is the difference between Ambient classic and strand woven bamboo flooring?
  21. What's the difference between a horizontal and vertical grain in classic bamboo flooring?
  22. How much does installation cost for bamboo flooring?
  23. Can I use a rolling office chair on my floors?
  24. I see a lot of good reviews online about bamboo flooring, but I also see some bad reviews about shrinkage and scratching. What gives?
  25. Will my bamboo floors fade from sunlight exposure?
  26. Do you have Floorscore certification?
  27. How many LEED credits do your floors contribute?
  28. What types of resins do you use in your products?
  29. What type of sides/edges do your floors have?
  30. What is dimensional stability?
  31. Have your floors been used in any large commercial installations?
  32. I have tons of bamboo growing in my garden, can I sell or give it to you?
  33. Can I use your floors in my basement (below grade)?
  34. Can I get a discount for a really large order?
  35. What are the lengths of your moldings & transition pieces?
  36. How is your bamboo harvested?
  37. How many years of maturity does your bamboo have?
  38. What certifications do your factories have?
  39. Do you cut down bamboo that the pandas need/eat?
  40. Does it not hurt the environment to ship bamboo flooring from China to the U.S. Is it not more eco-friendly to source wood products that may take longer to regenerate but do not use up so much energy in transport?
  41. How will bamboo and eucalyptus floors stand up to my pets and/or kids? Is it safe for them?
  42. What are the Janka hardness levels of Ambient Bamboo Floors?
  43. I have a bambooo or wood floor that has cupped, buckled, or shrank, what is causing this?
  44. How do I maintain my hardwax oil floor?
  45. I need spline for my bamboo floors, where can I get it?
  46. Do you sell matching stair railings, spindles and balustrades/newell posts?
  47. What types of moldings do I need to order and what are they used for?
  48. Does your flooring come prefinished or unfinished?

Answers


  1. Why should I purchase a bamboo floor?
    Our prefinished strand woven bamboo & eucalyptus floors are 3x harder than traditional wood floors.  Go ahead – order some free samples and hit them with a hammer, dunk them in water, and ding them as much as you want – this is a floor that won’t look dented and scratched up in 10 years like a traditional wood floor.  In fact, you’ll most likely never even have to refinish your floor, saving you a costly repair in the years to come.

    Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, which makes it a rapidly renewable and eco-friendly product.  The bamboo we use in our floors regenerates in as little as 5-7 years, and the eucalyptus we harvest from well-managed forests regenerates in as little as 3-4 years.  Compare this to a hardwood tree that takes 60 years or more to grow.

    Our floors are installed and maintained exactly like traditional hardwood floors. 
    All of our floors come prefinished out of the box, so you won't have to do any messy or hazardous on-site finishing.  Installation of our flooring is done using the same exact methods as hardwood floors.  Since we sell mostly premium widths
    (wide planks) and premium lengths (3 to 6 footers) our floors also take less time to install.

    Bamboo & eucalyptus floors are termite and rot-resistant. 
    You heard that correctly.  No insects will be munching on this floor so you will save yourself the following: headaches + time + money.

    All of our strand woven floors are warranted over radiant heat.  Have radiant heat subfloors?  No problem!  Our floors are moisture-balanced to optimum levels so that you can safely use them over most radiant heat flooring applications.

    Our bamboo and eucalyptus floors can be glued down to concrete or plywood, and nailed down to plywood.  All of our tongue and groove floors can be directly glued down to concrete, all you have to do is use an adhesive that contains a moisture barrier.  We recommend Bilder’s Ultimate All-In-One but there are many adhesives on the market that will work.  Otherwise if you want to float the floor, simply use one of our click-lock engineered floors.  Major bonus: all of our floors are warranted in basements!

    All of our floors are safe for you and your family.  Every single Ambient floor meets the most strict indoor air emissions standard in the world: CARB Phase II.  We take your health very seriously, as if it were our own – that is why many of our own employees have our floors installed in their homes.  Check out the most recent test results on our low emission formaldehyde free (NAUF) bamboo floors.

    Our floors hold up great in beach houses, mountain cabins, and any other location inside the U.S. 
    Our floors are moisture-balanced to work in every U.S. environment.  We do recommend that you keep the humidity range between 35%-55% as per the National Wood Flooring Association standards.

  2. Why should I purchase my floor from Ambient?
    For many reasons!  A quick web search about complaints and reviews will show you that our quality is what really sets us apart from other brands.  If you want to see some more reasons, check out our Why Ambient? page. Here are some more features that set us apart:

    Lot-specific ordering.  Every Ambient flooring order all comes from the same lot – so you don’t get shade patches in your floor.  Furthermore, each of our samples has its lot number written on the back – just mention that lot number when ordering and presto – your flooring order will come from that exact lot so you know that your final floor will match your sample. 

    No sales tax.  We don’t charge sales tax unless you’re in Maryland which may result in big savings.

