F.A.Q. - About Our Products

Common questions about our products and company

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.

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. 

All of our floors are safe for you and your family.  Our annual test reports show that our floors emit "effectively zero" dangerous chemicals.  We take your health as seriously as if it were our own – that is why many of our own employees have our floors installed in their homes.  Check out 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.

VIEW OUR BAMBOO VS HARDWOOD COMPARISON CHART HERE 

For a comprehensive list, check out our Why Ambient page!

Quality matters, especially with bamboo.  What really sets Ambient apart from other brands is our unparalleled quality control process, which takes place before, during, and after we manufacture our products.  A quick web search about complaints and reviews on real sites like Yelp, ComplaintsBoard.com, and Reseller Ratings will show you that our quality is without peer in the industry. 

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.

Dye-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 a sticker on the back with its dye lot number – 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.   In fact we are the only flooring brand that proactively tests its products for off-gassing randomly and voluntarily every single year, and have since 2006!  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 supplies 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.

The best way to see the amount of variation between planks is to check the installation pictures we have on all of the product detail pages on our website or check out our bamboo flooring installation gallery.  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.

 

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 side cut views of the different types of bamboo floors here.

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.

Rigid core bamboo flooring (with SPC core) is a new type of bamboo that is considered engineered flooring but contains a Stone Polymer Composite Core (SPC Core) as opposed to traditional engineered multi-ply or HDF core.  These floors have exceptional water-resistant qualities, and high dimensional stability, so they experience very little expansion and contraction.  Our Ambient version of these floors also includes an attached IXPE underlayment pad, so they can be installed in basements and even directly on top of concrete.

Ambient's floors are 100% safe for you and your family. In fact, we're one of the few companies (if not the only one!?) 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 of formaldehyde, and all of our floors consistently test at under .015ppm which is considered “Below the Limit of Qualification” or “effectively zero”. We highly recommend you check out our safety information and testing page as well as our informative article here. 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

The adhesives that we sell are moisture-cured urethane adhesives.  These types of adhesives cure (dry) faster when the humidity levels are higher. This is why adhesives usually come with a tack time and a cure time in relation to temperature and humidity. Thus, the same pail opened in Florida may dry in 12 hours where it may take 16 hours in Colorado. We recommend allowing the adhesive to cure at least 12-15 hours before walking on it, and 24 hours before moving heavy furniture back into place.

All bamboo flooring is made in China (like the majority of building materials in today's markets).  In fact, many wood floors, regardless of where they're sourced (Brazil, Russia, Canada, etc), are often 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.

Yes, in fact, we only use only premium Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys Pubescens aka Phyllostachys  Edulis), which is also known as Mao or Hairy bamboo.  All of our Moso bamboo is aged to 5-7 years when harvested, and we only use the most stable middle sections of the culms.  Do not worry, Moso bamboo is not eaten by pandas!

Yes, we sell several different products that provide sound insulation - underlayment and adhesive.  To see these products visit our Installation Supplies page and check out our underlayments and adhesives.  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 83 STC and 85 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 soundproofing 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.

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 underlayment.

What are the 3 features of a 3 in 1 underlayment?

1) Moisture/vapor barrier
2) Impact absorption and sound transfer reduction
3) Cushioning for comfort

Remember that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin the 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 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. 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.

Most likely, but keep in mind that wood flooring is a natural product and so there may be differences in shade and color between different dye lots.  We recommend that you send us a small 6-inch sample of your current floor to the address on our contact us page – this way our warehouse manager can check our existing lots to ensure we have something that matches *before you place your order* so that you do not end up with a big shade patch in your floor.

 

We do not sell random length or random width planks. Almost all of our floors come in single length planks lengths of six, four, and three feet depending on the product. Our Copenhagen XtraWide click bamboo flooring is the exception with both four-foot and two-foot planks included in every box.

One of the benefits of this is that you will have a lot less waste as with random lengths you are usually left with a lot of the smaller pieces that you will not be able to use. You can still achieve the randomized look of the flooring planks by cutting the starting plank in each row at a random length.

