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 FSC-Certified or 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.
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 solid urea formaldehyde free bamboo floors, look no further. Every single Ambient floor meets the most strict indoor air emissions standard in the world: CARB Phase II. We've also achieved Floorscore certification. 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.
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 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.
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)
ENGINEERED CLICK-LOCK BAMBOO (floating floor)
SOLID TONGUE AND GROOVE BAMBOO (nailed or glued down)
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.
All of our floors are warranted for use in basements. With our click lock floating floors, you simply have to put down a 3 in 1 underlayment before installing the flooring. Our solid floors can also be installed in basements but they must be glued down. 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 border 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.
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