Quality matters, especially with bamboo. What really sets Ambient apart from other brands is our water-tight quality control process, which happens before, during, and after we manufacture our products. A quick web search about complaints and reviews will show you that our quality is unparalleled in the industry. In over a decade of business we've never received a single complaint on our Better Business Bureau account (for bamboo flooring brands this is unequaled). If you want to see some more reasons, check out our Why Ambient page.
The environment matters. Our floor materials are all sourced from well-managed forests. All of our floors are Lacey Act compliant, which ensures they're legally sourced with minimal damage to the environment. All of our adhesives are zero VOC and our floor finishes are all ultra-low or zero VOC as well.
Low prices for high quality. Since we're the only bamboo flooring brand that doesn't sell through distributors or resellers, you truly get the lowest prices on the highest quality floors.
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.
All of our products are safe for you and your family. If you're looking for safe, ultra-low emission floors, look no further. We've proudly achieved Floorscore certification, and our annual test results show that Ambient floors emit "effectively zero" formaldehyde emissions. We take the health of our customers very seriously, as if it were our own – that is why many of our employees and their families have our floors in their homes.
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 specialize only in strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus floors. 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.
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 ease of installation and higher dimensional stability.
Ambient's floors are 100% safe for you and your family. In fact we're one of the few companies that test all products annually to ensure they fall within the CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard, which is the most strict in the world, and we've also achieved Floorscore Certification. The CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard requires less than .05ppm off gassing, and all of our floors consistently test at under .015ppm which is considerered “Below the Limit of Qualification” or “effectively zero”. We highly recommend you check out our safety information and testing page. As you might know, formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance that even our bodies generate, so no substance on earth is truly "formaldehyde free", but Ambient solid strand woven floors are NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde).
More info about 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.
More info about CARB Phase II. We recommend further reading from the California Air Resources Board: Click Here: https://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/consumer_faq.pdf
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 adhesives 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 sound reduction adhesive and you can substantially reduce sound transmission between levels in your home as well as muffling sounds from footsteps.
By using our high STC/IIC underlayments and glues is that you don’t 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, you’ve got a sound retarder!
FLOATING FLOORS. In order to choose the right underlayment you have to ask yourself two questions: Do I need moisture protection, and how much am I willing to pay for sound reduction. When installing 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.
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
Remember that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin installation, as the underlayment only accounts for minor sub-floor imperfections. The second question having to do with how much sound reduction 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. An underlayment with a 70+ STC and IIC rating will muffle noise much better than an underlayment with a 50 STC rating. As you may have guessed, underlayments with higher STC and IIC ratings are more expensive due to the quality of the materials or thickness of their construction.
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 years like many wood floors. That being said, all of our strand woven solid bamboo floors can be refinished 2-4 times and all of our engineered floors can be refinished up to 2 times. The wear layer on our engineered bamboo flooring is not a thin veneer like other brands – it’s a thick wear layer that can be refinished.
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.
Refinishing bamboo flooring is a bit more time consuming than hardwood flooring, due to its density and the toughness of our finish, however it can definitely be done. The finish on our flooring can be sanded down/off, and then a clear coat (polyurethane) finish can be applied, on site. Pleae note that strand bamboo flooring cannot be stained before the clear coat is applied. So our floors can be refinished with a clear coat, but they cannot be stained a different color. The density of the strand material prevents it from absorbing color stains that are applied onsite - the flooring will only absorb the stain in a controlled finish line environment. Therefore yes, our floors can be refinished and a clear coat polyurethane can be applied but the final color of the refinished floor will be the color of the base material (natural or carbonized).
In general, bamboo and hardwood floors are much less toxic than almost all other flooring products. Read below for more differences.
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 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 flooring shows the round knots in the grain, while bamboo shows the nodes from the bamboo culm.
3) When submerged in water bamboo reacts slightly better than eucalyptus. I.e. if a spill is left on the floor for more than 20 hours, bamboo often regains it's shape once it dries out, while eucalyptus (and most other hardwoods) do not.
4) Durability-wise, both strand bamboo and eucalyptus have Janka hardness ratings that far exceed other hardwoods, so they both stand up very well in heavy traffic.
5) Both strand bamboo and eucalyptus will hardly (if ever) need to be refinished in a residential setting, however they can both be refinished if needed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bamboo flooring is installed in the same manner as hardwood flooring and installation costs in the US can range anywhere from $2-$6 per square foot depending on the installation. Small square footage amounts will result in a higher per square foot installation cost.
Installers will modify their pricing based on a variety of factors such as: moving of furniture, removal of existing flooring, leveling of subfloor, installation moldings required, inside delivery charges, to name a few. Some installers (mainly from flooring stores) will try to convince you to buy their floor brands so that they can make money off the products as well as the installation. Any carpenter, handyman or homeowner can install our floors, we just recommend you follow our handy-dandy bamboo flooring installation guide.
Buy a High Quality Brand, Problem Solved. Like any other product, quality can vary immensely from brand to brand. Always follow the cardinal rule when buying durable goods: do your homework! Make sure to check review sites like Yelp, Reseller Ratings, Ripoff Report and the Better Business Bureau - 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. A large majority of the problems can also be attributed to common installation errors, but as long as your installer reads the installation instructions that won't be a problem.