The great thing about strand bamboo 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.  Please note that our rigid core bamboo flooring (with SPC core) cannot be refinished.


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.  Please 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 of polyurethane can be applied but the final color of the refinished floor will be the color of the base material (natural or carbonized).

Should you ever choose to refinish your bamboo flooring, no problem - we've got step by step instructions for you right on our How To Refinish Bamboo Flooring page.

Our floors are warranted in half bathrooms/powder rooms, but we don’t warrant our floors for use in full bathrooms because water may spill outside of a bathtub and flow underneath the planks, which could result in a mold issue.  That being said, many of our clients that don't use bathtubs for bathing (or are judicious in drying up water spills afterward) use them in full bathrooms anyways, they just ensure to use rugs at the entrance to showers and make sure not to leave puddles. 

We do not. Laminate floors are made from synthetic materials (usually an HDF core with a paper wear layer and finish ) and while they can resemble wood floors at times, they don’t have the beautiful natural variation that real bamboo solid and engineered floors have, and usually they aren't as safe from an off-gassing perspective.  Here's a great write up of Laminate VS Bamboo Flooring that highlights the differences.

In general, bamboo hardwood floors are much harder, more sustainable, and affordable than almost all other flooring products.  Read below for more differences.

Bamboo vs Eucalyptus.  Our strand woven bamboo and 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:

  • 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.
  • Aesthetically, eucalyptus flooring shows the round knots in the grain, while bamboo shows the nodes from the bamboo culm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, sustainability, and affordability, 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.  

We do not stock any unfinished or high gloss flooring in our U.S. warehouses, however, we can provide them (and other custom options) via special order with a 90-120 day lead time (minimum order quantities may apply). In the U.S., we only stock prefinished floors coated with our industry-leading Accuseal Ultra® finish system, our hyper-durable matte finish that is backed by a lifetime warranty!

 

These are all terms related to the color of bamboo flooring. Natural bamboo flooring is blonde, which is the original color of the bamboo raw material culms once the green outer layer has been stripped off.  Carbonization is a manufacturing process that darkens the color of bamboo raw materials and gives the Carbonized flooring its color name.  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.

Natural and carbonized are the two base colors that go all the way through the plank. When a bamboo floor is stained, the stain is applied to the top surface of the wood (both natural and carbonized planks can be stained), 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 a stained bamboo floor you will lose the stain color, because bamboo flooring cannot be stained on site (although it can be refinished and clear-coated). The material underneath a stained bamboo floor may be either carbonized or natural depending on what base material was used. To determine the base material of your bamboo floor simply flip a plank over - if it's blonde it is a natural plank, and if it is brown it's a carbonized plank.

 

Check out our wonderful summary of the different grains and types of bamboo flooring, and below is a short primer.

Classic bamboo flooring looks is also called horizontal/flat grain or vertical/edge grain bamboo. It is made of whole strips of bamboo bonded together in either a horizontal or vertical pattern. Classic bamboo flooring was first launched in the 90's and is a sustainable alternative to traditional hardwoods, although it has been supplanted by strand woven bamboo floors, which are much harder. Properly installed, it can be used in almost any space except basements and bathrooms.

HORIZONTAL "Classic" Bamboo (natural color)

SolidNaturalHorizontalBambooFloor.jpg

VERTICAL "Classic" Bamboo (natural color)

Solid Natural Vertical Bamboo Floor

Installation: Nail Down or Glue Down

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 compressing 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

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.  Please note that Ambient no longer sells horizontal or vertical ("Classic" bamboo floors).

 

 

 

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 requirements.  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 the 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 they 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 its 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.

Even though all of our floors have several UV protection layers added to our Accuseal Finish System, most floors will get lighter or darker slightly over time - whether they're exposed to direct sunlight often or not. Natural strand woven bamboo flooring will darken slightly darker over time, while carbonized strand woven bamboo flooring will get slightly lighter over time. The same goes for the stained versions of both types of floors. To ensure your floors stay protected, use rugs and mats with a natural rubber backing and periodically move furniture around in rooms that see lots of light.

