Oyster Shell is a rigid core engineered bamboo floor (SPC core) with beige coastal tones and subtle handscraping/distressing. Unlike traditional engineered wood floors that contain an HDF or wood-ply core, this flooring contains a rigid core composed mainly of limestone that allows for superior stability and moisture-resistance. In addition, you'll get sound insulation, cushioning, and vapor barrier without needing to purchase separate underlayment, as tacoustical underlayment* comes pre-attached to the underside of the flooring.
Our rigid core engineered bamboo flooring is extremely water-resistant which makes it an ideal flooring choice for any room - including bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, and entryways. The acclimation period is only 24 hours instead of the traditional 72 hours – saving you time and money!
*Attached Underlayment Sound Rating: IIC - 62 | STC - 53
Please note: IXPE-backed flooring is not recommended for glue down installation and is not warranted if installed via this method.
Comparison Tip: If you're a fan of our Tahoe Handscraped floors, Oyster Shell is extremely similar in color, tone, and surface style (distressing). The difference? Oyster Shell has a rigid core that doesn't expand and contract like normal hardwood flooring, an added vapor barrier/underlayment, and comes in click-lock construction to make installation fast and easy!
We do not provide installation services but have no fear as there are many high-quality contractors in your state and the majority will be eager to provide a free estimate over the phone or in the comfort of your own home. We recommend that you check out our helpful article titled 7 Tips For Choosing A Floor Installer.
Below are a few questions you will want to consider before placing your order:
1. What type of subfloor (usually plywood or concrete) will the floor be installed over?
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 pieces and how many?
4. How much flooring will you need to complete the job? Have you added waste?
5. When do you plan to start, and when do you need to receive the flooring material?
6. What kind of traffic do you expect on the flooring? Do you have kids, dogs, is it a commercial space?
7. Will you be installing the floor yourself, or hiring a professional?
Different flooring finishes require different cleaning solutions and methods, so we recommend you read our Bamboo Flooring Maintenance Guide carefully for your specific finish type.
As for cleaning solutions, for regular maintenance and spot cleaning it is hard to beat the Bam-Brite hard surface floor cleaner. Alternatively, you may use most standard floor cleaners approved for your specific flooring finish, such as Swiffer Wet Jet for Hardwood (if you have wood/bamboo), and Bona Hardwood Floor Care Kit. For spot cleaning, you can also use one cup of white vinegar mixed in with a half bucket of warm water, with a lightly damp mop, but do not use vinegar for regular cleaning as it can affect the finish PH balance and dull the luster over time.
Never steam mop or wet mop bamboo/hardwood floors, and never use mineral spirits, turpentine, or paint thinner on our floors. If you have a cleaning solution you are not sure about, make sure to test it on an out of the way area or sacrificial plank prior to using it on your floor, to ensure it does not damage the finish.
We highly recommend reading our Shipping Policy for a comprehensive explanation of our shipping processes.
We ship most freight orders (over 125 lbs) out within 4 business days of purchase, the average being 2 business days. For faster shipment of freight orders, we offer an Expedited Shipping option at checkout however please note that this simply means that we will ship the order out the next business day - it does not shorten the transit time once shipped. For small parcel orders we offer express UPS shipping options at checkout as well; please note that for express shipping services the order must be placed by 2pm EST in order to ship out that same day, otherwise we will process the shipment the next business day. We do not ship out orders, nor do the shipping companies deliver them, on weekends.
For residential lift-gate freight order deliveries, once the flooring order arrives at the local freight terminal, they will call you to schedule your delivery appointment, which is usually a 2-6 hour window on the day of your choosing (weekdays only) when possible. All deliveries are curbside as the freight companies do not offer inside delivery.
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 our Ironwood Wood Floor Adhesive, 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.
We do not sell color stain for our floors, as it is not stable outside of a controlled finish environment and would change hue over time; additionally, since wood floors are a natural product, shade lots can vary widely.
SCRATCHES AND GOUGES
Surface Scratches (white lines). Micro-scratches are much more obvious on dark flooring and are common and expected on prefinished hardwood flooring. You can use the products below to diminish these marks. Some customers have also had success in breaking a walnut in half and using the exposed edge to rub on the scratches. On most of our floors, micro-scratches will diminish over time just from walking on the floors, the friction of shoes against the scuff marks tends to make them fade away.