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, and it's a problem that plagues low-quality brands and also low-quality installers.Bamboo Floor Scratching. There are two basic types of scratching that you see complaints about. The first type is scratching on old bamboo floors (what we call "classic" bamboo - horizontal and vertical), 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-range in terms of hardness for wood floors. If scratched with something sharp, these floors will show a white mark on the surface and it may also dent the wood which will stay there for the life of the floor. This happens on almost all hardwood floors.
The second type is scratching on strand woven bamboo floors. On these 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. This is what separates strand woven flooring from it's traditional hardwood counterparts. Also, 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 them. 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.
For the most up-to-date information we highly recommend you visit our Bamboo Flooring and LEED Credits page. But in general, 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)
All of our engineered floors are warranted for use in basements, you simply have to put down a 3 in 1 underlayment before installing the flooring. Remember that you'll want to acclimate the floors in the same room in which they're going to be installed at least 72 hours prior to installation, and be careful not to acclimate them directly on concrete or over crawl spaces as they will absorb moisture, which will cause problems. Instead, ensure to lay down an 8mm thick plastic sheet or 3 in 1 underlayment for the boxes to sit on during acclimation, and you'll want the apron of the sheet to extend about 1 foot away from the boxes themselves for added protection. The interior humidity settings of the basement must be maintained between 40%-60% just like on any other level in the home.
Large pets and active children are just a few of the reasons why families purchase our strand woven floors. Our floors resist scratching from pet claws extremely well! 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.
Please note however that no floors are impervious to pet urine – even concrete will be stained by pet accidents! That being said 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.
The main reason the hardness shows up differently between engineered and solid versions is because the engineered floor has an hdf or multi ply core that compresses more easily under the weight of the Janka ball testing machine. In fact, the wear layer of the engineered floor is comprised of the same strand woven wood material that is in the solid tongue and groove version (which shows the higher hardness rating).
In actuality, since the engineered floors have a bit of “give” or “bounce” in them due to their softer core, when something falls on them they’re actually somewhat more dent resistant than the solid versions when something is dropped on them.
Please remember that photographs on our website are taken from a variety of devices and under many different lighting conditions, and are viewed on a wide range of computer monitors and contrast settings, thus we do not guarantee that any floor will match the photographs on the website. If you order your flooring sight unseen (without receiving samples first), Ambient is not responsible for light or shading varation or differences and thus not responsible for return shipping costs (which can be expensive and can vary greatly depending on where you live and the size of your order).
All of our samples have a lot number on the back of them, so simply mention this lot number at the time of purchase, and we will ship you the same boxes that your sample was cut from. If you receive the order from the exact lot number you requested and you decide that you don’t want it, you will be responsible for return shipping charges.
Absolutely not - they're designed like this on purpose and this design will not result in "loose planks" once installed. Especially on longer flooring planks there has to be some room for play simply to be able to click the planks together - it's done for ease of installation. In fact one main complaint from installers about low quality brands is that their click design system is too tight and they have a lot of difficulty even getting the planks to click together. Here at Ambient we're known for excellent overall quality and this extends to our milling machinery – in fact, installers comment all the time on how well-milled our planks are and how little waste they get when they install our floors.
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 Nose: Also known as bull nosing, this piece is used to transition down to a lower level such as a landing, and at the top of a staircase.
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.
Cove Molding: These pieces are glue up under stair treads and noses to give a more finished look, where the nosing/tread meets the vertical wall or riser. Most treads and noses aren’t finished underneath, so when you look up at them from below they’ll look nicer if you add a cove molding.
Spline: Bamboo spline helps transition when you change direction in your flooring planks. It allows you to place two planks (tongue sides) together and continue your flooring installation.
The IIC and STC ratings represent how much sound blockage there is. For example a rating of 70 is a measurement of the total sound blockage for the whole system (floor + glue) when installed on a 6" suspended slab with a ceiling system beneath. The Delta IIC is the difference in sound AFTER the barrier is put in. I.e. the Delta IIC reflects the change in impact insulation as a result of the floor and glue system. A Delta IIC of 20 is very good.
If you'd like to know more we recommend reading this page: http://isostore.com/comparing-sound-ratings/
Our bamboo floors have been installed in residential and commercial locations around the world since 2005. Here are just a few:
• Dry Tortugas National Park in south Florida (installed in 2013)
• University of Maryland new dorms and their student union and student union restaurant (installed in 2010)
• UnderArmour headquarters in Baltimore, MD
• Every Elevation Burger restaurant location from 2006-2014 (approximately 40 locations) around the world including Bahrain, Kuwait, etc.
• Washington University in St. Louis (2011)
• Radford University Economics Building (2010)
Countless restaurants, spas, commercial and residential installations around the U.S. and the world including France, Bahrain, Tanzania, Guam, Kuwait, Mexico, and many more!
Many things, including the age at which it is harvested, the species, the part of the stalk (the middle) that is use, and the fact that we inspect all raw materials for irregularities before milling. Also, most problems with low quality bamboo have to do with shrinkage, warping and cupping over time due to inadequate moisture balance control.
Our moisture balancing process is strictly controlled and our floors all have stable moisture content, ready for use anywhere in the United States. Most other bamboo flooring brands do not moisture balance their floors properly and this is why you see many complaints about them.
Since we may have multiple lots on hand and shading can vary widely between lots, your best bet is to mail us a 5 inch piece of your floor, and our warehouse manager will take it into the back and find a lot that matches.
You can just send it to the address on our Contact Us page and write Attn: Sample Check, and include your contact information and how much square footage you need. Someone will contact you within 2 business days of receiving the sample.
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