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, you might also consider installing window films and drapes that filter UV light.

 

Yes, Ambient is proud to be FloorScore® certified!  FloorScore is a voluntary certification program whereby floors must meet the most stringent indoor air quality standards in the world to gain certification.   Additionally, Ambient is the only flooring brand that proactively and voluntarily tests its floors annually for off-gassing and safety.  You can find Ambient's full test results and other technical information on our product and safety testing information page or learn more about the Floorscore® program here.

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)

 

Our floors are all NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde), Floorscore Certified, and meet the CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard (most strict in the world).  Small amounts of non-toxic phenolic resins are added during the compression process in our strand woven floors to increase bonding strength so that the strands of wood fuse together more effectively.  This is resin is similar to those used to hold together the other wood furniture in your home, such as your kitchen table, your cabinets, your wood desks at home and at work, your dresser drawers, closets, shelves, etc.  All of our products are tested by an independent 3rd party laboratory every single year to ensure they don’t emit dangerous toxins!

All of our floors have micro-beveled edges.  The reason for this is because, on pre-finished floors like ours, square edges can splinter up or chip off when kicked under normal foot traffic.  Square edges typically only exist on unfinished hardwood floors.

 

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 a bit more dimensionally stable than solid floors (they expand and contract a little less) however this mostly comes into play with floating vs nail/glue down.  Engineered floating bamboo floors are very stable, conversely when you are floating a solid bamboo floor (solid means the plank is wood all the way through, and floating means the planks are clicked or glued to each other instead of being nailed down or glued down to the sub-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.)
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!

While bamboo, eucalyptus, and hardwood flooring can be exposed to freezing temperatures for short periods of time (24-30 hours), prolonged exposure is not recommended. Bamboo and eucalyptus floors perform best when the indoor climate is maintained at around 40-60% humidity and 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, although conditions may vary in different geographic areas. Hardwoods left in cold weather (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) for extended periods may result in face checking, shrinkage, and even cracking.

STC and IIC sound ratings indicate the ability of a material to muffle footfall noise and reduce sound transmissions between levels. An underlayment or adhesive with a high STC and IIC rating will not only reduce sound transmission between levels more effectively, but it will also reduce footfall noise within the room more effectively.  Materials with higher STC and IIC sound ratings tend to be more expensive, and sometimes thicker, than underlayments with low sound ratings.

There's a common misconception that thinner floors are less sturdy than thicker floors.  This is only true if you buy cheap engineered floors that have a razor-thin veneer layer, because they can't be refinished, and the wear layer is easily perforated when you drop something heavy and sharp on it.  All Ambient hardwood and bamboo floors can be refinished a minimum of 2 times including our engineered bamboo flooring (which has a thicker-than-normal wear layer). 

In fact, all of our bamboo and hardwood floors come with a lifetime structural and finish warranty regardless of thickness.  The driving factor between whether to choose thick over thin is usually a matter of the layout of your home and subfloor.  Some people get thinner floors to increase the headroom in their homes, while others choose thicker options so that they can more easily transition to other floors on the same level without using transition pieces.  Sometimes door frame heights are also taken into account when choosing thickness.  Also, if you want 6-foot long planks those usually require greater thickness to remain stable, while 3-foot and 4-foot long planks can be thinner and still retain their dimensional stability.

Yes, we do provide discounts for large quantity orders.  If your order falls into a category below and you do not already have a coupon code please feel free to reach out to our customer support team at (301) 498-0234 to see what discount codes are currently available:

  • Flooring orders over 1,000 sq ft
  • Plywood orders over 25 sheets
  • Magpanel orders over 100 sheets

To check the length or other dimensions of our floor moldings, we recommend you check out our moldings & trim page - here you can click any item to go to its product detail page, which will contain a dimensions diagram with all the information you need.