Deeper Gouges and Ruptured Surfaces (grooves or areas where stain was penetrated). For a gouge that has penetrated the finish as well as the stain, you can first use a marker that matches the color to remedy the discoloration. If you wish to fill the gouge there are several products in the market that you can find at local big box or hardware stores, including Mohawk Fil-Stiks, Picobello Floor Repair Kit, and Timbermate. Some products don't fully harden and thus shrink and expand with the floors, while others do harden may chip and break apart if walked on constantly so you'll want to avoid these products if the repair is in a high-traffic area. You also might be able to find a wax filler pen at your local big box store.
To touch-up problem spots where the finish may have worn through you can attempt to implement a light buffing to achieve the desired smoothness (with varying 80/12/150 screens) to and follow up with a matte-finish oil-based polyurethane for coating. Some installers have also reported success with Basic Coating's StreetShoe finish line. Please note you'll want to perform this repair on one entire room as attempting it in one area will make it stand out from its surrounding planks. We strongly recommend buffing a sacrificial plank or area and applying the polyurethane to that test section first to ensure the buffing and new finish application achieves the desired results. If you want to fully refinish your floor you can check out our article Can Bamboo Flooring Be Refinished?
**Important: Please note that the comments above are only recommendations and that each installer uses these tools and finishes differently; we strongly recommend that you test your process first on a sacrificial plank or out-of-the-way area before beginning to avoid problems with your floor.
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 provide a wide range of trim, moldings and installation supplies for our floors. Many of our moldings and trim pieces are specifically designed to match the colors and surface styles of our floors. We do all that we can to 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.
- You can send an email with your desired materials list or purchase order to [email protected], and our support team will email you a quote with a payment button.
- You can call our support team directly at (866) 710-7070 and place your order over the phone.
Our Rigid Core Bamboo Floors (SPC core) require 24 hours of acclimation; Our solid and engineered (non-SPC) bamboo and eucalyptus floors must be acclimated for at least 72 hours prior to installation, and we recommend an additional 7 days for geographic areas of high or low humidity.
Do not acclimate the floors on top of concrete, carpet with concrete under it, crawl spaces, or any other sub-floor that may contain moisture, without first laying a 6 mil polyethylene plastic barrier down, or the flooring will soak up the moisture from the concrete and shrink post-installation. Make sure to extend the apron/border of the plastic barrier at least 18 inches beyond the flooring boxes.
Ensure that the flooring is acclimated within the same room (or adjoining room with the same climate) where the floor will be installed in. Remember that you must keep your interior humidity settings between 40%-60% (as for all wood floors) or you may experience increased expansion and contraction.
First, stack the boxes up to 5 high, with each stack located at least 2 feet away from the next. Cross-stacking is preferable if you have space.
Once the boxes are stacked, use a box cutter or sharp knife to cut each box down one entire side lengthwise, and also the end flaps. Make sure to also cut open the interior plastic so that the floors really breathe.
We recommend ordering 10% extra for cutting and waste. If you have one or two large rooms that are square, and you are careful about making cuts, you can probably get away with 7%. If you are installing your floors in a diagonal pattern, we recommend ordering 15% extra for cutting and waste. Don't feel like doing the math? Check out our handy square footage calculator!
Note About Dye Lots: Keep in mind that bamboo and hardwood floors come in specific dye lots, so it is a good idea to hold on to a few extra boxes in case you ever need to make a repair down the line. The extra boxes can be stored in an attic, basement, or even a garage, just remember to acclimate all floors prior to installation, for at least 72 hours, within the environment in which they’re going to live.
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.
We highly recommend you review our Shipping Policy, which has a lot of great information and a short video about the shipping process. When your order ships out we’ll send you a notification email with all of your shipping information. Once the shipment arrives at the local freight terminal near your delivery location, the terminal staff will call you to schedule a delivery appointment* (weekdays, usually a 2-6 hour window). Make sure you don’t miss the delivery appointment or the freight company may charge a hefty re-delivery fee. *if you have selected commercial/freight dock delivery, freight may be delivered without needing an appointment
Once the order arrives, ensure you mark any damages you see on the driver’s bill of lading (they’ll then usually give you a copy). You don’t have to open and inspect every item, just look at the outside of the pallet – that is where the shipping damage will be. Ensure you write the number of damaged items and detailed notes, then take photos of the damaged items and email all of this information to your Ambient representative to ensure we can ship out free replacements.
Important note: If your delivery location is located on a road that cannot be accessed by a semi-trailer truck, you may be required to pick the freight up at the local terminal or meet the driver at an intermediary location.