    All of our products are safe for you and your family.  If you're looking for urea formaldehyde free bamboo floors, look no further.  E
    very single Ambient floor meets the most strict indoor air emissions standard in the world: CARB Phase II.  We take your health very seriously, as if it were our own – that is why many of our employees and their families have our floors in their homes. 

    All of our strand woven floors are warranted over radiant heat.  Have radiant heat sub-floors?  No problem.  Our floors are moisture-balanced to optimum levels so that you can safely use them over most radiant heat flooring applications.

    We are a one-stop shop.  We stock all the matching trim, moldings and installation materials for our floors, and we ensure that the moldings we ship you actually match your floor.  We ensure that you have a finished look that will get compliments for years to come.

    We were one of the first companies to sell strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus floors, in 2005.  We helped pioneer the market in these incredibly durable and beautiful products.   Because of our experience, we have one of the lowest claim ratios in the bamboo flooring industry – almost zero.

    Don’t take our word for it – do a web search.  If you do a web search on our company name vs other brands you will see we have earned a reputation for quality that is unequaled.  We guarantee that if installed correctly, our floors will not shrink, buckle or warp – problems that can plague other brands.
  3. How much natural color variation do bamboo floors have?
    The best way to see variation is to check the installation pictures we have on all of the product detail pages on our website, or check out our bamboo flooring pictures gallery page.  The thing most homeowners like is that all of our floors have some variation, as they are natural products; this is what makes them unique and appealing as compared to laminate or other synthetic materials.  The carbonized color will usually have the most color variation within each lot, followed by some of the lighter stained colors.  Remember that you can always control the color of your installation – at the beginning of the installation itself you can simply point out to your installer which planks are too dark or too light, and ask them to leave those planks out of the installation.
  4. What is the difference between a solid and engineered bamboo floor?
    Solid bamboo flooring is made solely of bamboo - it is 100 percent bamboo throughout, and is available in tongue and groove and click lock floating versions. (you can see an image of a solid click lock floating floor below).

    Engineered bamboo flooring is comprised of a wear layer of bamboo on top, with an engineered, multilayer core below. The benefits of engineered wood floors are dimensional stability and humidity resistance. Both our tongue and groove solid and engineered floors can be installed over radiant systems as long as you use the right glue or underlayment.



    SOLID TONGUE & GROOVE FLOOR (is nailed or glued down)



    PROS
    • Solid wood
    • Can be refinished up to 5 times
    • No limits on continuous runs when nailed down or glued down
    • Can be floated using tongue and groove glue if the runs are 15 ft or less tangentially and 25 ft or less longitudinally.
     

    SOLID CLICK-LOCK FLOOR (is "floated")


    PROS
    • Solid wood
    • Can be refinished up to 5 times
    • Easy installation

    CONS

    • Average dimensional stability rating
    • Increased shrinkage effect when humidity levels decrease by 15-20%
    • Maximum recommended runs in geographic areas with humidity swings (seasons): 15 ft across widths (tangentially) and 25 ft lengthwise (longitudinally)


    ENGINEERED CLICK-LOCK FLOOR (is "floated")


    PROS
    • High dimensional stability
    • Can be refinished up to 2 times
    • Easy installation

    CONS

    • Maximum recommended runs in geographic areas with humidity swings (seasons):  25 ft across widths (tangentially) and 45 ft lengthwise (longitudinally)

  5. Are your floors toxic or do they have formaldehyde emissions?
    We test our floors annually to ensure the safety of our products.  All testing is carried out at random by a third party U.S. laboratory.  Our tongue and groove flooring is "no added urea formaldehyde" and all of our floors meet the CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard, which is the most strict in the world. Here's more information on the standards and our annual test results.

    More Info on Formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde exists in a wide array of household products including paint, wood furniture finishes, and cleaning supplies amongst others.  Formaldehyde is also a naturally occurring substance found in air.  We recommend further reading from the California Air Resources Board: Click Here.
  6. What is a moisture-cured urethane?
    A moisture cured urethane is an adhesive that cures (dries) when it is exposed to moisture. This is why adhesives usually come with a tack time and a cure time in relation to temperature and humidity. The same pail opened in Florida may dry in 2 hours where it may take 6 hours to dry in Colorado. This can be a nice bit of information to help your installer put the flooring in correctly. If they start putting boards in too early it may be messy or if too late it may have dried already. 
  7. Where does bamboo flooring come from?
    All bamboo flooring is made in China (like 90% of other materials in our homes).  In fact, the great majority of wood flooring, regardless of where it is sourced (Brazil, Russia, Canada, etc), is shipped over to China for milling and finishing, and then shipped back to the U.S.  Specifically, our raw materials originate close to our factory group,in the Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, the traditional hometown of bamboo.
  8. What species is your bamboo?
    Phyllostachys Pubescens aka Phyllostachys  Edulis (Moso/Mao/Hairy bamboo).  Do not worry, this species is not eaten by pandas!
  9. Do you sell flooring, adhesives or underlayment with a sound barrier?
    Yes, we sell multiple products that provide sound insulation for homes and businesses.  Many condominiums have sound insulation requirements for flooring.  There are two sound tests that are the industry standard for sound insulation: IIC and STC.  We have ratings as high as 80 STC and 82 IIC for underlayments and as high as STC 70 and IIC 66 for adhesives. The biggest benefit to using our high STC/IIC underlayments and glues is that you do not need to buy cork or other sound proofing and then pay someone additional to install it. Just float the flooring over the underlayment or glue the floor down using the right adhesive and bada-bing-bada-boom, it is sound proof.