All of our materials are rapidly renewable and regrow in 4-7 years, and are harvested from well-managed or 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 bamboo culms aged 5-7 years, and take our stock from the middle of the culm.

 

For our bamboo flooring we use only premium Moso bamboo culms harvested between the ages of 5-7 years,  and only cut from the middle (most stable) sections of the stalks.

All of our factory partners are ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified.

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.

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 plant will take only 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.

 

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 in 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.
 

1.    What type of subfloor (usually plywood or concrete) will the floor be installed over?  (this may determine the type of flooring you purchase, such as engineered vs solid)
2.    Do you already have a specific plan to float, nail, or glue down the floor, and if so, why?
3.    What other types of flooring will the floor be butting up to?  Will you require transition moldings and if so how many?
4.    How much flooring will you need to complete the job?  Have you added 10% for cutting and waste?  (this may depend on how you're installing, for example for diagonal installations you'll need 15% extra)
5.    When do you plan to start, and when do you need to receive the flooring material?
6.    Will you be installing the floor yourself, or hiring a professional?

Janka hardness is a way to measure the strength and durability of various hardwood flooring species, and our strand woven bamboo floors have tested at over 5,000 on the Janka hardness scale.  We have a great write-up about bamboo and Janka testing if you want to delve further into this matter.  Most of our bamboo and eucalyptus floors average 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.

 

At Ambient we value the brave men and women that serve in our nation's armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We offer a 5% discount off all products for active-duty members of our U.S. armed forces and full-time local and state law enforcement. Clearance items and odd lots do not qualify for this discount and it cannot be combined with other promotions.

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. 

We do not recommend using our bamboo plywood for surfaces on which food preparation will occur unless you first apply a food-safe finish.  Although our bamboo plywood meets the most strict indoor air quality standards in the world and is perfectly suitable for use as cabinetry, wall paneling, and furniture, it is not manufactured to be food-safe when cutting directly on it (food safety standards are different than indoor air quality standards).  Our plywood can also be used as countertop material as long as food is not cut on the surface or as long as a food-safe finish is applied which seals the unfinished bamboo plywood surface.

Cupping is most commonly caused by moisture hitting the bottom of the wood floor from the sub-floor.  Read this document about cupping, crowning and buckling in wood floors. This almost always means there is a sub-floor moisture issue, and usually requires destructive floor replacement.

Shrinkage can be the result of several factors: 1) the humidity levels have dropped more than 20% (in which case most every wood substance on earth will shrink), 2) the brand of bamboo you have installed is of low quality and was not properly moisture-balanced during manufacturing, and 3) you installed a FLOATING SOLID (all-the-way-through) wood/bamboo floor and exceeded the recommended run limits.  This can sometimes be remediated by installing a humidifier; however, if the wood has become too dry there is sometimes a "point of no return."

Buckling is most commonly caused by the interior humidity increasing by 20% or more and is a result of the floor expanding and pushing against the exterior walls or interior structural elements.  This often results in two or more planks having a "teepee" effect as they push against each other and lift up.  This can be fixed by installing a dehumidifier for one week and then walking the planks to flatten them again.

 
WHAT IS SPLINE?  During the installation of tongue and groove hardwood and bamboo flooring, oftentimes it's necessary to reverse the direction of the floor.  In order to due this many installers use what's called "flooring spline" to join the groove sides of two planks together so that they hold firmly in place.


WHERE CAN I BUY IT?   You can purchase spline right here on our website.  Otherwise your installer may be able 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.

They’re basically the same, they just have slightly different shapes and dimensions.  Please check this video out about the difference between shoe molding and quarter-round.  We sell quarter round in bamboo but not eucalyptus, and we also primed white version.  To see if we carry matching quarter round for a specific floor just click the image of that floor on our bamboo flooring category page to go to its product detail page then scroll down to the Add Moldings strip near the bottom of the page where you’ll see all matching moldings we carry for that floor.

