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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Here are a few common causes:
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.
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-range 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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