    There are many different underlayment options on the market. In order to choose the right underlayment for your installation, you have to ask yourself two main questions: Do I need moisture protection, and how much am I willing to pay for sound absorption. When installing bamboo or wood flooring over concrete or over a crawl space, an underlayment with a moisture barrier (usually a thin layer of plastic or foil) is a must-have. This protects your wood floor from moisture rising up and damaging your floor from beneath. These are called 3 in 1 underlayments. You may ask, what are the 3 features of a 3 in 1 underlayment?

    1) Moisture/vapor barrier layer
    2) Sound absorption
    3) Cushioning pad to make up for imperfections in the sub-floor

    Note however that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin wood flooring installation. The second question having to do with how much sound absorption you want is pretty simple - all underlayments have STC and IIC ratings that tell you how much sound they block. The lower the rating, the higher the echo or knocking sound when you walk on the floor. If you install an underlayment with a 70+ STC and IIC rating, you will not hear barely any echo or hollow sound. When you use an underlayment with a lower sound rating the knocking sound is more evident. As you may have guessed, underlayments with higher STC and IIC ratings are more expensive due to the quality of the foam or other material used in their construction.

  10. I had a water leak in my home and it ruined my floor. Can I just order more of the same color?
    Maybe.  Keep in mind that wood flooring is a natural product and so there may be differences in shade and color between different lots.  We recommend that you send us a small 6 inch sample of your current floor – this way our warehouse manager can check our existing lots to ensure we have something that matches first, so that you do not end up with a big shade patch in your floor.
  11. Do you have random length floors?
    All of our boxes are composed of single length planks.  However, we do sell 3 foot lengths and 6 foot lengths (separately) in some colors, and you may be able to mix them together if the tongue and grooves match up.  Call your Ambient representative if you are interested in doing this.
  12. Can bamboo flooring be refinished? Will I ever *have* to refinish it?
    The great thing about strand bamboo and eucalyptus floors is that it is highly unlikely you will ever need to refinish them at all, because the floor will not be dented up and the finish will not be peeling off after 10-15 years like many wood floors. 

    That being said, should you ever choose to change your floor color or refinish your bamboo flooring, no problem - we've got step by step instructions for you right on our How To Refinish Bamboo Flooring
    page.
  13. How do your floors react to water? What about in kitchens, baths or restaurants?
    Our floors are installed in restaurants, spas and other high traffic and locations around the world.  Small water droplets that land on the floors will evaporate, however if you leave a puddle on any wood floor for more than 20 hours it will most likely mark the finish, and the wood may swell and stay that way.  Bamboo holds up a bit better than eucalyptus as it retains it's shape better after water absorption.  Hardwood floor warranties (including ours) do not cover damage from water, so if the planks are warped and don't retain their shape you'll need to cut them out and replace them.  Due to their hardness, bamboo and eucalyptus floors are great for kitchens as long as you avoid puddles and protect them with a normal level of care.  
  14. Can I use your floors in my bathroom?
    We do not warrant our floors for use in full bathrooms because water may spill outside the tub, however many of our clients use them in full baths any ways, they just ensure to use rugs at the entrance to showers and make sure not to leave puddles.  Conversely, our floors are warranted in half baths/powder rooms.
  15. Do you sell laminate floors?
    No.  Laminate floors are comprised of synthetic material, and while they can resemble wood floors at times, they do not have the beautiful natural variation that real bamboo solid and engineered floors have.  We sell solid tongue and groove bamboo and eucalyptus floors, and engineered bamboo and eucalyptus floors.  Our engineered floors have a very thick wear layer of actual bamboo or eucalyptus wood.
  16. What are the differences between bamboo/eucalyptus and other flooring types?
    Read below for a general guide:

    Bamboo vs Eucalyptus.  Our strand woven bamboo and strand woven eucalyptus floors are exactly alike when it comes to durability, installation and maintenance, but different in a few other ways.    Here are the 2 main differences:

         1) Most of our bamboo flooring options come in 6 ft and 3 ft lengths, whereas our eucalyptus floors come in 4 ft lengths (as well as eucalyptus moldings).  They are both available in wide plank.
     
         2) Aesthetically, eucalyptus has round knots in the grain, which bamboo does not (bamboo has nodes).