We accept the following payments:
1. All major credit and debit cards.
2. Personal and bank checks (please note there may be a 14-day shipping delay).
3. ACH payments.
4. Paypal. In fact, PayPal Credit offers financing.
If the room you're purchsing floors for is a square or rectangle, you can use the Area = Length x Width formula for calculating the room's total square footage. If your space isn't perfectly square/rectangular, or you have multiple rooms to order flooring for, it's a little more complicated - but we've made a great tool that makes it super easy to calculate your square footage, the extra flooring you'll need to order to account for cutting and waste, and even the number of cleats you'll need if you're nailing down your floors! Check it out here: The Ultimate Square Footage Calculator
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 tests 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
The default delivery method for our residential flooring deliveries is curbside with a liftgate, so the driver will usually lower the pallet(s) of flooring down using a liftgate. However, it also depends on what shipping option you select and also how much of an incline there is on your driveway. We recommend reading more about this on our Shipping Policy page.
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.
This depends on several factors mostly related to the current condition of the sub-floor. If the subfloor is observed to be sagging, it is recommended that you install the planks in a perpendicular direction compared to the joists. This is a call you'll want your installer to make as he/she will need to inspect the sub-floor prior to installation.
Important Note About Crawl Spaces: Many wood floors fail due to the failure of the installer to address moisture in crawl spaces. If you have a crawl space under your home or new flooring, you must properly remedy this moisture.
You must have a high-quality vapor barrier or moisture insulation (with 100% blockage) or the moisture coming up from the crawl space will damage the flooring. A ground layer cover is required - must be 6 mil minimum black polyethylene with joints overlapping at least 6 inches, and sealed with moisture-resistant tape. There must be a minimum of 18′′ from the ground to underside of joists, the polyethylene should also extend at least 6" up the block walls and be sealed there as well, and it should have perimeter venting equal to at least 1.5% of the crawl space total square footage. The vents should be properly placed for cross-ventilation. We recommend you read this document about what happens when crawl spaces are not sealed.
Important Note About Installing Over An Unconditioned Space (such as a garage): Subfloor moisture penetration of improperly sealed sub-floors over unconditioned spaces is a common cause of wood floor failure. If you are gluing the floor down over such a space, you must use a 100% urethane adhesive that contains a moisture barrier. If you are nailing the floor down over such a space, you will need to follow these steps:
In an unfinished space, staple a 6 mil plastic sheet to the ceiling of the unconditioned space with joints overlapping at least 6 inches, and seal with moisture-resistant tape. In a finished space, coat the ceiling with two layers of high-gloss paint.
Lay down two layers of 15 lb asphalt-saturated felt paper at a 90-degree angle to each other over the plywood before beginning the nail-down installation. Thus, lay down the first layer and be careful not to overlap the rolls as this may cause an un-level surface. Once the first layer is down, install the second layer at a 90-degree angle and care not to overlap
With bamboo flooring, you have 3 options over a concrete slab. One is to glue down any of our tongue and groove flooring with an adhesive that contains a moisture barrier (such as our Ironwood All-In-One Adhesive with Vapor/Sound Barrier), and don't forget to use the correct V-Notch ¼ inch trowel. Option two is to float any of our rigid core bamboo floors directly on it (again, extra care must be taken with excessively wet slabs as they may need to be sealed first), and option 3 is to float one of our click-lock engineered floors after first laying down a 3 in 1 underlayment (which contains a vapor barrier).
You can glue down or nail down our solid bamboo floors to a plywood subfloor. You can also float our engineered and rigid core floors (bamboo and LVP) over plywood. Our LVP floors come with pre-attached underlayment, so you don't need to add an extra sound barrier, but for our engineered bamboo floors we recommend either a) floating them over a 3 in 1 underlayment, or b) using the glue-down method with an adhesive with sound barrier for additional sound insulation.
To see if you can install our bamboo and eucalyptus floors over specific sub-floors, we recommend reading the Acceptable Subfloor Types section in the related installation guide. Links to the product's installation guide can be found on each floor's product detail page.
None of our products are brought inside the delivery location by the driver. All small parcel shipments are at the discretion and policy of the shipping company. All freight shipments are curbside delivery with lift-gate unless you specifically request freight dock delivery. Curbside delivery means they lower the pallet on the street at the end of the driveway. The drivers are not required to enter the property boundaries, although if not hazardous sometimes they’ll back up the driveway (if it’s flat and short) and drop the pallet on the driveway.