For flooring and plywood we strongly recommend ordering a sample before placing your final order, so you can ensure that the shading will be to your liking.  Our flooring and plywood samples have a dye lot number sticker on the back of them. Our website checkout process will ask you to type in this dye lot number before final payment; alternatively, if ordering via email or over the phone simply mention this lot number to your Ambient representative and we will update the order with it and ship that exact lot number.  If we don't have that lot number available (it has sold out) but we have a matching lot, we will ship the matching lot.  If we do not have a matching lot, we will not ship your order until you approve samples of the new lot.

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 variation 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). 

If you receive the order from the exact lot number you requested, or you order sight unseen (you do not provide a dye lot number at checkout), and you decide after it arrives that you want to return the order, you will be responsible for return shipping charges. For flooring orders, please see our 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee for more information.

No. The only stair pieces we sell are stair treads and stair risers (and we only sell them for certain colors, not all floors).  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.

 

Small floor samples with click lock profiles may appear to be loose when you click them together, however you'll notice when clicking full planks together that they fit much more tightly.  This is by design and the floors will not slide around once installed.  The reason there is a bit of space is because on longer flooring planks there has to be some room simply to be able to click the planks together - if there was no space for play, it would be impossible to click the long planks together (you'll have to trust us on this one!).  In fact, a not infrequent complaint from installers about low-quality click floors is that the click system is too tight and they have difficulty even getting the planks to click together - which adds time and cost to the homeowner.  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.  

 

Below is an overview of the types of moldings and trim commonly used for flooring installations.

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 staircases.

Stair Riser: This is the vertical piece on the staircase 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 removable 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: https://isostore.com/research/explaining-sound-ratings

 

We have a couple of 3 in 1 underlayments, and the best way to see what each one is comprised of is to visit our bamboo flooring installation and accessories page and read the product details for each product. 

Our Super Silencer and Sound Defender have some of the highest STC/IIC sound absorption ratings in the market, are great for condominiums and for muffling foot-fall noise, and are necessary to install floating floors.  The Super Silencer is made from cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam (also called IXPE foam). The Sound Defender is a 3 mm thick gold-foil-backed rubber underlayment. Both have advanced moisture protection, shock absorption, and include an adhesive strip with overlap film for ease of installation.

We sell only prefinished floors but can special order unfinished flooring with a 3-4 month lead time and minimum order quantity of 5,000 sq ft.  If you're interested in such an order feel free to reach out to our support team at (866) 710-7070.

Our adhesives do not have any ingredients that are defined as volatile organic compounds “VOC’s”  as part of the formulas.  VOC is a regulatory description for “solvent” which evaporates into the air and is considered an air pollutant.  These formulas contain none, so we refer to them as zero VOC. We can calculate "potential" trace VOC values based on the vapor pressure of the individual raw materials used in the formula. Anything with a vapor pressure greater than 2 mmHG at 25C is considered a VOC for these calculations.   You can download the MSDS and other technical documents for our adhesives on their product detail pages.

Since we were one of the first few companies to pioneer strand bamboo flooring (in 2005), 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.

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's new dorms and their student union (installed in 2010)
•    UnderArmour's 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's Economics Building (2010)

Countless restaurants, spas, commercial and residential installations around the U.S. feature Ambient's products, including international installations in places like France, Bahrain, Tanzania, Guam, Kuwait, Mexico, and many more.

 

For legal businesses that qualify as a trade account (must be in the building trades), or you plan to order more than $10,000 cumulatively in building materials in the future on multiple projects, we encourage you to apply for a trade account on our B2B page.   Our wholesale discounts vary depending on sales volume and can range from 5% to 35% off our retail prices.  We also offer container level pricing for large projects at extremely competitive prices, and can manufacture a large array of products not featured on our website such as custom thicknesses, lengths, widths, colors and surface treatments (minimum order quantities apply).