         3) Bamboo reacts slightly better to water spills than eucalyptus if the spill is left on the floor for more than 10 hours, as it retains it's shape better once it dries out.

    Bamboo vs Laminate
    .  Bamboo floors are comprised of real bamboo wood, whereas laminates are made from synthetic plastic materials.  Laminate is often more affordable and in some cases easier to clean but will often curl at the edges of the planks if affected by moisture or water.  Real bamboo floors have natural variation and warmth that is hard to replicate in synthetic materials.  

    Bamboo vs Tile.  Tile is much easier to clean (you can use abrasive cleaners) on a day to day basis, but grout upkeep can add an unwanted maintenance dimension.  Tile may also chip when heavy and sharp items are dropped on it.  Tile is more economical but does not have the warm feeling underfoot and is often cold to the touch on your feet.

    Bamboo vs Cork.  Cork is also a great, sustainable flooring option and has a nice soft feel on the feet.  It is also very easy to clean and responds well to water.  One drawback is that the surface layer on cork can be damaged much easier than bamboo and does not wear as well over time.

    Bamboo vs Hardwoods.  Bamboo is installed and maintained much like other hardwoods.  Bamboo is much more eco-friendly than most hardwoods as it regenerates in just 5 years compared to 40-100 years for some hardwoods.  Bamboo flooring costs are also usually much more affordable than hardwood floors, since it grows so much faster.  Bamboo flooring is head and shoulders above hardwood floors in terms of hardness, and it rarely if ever needs to be refinished.
     
    Bamboo vs Carpet.  Up front costs for carpet can be much lower than bamboo and hardwood flooring, and it is soft underfoot.  However due to its tendency to trap allergens, dust mites, smells, and stains, it requires more cleaning and replacement at shorter intervals over time, which actually makes it more expensive in the long run.

    Bamboo vs Stone or Concrete.  Stone is a very durable floor that can be very beautiful, but it is cold and hard underfoot.  Natural varieties have nice natural variation like bamboo hardwood floors.  

  17. What kind of finish do you use?
    UV-cured urethane: Our Accuseal Finish system is a uv-cured acrylic urethane finish with aluminum oxide added in for additional durability; it is a proprietary process that endures scratches and abrasion better than any other bamboo floor on the market.  These floors can last for decades without wearing through and needing to be being refinished (loss of luster may occur as with all floors in very high traffic areas and does not qualify as wear through).

    Hard Wax Oil: For our hard wax oil floors we use Timberex Hard Wax Oil, an environmentally friendly and fast drying oil for floors.  This oil greatly enhances colors and grain and allows wood to age naturally into rich varying tones.  It's made from hast furing natural plant oils and wax and comes in a matte finish.  Hardwax oil floors have different maintenance requirements than polyurethane and must be cared for more often.
  18. Do you sell high gloss or unfinished bamboo flooring?
    All of the floors we currently stock come with our proprietary matte finish (all are pre-finished).  This is true of both our hardwax oil floors as well as those with our long lasting Accuseal Finish.  We can manufacture all types of bamboo floors for you including high gloss, custom stains, and unfinished bamboo floors, but there is typically a minimum order quantity of 5,000 square feet and a 90-120 day lead time.
  19. What is the difference between natural, carbonized and stained?
    These all have to do with the color of bamboo flooring, and carbonized bamboo flooring also relates to the manufacturing process.  The term natural refers to the natural color of bamboo - this is the true color of bamboo raw material. Natural bamboo that is heated in kilns becomes "carbonized" or "caramelized", because the sugars inside the bamboo heat up and turn a nice rich brown color. So when natural bamboo has been heated up/baked turns into the carbonized color. Natural and carbonized bamboo are the only colors that go all the way through the plank. When a bamboo floor is stained (not natural or carbonized), the stain is applied to the top layer just like any other wood floor (for example, oak comes in natural and gunstock - gunstock is a stain). Since strand woven bamboo floors rarely need to be refinished, this usually isn't a big deal, however if you refinish any floor having a stain you will lose the stain color. The material underneath a stained bamboo floor may be either carbonized or natural depending on what product was used to hold the stain.
  20. What is the difference between Ambient classic and strand woven bamboo flooring?
    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.

    HORIZONTAL "Classic" Bamboo (natural color)


    VERTICAL "Classic" Bamboo (natural color)

    Solid Natural Vertical Bamboo Floor
    Installation: Nail Down or Glue Down



    Ambient strand woven bamboo flooring looks more like traditional hardwood flooring, but it is extremely hard -- in fact it's almost 3 times harder than oak flooring. Strand woven floors are 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. So you get the strength and eco-friendly aspects of bamboo with a hardwood look.