Someone must be on-site to receive the delivery and inspect it for exterior damage, and then note any damage on the driver’s bill of lading (otherwise we can’t send free replacements). We highly recommend that you do not pay laborers to sit around and wait for the delivery, as the freight companies do sometimes miss appointments and they do not reimburse for such lapses. In some cases at the time of checkout, our website will allow you to add "Garage Delivery" for an additional fee, but this includes rolling the materials pallet into a carport or garage only, and terms and conditions apply.
For all of our bamboo products, we 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. The bamboo is harvested without uprooting the plant, so the bamboo will grow back naturally and the plant is not destroyed when harvested. And not to worry, Moso bamboo is not eaten by pandas!
While it can be a bummer if your shipment arrives damaged – it is not the end of the world! We can easily send you free replacements for anything that was damaged in transit - all we ask is that you do not refuse the shipment and mark any damages on the receipt provided by the driver. After that, please take a few photos of product while it is still on the pallet and email them to [email protected] so we can make a record on your account. Then, please examine the items further once you've brought them inside to determine the extent of the damage, and take photos of affected areas if you require replacements. Once we receive the details and photos we will send out the replacements right away. Most of the time, installers will be able to work around the damage instead of waiting to get replacements. For more information please see our Shipping Policy page.
Occasionally you will have an item with a visible defect either in the stain, finish, or milling. Like most building materials suppliers our effective defect rate is under the industry-standard 3%. However, if you are finding that more than 3% of the product you have ordered has defects, please let us know as soon as possible so we can resolve the matter quickly.
Maximum load considerations related to your joists and building structure: We strongly suggest that you always consult a structural engineer before placing any single piece that exceeds 1,500 lbs or the maximum load your joists will hold.
Heavy objects on NAILED/GLUED-DOWN floors: There are no restrictions to placing heavy furniture floors that are nailed or glued down (aside from structural max weight restrictions) but we recommend placing sliders or rubber weight dispersion plates under the legs of excessively heavy objects to avoid permanent damage or dents.
Heavy objects on FLOATING floors: If you have a floating floor you can usually sit heavy furniture on top, but there are a few exceptions. For example, a piano is perfectly fine and so is a piece of furniture with legs (with just 3-4 contact points with the floor). For pieces of furniture without legs (flat across the bottom), try to avoid "pinning" a long row of successive floating floor planks across the widths of the planks, and more so if that run of planks takes up a large section of the overall run. This is more applicable across the widths of the planks (tangentially) than down the lengths of the planks (longitudinally). The floor needs to be able to expand and contract during seasonal cycles, and pinning the planks down will inhibit this movement and may cause planks to separate from each other. For this same reason, you shouldn't install floating floors under kitchen cabinets. If the bottom of the heavy object is flat and it stretches across the widths of the planks for more than 50% of that given run, and it's over 200 lbs, we suggest gluing or nailing the floor down, or not placing the object on the floor.
We recommend that you review our handy Return Shipping Guide to see the detailed steps to return your order.
As a general rule of thumb, floors that are nailed down or glued down (our solid bamboo, solid eucalyptus, and non-SPC core engineered bamboo floors) can be installed under cabinets and islands, and floors that are floated (our rigid core LVP and click-lock bamboo floors) should not be installed under cabinets or islands.
Note about floating bamboo floors: The primary reason these floors should not be installed under cabinets is because pinning down a long run of a floating floor made of natural materials/wood may inhibit its ability to expand and contract beneath the weight of the cabinets.
If your existing wood floor is clean and level, you can usually nail down or glue down a wood floor to it without issue but you may need to perform a light sanding first depending on the situation (your installer should be able to advise on the best course of action here). Additionally, you can only nail down to an existing hardwood floor if it is at least 5/8" thick. In case of either the glue down or the nail down option, we highly recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced flooring professional.
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 an 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.
Yes, we may be able to accommodate this, but please note that we may still apply a small shipping and handling fee to your order. Please reach out to your sales representative for details.
For a thorough section about Sub-floor Preparation, we strongly recommend reading the bamboo and eucalyptus flooring installation guide.
The general advice below is for informational purposes only, as you should always consult each floor's specific/official installation guide before making your determination. Some general sub-floor requirements:
- Must be structurally sound
- Must be clean - thoroughly swept and free of all debris
- Must be level - flat to 3/16" per 10-foot radius
- Must remain dry year-round. The moisture content of a wood subfloor must not exceed 12%. Concrete subfloors, crawl spaces, and floors that emit more than 12% moisture will need to be addressed with a vapor barrier.