Many things, including the age at which it is harvested (5-7 years), the species (Moso bamboo), the part of the stalk we use (the middle), and much more!  Since bamboo is not a graded material you have to be extra careful when choosing your supplier; some brands have class-action lawsuits against them due to low quality (Ambient is not one of those brands). Our manufacturing processes are strictly controlled and our floors all have stable moisture content, ready for use anywhere in the United States.

 

It is possible! Here are the steps we recommend you follow to determine if we might have a matching color and dye lot:

1. Visit our bamboo flooring page to see what colors and styles we offer. If you see that one of our floors might be a suitable match, please check the "Specifications" section on the product's detail page to ensure its dimensions (length x width x thickness) match your floor.

2. If you think we have a color that might match - remember that we may have up to 10 different widely ranging dye lots in each color, thus requesting a sample from our website is useless as you may only see one lot shade (we don't send samples of multiple lot shades).  Thus we recommend that you send us a sample of your floor so we can compare it to what we have in stock. We recommend sending at least a 4" sample of the floor you need to match to the address on our Contact Us page and write Attn: Sample Check at the top.  Don't forget to include your contact information and how much square footage you need.  Someone will check our stock for a match and contact you within 2 business days of receiving the sample.

 

Our industry-leading Accuseal Ultra® Finish System is so tough, we apply it to all of our floors and moldings, and it is backed up by an unbeatable lifetime warranty.   This finish is a UV-cured acrylic urethane with aluminum oxide added in for additional durability; it is a proprietary process that endures scratches and abrasion better than almost any other 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).  Please note that it is always recommended to use Scotch Delicate Surfaces tape on wood floors and moldings, as other types of tape can peel away even the toughest hardwood floor finish!

 

We use the same Accuseal Ultra Finish on our moldings as on our floors, however, due to the rounded nature of some moldings, the finish is sprayed on instead of layered on in a finishing line.

Yes, it can! We recommend testing your desired finish or stain on a spare piece of plywood before applying it to the entire product. Our customers have had success in applying the following types of stains/finishes to our bamboo plywood: polyurethane finish, oil-based and water-based finishes, finishing wax, and mineral oil. Some have specifically recommended Osmo PolyX®-Oil and Penofin Verde Rosewood Oil.

If you're looking for the safest flooring available to you and your family, you've come to the right place. Ambient is the only flooring brand that voluntarily, randomly, and extensively tests for safety and off-gassing every single year (since 2006!) to ensure that our products are safe for our customers. Since 2006 we have compiled an unbroken run of yearly test results showing "effectively zero" off-gassing, a feat that is unmatched in our industry.  Additionally, all of our floors are also Floorscore Certified and meet all standards associated with the Toxic Substances Control Act (Title VI).  All of our flooring adhesives used for installation are ultra-low and zero VOC as well.

 

FREE FLOORING SAMPLES

Tired of driving around looking for the right floor? Let Ambient ship you free flooring samples right into the comfort of your living room! At Ambient we offer up to 5 free large samples, and additional samples at just $1 each. If you order 4 samples of one color and lay them out, you'll have an area about the same size as a display panel in a local flooring store, all from the comfort of your couch!

Get Your Free Flooring Samples Now
  • Free Flooring Samples
  • No Credit Card Required
  • Shipped via USPS Priority Mail
*Up to 5 free samples and just $1 per additional sample

Trusted by 10,000+ Homeowners And Companies Worldwide

  • ASG_Logo
  • one and only resorts logo
  • lululemon athletica logo
  • washington university in st.louis logo
  • university of maryland logo
  • habitat for humanity logo
  • providence hospital logo
  • radford university logo
  • aveda logo
  • elevation burger logo
  • national park service logo
  • famous daves logo

As Seen On

  • hgtv logo
  • dyi network logo
  • discovery channel logo
  • planet green logo
Join Our Email List mailTo get new product alerts, discounts, insider tips, & more!
Subscribe
Join thousands of other homeowners, designers, architects and installers

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best deals on all of our products!

Submit
loader
loader

Loading chat window...