    STRAND WOVEN Bamboo (carbonized color)


    Solid Tongue And Groove Bamboo Floor





  21. What's the difference between a horizontal and vertical grain in classic bamboo flooring?
    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.
  22. How much does installation cost for bamboo flooring?
    Bamboo flooring is installed in the same manner as hardwood flooring and installation costs in the US can range anywhere from $2-$8 per square foot depending on the installation.  Small square footage amounts will result in a higher per square foot installation cost.  Other variables that can affect the price: moving of furniture, removal of existing flooring, leveling of sub-floors, installation of moldings, and inside delivery charges, to name a few.  Some installers will try to sell you on different floors as well since they mark up their own flooring products.
  23. Can I use a rolling office chair on my floors?
    Rolling office chairs tend to collect grime, dirt and small rocks under the wheels, which eventually will damage the finish of any wood floor including ours.  You always want to use a chair mat under rolling office chairs.  It is also advised that you use felt pads under furniture and chairs to avoid damaging the finish.
  24. I see a lot of good reviews online about bamboo flooring, but I also see some bad reviews about shrinkage and scratching. What gives?


    Like any other product, quality can vary from brand to brand.  Always follow the cardinal rule when buying durable goods: do your homework.  This is the best protection you have against buying faulty or low quality products.  You should always search on the brand names you are considering, and complaints or reviews.   

    Bamboo Floor Shrinkage
    In relation to bamboo flooring shrinkage (shrinking planks pulling off walls and planks separating away from each other), there are several culprits that can cause this problem.  This is an issue that happens not only with bamboo flooring but also affects wood flooring in general.

    Improper Humidity Settings In The Home. The NOFMA/NWFA recommends that wood flooring be installed in an environment with a relative humidity between 35%-55%.  Shrinkage may occur when homeowner allows the interior humidity levels to drop below 35%.  Low humidity levels lead to small gaps between the planks if the floor is glued or nailed down, however with solid floating floors it can lead to much more serious problems.  Solid click lock floating floors often pull apart when humidity levels drop (more on this below).  Proper care must be take to use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain appropriate indoor humidity levels. 

    Improper Acclimation. Most wood floors need to be acclimated so that the humidity levels inside the wood reach equilibrium with their ambient environment.  Not acclimating wood, or not acclimating wood for long enough, can result in expansion and contraction after installation.

    Lack Of Quality Control.
    Improper (or non-existent) moisture-balancing during the manufacturing process results in a "wet" floor containing high humidity.  A floor with high moisture content will continue to "acclimate" even after the recommended acclimation period, resulting in shrinking planks that gap and pull apart.

    Understanding The Limitations of Floating Solid Wood/Bamboo Floors. 
    Remember, all wood floors expand and contract during seasonal cycles, but solid wood floors expand and contract 2x-3x more than engineered wood floors due to their lower dimensional stabillity.  With solid tongue and groove floors that are nailed or glued down, the floor doesn't expand and contract as one element, so there are no issues.  Conversely, since a floating floor is not secured to the sub-floor, the cumulative effect of the expansion/contraction of each individual plank radiates out to the perimeter of the floor installation, because the entire floor expands and contracts as one element.  Therefore the more a floating floor expands and contracts, the greater the effects of this expansion on the perimeters.

    In some cases, when the interior humidity drops below 35%, solid click lock floors may experience shrinkage causing the planks to pull away from exterior walls and separate in the middle of rooms. 
    To repair this you must pull up the entire floor and re-lay it with additional planks which can be time-consuming and costly.  It is recommended that you keep a close eye on your home's interior humidity if you choose to install a solid (all-the-way-through) bamboo floating floor. 

    Exceptions to the rule: if you live in a climate that has stable humidity year-around like Southern California, or your home has a built-in humidity control system and will keep your interior humidity within 15% year-around, the maximum run limitations outlined here may not apply to you.  However if you live in a climate region that experiences seasons and swings in humidity, pay close attention to the maximum run recommendations below.


    SOLID CLICK-LOCK BAMBOO (floating floor)


    PROS
    • Solid wood
    • Can be refinished up to 5 times
    • Easy installation

    CONS

    • Average dimensional stability rating
    • Increased shrinkage effect when humidity levels decrease by 15-20%
    • Maximum recommended runs in geographic areas with humidity swings (seasons): 15 ft across widths (tangentially) and 25 ft lengthwise (longitudinally)


    ENGINEERED CLICK-LOCK BAMBOO (floating floor)


    PROS
    • High dimensional stability
    • Can be refinished up to 2 times
    • Easy installation

    CONS

    • Maximum recommended runs in geographic areas with humidity swings (seasons):  25 ft across widths (tangentially) and 45 ft lengthwise (longitudinally)


    SOLID TONGUE AND GROOVE BAMBOO (nailed or glued down)


    PROS
    • Solid wood
    • Can be refinished up to 5 times
    • No limits on continuous runs when nailed down or glued down
    • Can be floated using tongue and groove glue if the runs are 15 ft or less tangentially and 25 ft or less longitudinally.



    How To Avoid Shrinkage Problems On Floating Floors. 


    1) Limit your runs as prescribed above.  Use t-moldings at breakpoints and at doorways, etc.