Important note about Gypcrete: Gypcrete will sometimes exhibit a layer of debris that floats to the surface while being poured. This is usually obvious and if it occurs will need to be removed with coarse open grit paper on a buffer until a solid surface is reached. You will then use a diluted coat of acrylic primer to seal the surface; however, it must soak in and not leave a film. Once the gypcrete is prepped and primed you can proceed with a normal installation.
A note about Lauan/Luan/Luaun: While most urethane adhesives bond to Luan and thus you could glue our floors down to it, Luan is generally considered an unstable substrate for tile or hardwood flooring. It doesn’t have much strength, so it may contribute to squeaking or bouncing. Our recommendation is always to remove it before installing a new floor.
Wood subfloors must be dry and well secured. For nail-down installations, nail or screw every 6" along joists to avoid squeaking. If the subfloor is not level, sand down high spots and fill low spots with an underlayment patch or self-leveler such as Bostik Duralevel 83P Self-Leveling Underlayment.
Concrete must be fully cured, at least for 60 days. If it is not level, grind down high spots and fill low spots with a leveling compound. The concrete must be flat to 3/16" per 10- foot radius. All concrete must be tested for moisture and the appropriate vapor barrier urethane adhesive must be used to account for the moisture emission level. We recommend reading our full installation guide for details.
Bamboo flooring is similar to mid-range hardwoods when it comes to dimensional stability, so they can be installed in all climates whether very dry or very humid. Our floors have been installed around the world from the jungles of Kenya to the heights of the Rockies.
All wood flooring expands and contracts with the seasons due to changes in humidity - there are no exceptions. The key is to control your interior humidity as to avoid excessive swings in humidity throughout the year, as these will cause expansion and contraction in your wood/bamboo. The recommended humidity setting for our floors is 40%-60% in humid climates and 35%-55% in dry climates but even dryer and more humid settings may suffice as long as your humidity is stable (within a 20% range) throughout the year. We do recommend to try to keep the humidity above 25% in almost all cases. In very humid or very dry climates, just follow these tips and you will be all set:
- Acclimate your flooring for at least 10-14 days prior to installation (instead of the normal 72 hours) in the environment in which they are going to be lived on. Ensure all boxes are opened properly so that the planks can breathe.
- Glue the flooring down. The elasticity in the glue allows the floors to breathe easily through humidity changes.
- Make sure to leave ¼ - ½ inch of expansion gap around your flooring perimeter at the time of installation.
- Try to keep your interior humidity setting consistently in the same 20% range year-round (opening windows for a day won't hurt the floors), even via the use of humidifiers/dehumidifiers if necessary. If you allow big humidity swings, larger gaps may develop between your planks during dry spells and they'll close during wet spells.
We highly recommend reading our post about installing bamboo flooring in humid and dry climates too.
And here's a good article about installation: glue down vs nail down vs floating.
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.
Almost all of our floors can be installed over radiant heat, however, different floor types have different requirements so we recommend checking each floor's "Specifications" section on its product detail page on this website, find the row labeled "RADIANT HEAT SAFE" that will tell you if it can be installed over radiant heat or not.
Additional important note: In the same Specifications section, you will see a link to the installation guide for that floor - please note there is a specific and detailed section in each floor's installation guide pertaining to installation over radiant heat, and maintenance of the floors over radiant heat, and we strongly suggest you read that section of the installation guide to avoid voiding your warranty!
Our floors are installed in restaurants, spas, and other high traffic and locations around the world since 2006. Small water droplets that land on the floors will evaporate, however, if you leave a puddle on any wood floor for more than 24 hours it might mark the finish, and depending on the species, some wood may swell and stay that way. Bamboo holds up to water a bit better than traditional hardwoods as it retains its shape better after water absorption, especially rigid core bamboo flooring. Hardwood floor warranties (including ours) do not cover damage from water, so if the planks get wet and become warped, stained, or have their finish marred, you'll need to cut them out and replace them. Due to their hardness, bamboo and eucalyptus floors are great for kitchens as long as you avoid puddles and protect them with a normal level of care. Just remember that hardwood and bamboo floors should never be wet-mopped or steam mopped, they just require a lightly damp mop and an effective hardwood floor cleaning solution to do the job.
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!