    2) Install humidity control in your central HVAC system so that your humidity levels never vary more than 15%-20%.


    If you follow these rules and purchase a brand known for good quality, you will experience no shrinkage issues. 
    If you buy a solid (all the way through) strand woven click lock (floating) bamboo floor, and you live in an area with seasonal changes in humidity levels, be prepared to carefully monitor your interior humidity settings. 


    Bamboo Floor Scratching
    There are two basic types of scratching that homeowners complain about: scratching on old (horizontal or vertical) bamboo floors (what we call classic bamboo flooring), and small white scratches on the surface of strand woven bamboo flooring.  If you purchase a floor that has the word Vertical, Horizontal, Edge Grain, or Flat Grain in the name, you are purchasing a floor that is about 1/3rd the hardness of strand bamboo flooring, and mid-rage in terms of hardness for wood floors.  If scratched with something sharp, these floors will show a white mark on the surface, and you may also dent the wood which will stay there for the life of the floor.  This is true of most hardwood floors. 

    Conversely, with strand woven bamboo floors, a very sharp scratch may leave a small white micro scratch on the surface, but typically it will not leave a groove in the flooring itself due to the density and hardness of strand woven bamboo/eucalyptus.  Believe it or not, these micro scratches will actually buff out over time under normal foot traffic.  To see this for yourself, scratch one of your samples, then put it on the floor and apply weight to it with the toe of your shoe, then swivel your foot a little while - you'll see the scratch buff out before your eyes. 

    Another quick fix for these scratches is to dab the scratch with a bit of mineral oil, which minimizes it.  Most strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus floors, and some wood floors, are coated with aluminum oxide polyurethane finishes - and these are very expensive coatings - the reason being that they have a very long life and will most likely never need to be refinished.

  25. Will my bamboo floors fade from sunlight exposure?
    Even though all of our floors have several UV protection layers added to our Accuseal Finish System, most wood floors will fade slightly over time if exposed to constant and direct sunlight on a daily basis.  There is no object on earth that will escape the effects of constant and direct sunlight.   Do not fear, as you can protect your floors, furniture, and other household items from the rays of the sun by using window films and drapes that filter UV light.  A quick web search will turn up a myriad of products that will help preserve your interior furnishings from sun rays.

    If you live in the US and you have any flooring (bamboo or other) that is facing in a southerly direction and in direct sunlight, we recommend that you install the UV films on your windows, or consistently move furniture and rugs around as to avoid resulting shade differences in your floor and/or furniture.  
  26. Do you have Floorscore certification?
    Yes, Ambient is proud to be FloorScore® certified.  FloorScore® is a voluntary certification program whereby floors must meet the most stringent indoor air emissions standards in the world to gain certification.   You can find Ambient's full test results and other technical information on our ultra-low VOC bamboo flooring information page or learn more about the Floorscore® program here.
  27. How many LEED credits do your floors contribute?
    All of our floors contribute to LEED credit MR6 6.1, which rewards building materials derived from rapidly renewable materials (1 pt), and some of our floors contribute to LEED IEQ 4.1 Low-emitting Materials for composite wood and LEED IEQ 4.1 Low-emitting Materials for adhesives and sealants formaldehyde (1 pt)
  28. What types of resins do you use in your products?
    For all of our strand woven tongue and groove floors we incorporate trace amounts of phenolic resins as a binding agent.  For our engineered floors we use Dynea resins, a well-respected European brand.  All of our floors meet the CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard, which is the strictest in the world.
  29. What type of sides/edges do your floors have?
    All of our floors have micro-beveled edges.  The reason for this is because square edges can splinter up or chip off when kicked under normal foot traffic.
  30. What is dimensional stability?
    The ability of a substance or part to retain its shape when subjected to varying degrees of temperature, moisture, pressure, or other stress.  Engineered floors are typically around 3 times more dimensionally stable than solid floors (they expand and contract at 1/3rd the rate of solid floors).  This mostly comes into play with floating vs nail/glue down.  If you are floating a solid bamboo floor you must have very strict humidity controls inside your home or it may pull apart and out from under walls (even if it is click lock).  Remember that to float a solid bamboo floor you must keep your successive flooring "runs" to less than 15 feet tangentially (across the widths of the planks) and 25 feet longitudinally (down the lengths of the planks.)
  31. Have your floors been used in any large commercial installations?
    Our floors have been used in dorms and student unions across universities all over the country including Washington University (St. Louis), University of Maryland, Radford University, and others.  Our floors have also been used by the Elevation Burger restaurant chain since 2006 in all of their locations, including all of their franchises in the Middle East.  Scores of custom home builders and large residential condo projects with common areas have used our floors.  Hundreds of restaurants, spas, bank branches, yoga centers, and other commercial locations have also used our floors. 

    Since we were one of the first companies to sell strand bamboo flooring, we have a long track record and an unparalleled reputation for quality, which means that architects specify our floors on all types of projects around the world, including One&Only Resorts, national park projects such as Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida, and many others.  Our products have also been featured in multiple television shows such as Renovation Nation, Rescue Renovation, and other HGTV and Discovery Channel shows.
  32. I have tons of bamboo growing in my garden, can I sell or give it to you?
    It grows fast, does it not?  Unfortunately some of the species of bamboo that have been planted in the U.S. are of the variety that have deep underground runners, and it is therefore very hard to control.   While we would love to recycle that wood and make something new from it, unfortunately our manufacturing facilities are overseas, which means we would have to ship it across the water.  This would negate any benefit derived from taking that bamboo off your hands.  We recommend that you try to do something creative with it, like making picture frames, furniture, and other cool uses like making a bamboo bike!
  33. Can I use your floors in my basement (below grade)?
    All of our floors are warranted for use in basements, however our tongue and groove floors must be glued down in order to keep the warranty valid.  The interior humidity settings must be maintained between 40%-60% just like on any other level in the home.
  34. Can I get a discount for a really large order?
    Any order over 3,000 square feet gets sent to our discount department for further consideration, and we can usually call you back quickly with custom pricing.
  35. What are the lengths of your moldings & transition pieces?
    The following moldings come in 6 foot lengths for bamboo and in 4 foot lengths for eucalyptus:  T Molding, Stair Nose, Quarter Round, Thresholds, Baseboards and Reducers.  Our stair treads come in 4 ft lengths and we also carry some 6 footers in certain colors.  The register vents vary in size but the most common is 4x10 or 4x12 even though we do have longer ones.
  36. How is your bamboo harvested?
    All of our bamboo comes from FSC Certified forests.  We pay fair prices for our bamboo which is harvested by local farmers in the provinces where our factories are.  The farmers harvest the wood by machine and by hand with some methods dating back centuries.  We ensure to only harvest culms aged 5-7 years, and take our stock from the middle of the culm.
  37. How many years of maturity does your bamboo have?
    All of our bamboo is harvested between the ages of 5-7 years which is the optimum age for use in flooring applications.
  38. What certifications do your factories have?
    All of our factory partners are ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified.
  39. Do you cut down bamboo that the pandas need/eat?
    No.  We use only Moso bamboo, and pandas do not eat this bamboo species.  Furthermore, we use bamboo from the Zhejiang province, an area that pandas do not inhabit.
  40. Does it not hurt the environment to ship bamboo flooring from China to the U.S. Is it not more eco-friendly to source wood products that may take longer to regenerate but do not use up so much energy in transport?
    If you live on the West Coast and buy an Oak or Maple floor (which comes from the East), there is more embodied energy in that product than a bamboo floor made near the coast in China and shipped over the water.   Ocean freight is simply that much more efficient.  And this does not even take into account the fact that the tree cut on the East Coast will take 50 years to grow back and the bamboo tree cut in China will take 5 years to grow back. 

    One interesting tidbit that people don't know is that a large chunk of wood flooring (apart from bamboo) harvested in Canada, Russia, Brazil, etc, gets shipped over to China first for milling and finishing, and then gets shipped back over to the US, which in effect doubles the transportation distance and CO2 emissions.
  41. How will bamboo and eucalyptus floors stand up to my pets and/or kids? Is it safe for them?

    Our Floors Are Extremely Durable. 
    Strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus floors are the hardest wood floors on the market and are used not only in residential locations but also commercial locations around the world.  Our strand woven bamboo flooring can take a lot more punishment from denting and liquids than most other floors. We have many past clients with dogs, pets and active lifestyles that rave about the durability of our floors.  Order a sample today and hit it with a hammer, dunk it in water, and scratch it up, you'll see just how tough the finish and wood is for yourself.

    Our Floors Are Safe For Your Family.  Every flooring, molding, accessory and maintenance product we sell is safe for you and your family. All of our floors are tested annually and randomly by a third party independent U.S. laboratory and have never tested with formaldehyde levels in excess of 0.03 ppm - which is way 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 visit our bamboo flooring formaldehyde emissions page where we post our testing results each year. The bottom line is that yes, our floors are 100% safe for you and your family!

  42. What are the Janka hardness levels of Ambient Bamboo Floors?
    Janka hardness is a way to measure the strength and durability of various hardwood flooring species.  We have a great write-up about bamboo and Janka testing on our site if you want to delve further into this matter.  Most of our bamboo and eucalyptus floors range between 4,000-5,000 on the Janka scale.  Depending on the time of the year the raw materials are harvested and the location on the plank where the lot was tested, different lots may have higher or lower Janka ratings than advertised; this is true across all brands.  Additionally, extremely high density can sometimes cause finish problems down the line as they are less permeable and thus don't hold finish well. Our Accuseal finish system has optimized flooring density and finish bond to provide the best finish on bamboo flooring.

  43. I have a bambooo or wood floor that has cupped, buckled, or shrank, what is causing this?
    Cupping is most commonly caused by moisture hitting the bottom of the wood floor from the sub-floor.  Read this document about cupping, crowing and buckling in wood floors

    Shrinkage is common in SOLID (all-the-way-through) wood or bamboo flooring installations that are floated, where the humidity levels inside the home have dropped below 30%, and can also plague any brand that does not moisture balance their flooring properly.

    Buckling is most commonly caused by allowing the humidity levels in the air exceed 65% and is a result of the floor expanding and pinning against the exterior walls.  Read the aforementioned articles which includes a discussion about buckling.
  44. How do I maintain my hardwax oil floor?
    To care for your hardwax oil floor you must follow the MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS. You must use the professional Timberex Maintenance Kit, you can buy the kit and accessories such as maintenance oil and special cleaners securely on the internet. The products supplied in this kit will keep your floor looking like new and instructions for the use of these professional maintenance products will be found in the kit.  You may have to re-oil the floor every year or two to keep it looking like new. 
  45. I need spline for my bamboo floors, where can I get it?
     
    WHAT IS SPLINE?  During the installation of tongue and groove hardwood and bamboo flooring, often times it's necessary to reverse the direction of the floor.  In order to due this many installer use what's called "spline" to join the groove sides of two planks together so that they hold firmly in place.


    WHERE DO I GET SPLINE?  We don't sell bamboo spline, but don't worry as there are a few simple workarounds.  The most common method is for the installer to cut/router their own spline on the spot using one of the excess waste flooring planks, on a table saw.  Another common method is to use a 3/4" hardwood spline and adjust it down using a palm sander for a proper fit. 


    HOW TO INSTALL SPLINE

    1) Install a temporary "placeholder row" of sacrificial planks (you will pull these up later) following a straight chalk line (to keep subsequent rows straight).  It's best to use planks that have imperfections on top, however the edges should be mostly square.  This row will serve as the "brace" against which the subsequent rows will butt up against.

    2) Install 3-5 rows of flooring planks in the same direction.

    3) Carefully remove the first "placeholder row" of sacrificial planks using a pry bar.  Now you can glue in the spline, allow it to set, and then you're ready to start laying flooring in the other direction.  For a tighter fit, glue and nail the spline.  Titebond T&G glue works great.

  46. Do you sell matching stair railings, spindles and balustrades/newell posts?
    We do not manufacture stair parts other than treads and risers because they are difficult to keep stable.  Below are a few common methods installers use to match up your existing wood stair railings and stair parts to match your new bamboo or eucalyptus flooring.

    1) Choose railings made from a different species of wood that match your floor color, or are a complementary color.

    2) Sand down and stain your existing wood railings to match.

    3) Paint your railings white, black or any other complementary color that suits your interior design.  White railing are the most common as they match up with white baseboard, quarter round and crown moldings.

  47. What types of moldings do I need to order and what are they used for?

    Most of our bamboo moldings come in 6 foot lengths unless otherwise noted below, and most of our eucalyptus moldings come in 4 foot lengths.  Please remember that moldings are sometimes difficult to match up to the floor exactly color-wise, as moldings are manufactured in large volume batches and must serve for multiple different lots of flooring (true for all wood floor manufacturers).  This batch manufacturing is what allows us to keep the moldings costs affordable.

    T-Molding: This is used to transition between two floors of equal height or within 1/8 inch in height of each other.

    Threshold: This is used to transition between two floors of unequal heights.  The bottom of this molding is commonly cut (ripped) as needed depending on the height of the lower floor.  Also commonly used at exterior doorways and sliding glass doors.

    Reducer: This is used to transition down to the ground.

    Quarter Round: Some installers call this shoe molding and although they serve the same purpose and are usually interchangeable they are slightly different dimensions-wise.  This molding goes all the way around the installation and is often paired with baseboard but not always.  It's used to cover up the expansion gap left around the perimeter of the installation.

    Baseboard: This is used to cover the expansion gap all around the edges of the installation and is sometimes used with quarter round for a finished look.

    Stair Tread: This is typically one entire piece to cover the stair step, we sell most of them in 48" lengths and some in 72" lengths.  Many of our treads come with two rounded sides and rounded front, so that they can be used on open stair cases.

    Stair Riser: This is the vertical piece on the stair case in between each tread and they're usually 48 inches in length but we also carry some 72 inch versions.  We stock them for our most popular colors, and we also sell the white stained poplar risers which are very popular and usually more affordable than the matching wood risers.

    Register Vent/Dampener Covers: We have mostly flush mount register vents with a removeable inner grill, but we also carry drop in vents in some colors.  We carry the most common vent dimensions of 4x10 and 4x12 but also some 4x20 versions in popular colors.
     

  48. Does your flooring come prefinished or unfinished?
    We stock only prefinished bamboo flooring (and eucalyptus).  We do offer our natural and carbonized floors in an unfinished version however there is a 90 day lead time on these products.


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