Most squeaky floors are the result of the house settling and the lumber drying out and shrinking, or the sub-floor nails having come loose from the joists over years of seasonal expansion and contraction cycles, resulting in the structural wood parts rubbing up against each other and/or the nails. Loose sub-flooring will emit high frequency chirping noises.
There are several ways to remedy this issue, including drilling screws up under the sub-floor to tighten the lumber up against each other. We suggest that you consult with a local flooring installer to review all options, as some are dependent on how your flooring is installed.
Absolutely! We’ve shipped our products to such far-flung locations as Guam, Kenya, Tanzania, Bahrain, Great Britain, Kuwait, France, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and many more. Please note that international shipments may require you to procure the services of a freight forwarder at the port of discharge; most port authorities can provide recommendations for reputable freight forwarders that service your home port. Also, minimum order quantities may apply to some countries. Call your Ambient representative today at (866) 710-7070 for shipping quotes to your country!
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 bamboo flooring installation guide.
Yes! Rolling office chairs tend to collect grime, dirt, and small rocks under the wheels, which eventually damage the finish of every floor including ours. Always use a chair mat under rolling office chairs. It is also advised that you use felt pads under furniture and chairs to avoid damaging the finish.
A dye lot is similar to a 'batch number' and is an alphanumeric code assigned to each different batch of flooring as it is manufactured.
For bamboo or eucalyptus floors: Since these floors are made from a natural material, there can be variation between lots/batches. The flooring sample(s) you received will have a sticker on the back that tells you the lot number that the flooring came from, and referencing this number when placing your order will ensure that the floors you receive come from the same lot that your sample was cut from. If you're ordering moldings to go with your flooring, please note that these products are manufactured separately from our floors and are not assigned lot numbers. It is our policy to fulfill every order (that contains floors and moldings) with the moldings and trim pieces that best match the dye lot of the flooring ordered.
For LVP floors: Since vinyl is not a natural product like wood, there is significantly less variation between lots or batches of flooring. Although it doesn't hurt to reference the lot number listed on your sample when placing your flooring order, it isn't 100% necessary to reference it.
When nailing or gluing down floors: No run limits or restrictions on consecutive distances.
When floating your floors: If you constantly keep your indoor humidity at a level of 40%-60%, you do not have any run limits on your floating floor. This humidity level can be maintained via a humidity modulator (typically as a part of an HVAC system), standalone humidifiers/dehumidifiers, or naturally. The latter is considering that some geographic areas have relatively stable humidity year around (like Southern California or Florida), so run limits usually aren't an issue in those areas.
However, if a) you live in an area with distinct seasons and a wide variance in humidity throughout the year, b) you don't have a way to control your humidity, and/or c) your interior humidity settings will fluctuate more than 20% in a given year, your successive runs of flooring should not exceed 25 ft across the widths of the planks and 45 ft down the lengths of the planks. For our rigid core bamboo floors (SPC core), runs should not 40 ft across the widths and 50 ft down the lengths.
We strongly recommend reading the specific installation guide for the floor you're considering installing before purchasing - a link to this guide can be found in the "Specifications" section of each floor's product detail page on our website.
We recommend that you always carefully measure your walls to determine how many moldings you'll need, however a quick ratio used by many installers is to order 30% of the total flooring square footage. For example, if you’re installing 1,000 sq ft of flooring you'll need roughly 300 linear feet of perimeter trim moldings. It also depends on how many cuts need to be made, but that rough estimate will get you started. For additional help with measurements for your project, check out our Square Footage Calculator (+ more)!
Our bamboo, eucalyptus, and LVP flooring has been installed around the world and in many different types of structures such as homes, restaurants, libraries, and more. However, it is only warranted for indoor use and when installed for its intended use (as flooring). For our bamboo floors specifically, you can read all about the process in our official bamboo flooring installation guide.
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.
If it is an enclosed, climate-controlled room and the sub-floor does not have a moisture concern, you can install bamboo flooring. We do not recommend installing our bamboo or eucalyptus floors in a room that is not climate controlled, and you have to be careful with sub-floor moisture as well. Otherwise, as long as the humidity inside that room is stable, and maintained between 40%-60%, and the sub-floor is dry year-round (emits less than 12% moisture), you can install the floors there.
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.
For hardwood and bamboo floors, you have to be careful when laying rugs or pads as they can damage the finish over time. We recommend reading our complete write-up about acceptable rugs and pads, and below are some general instructions to follow.
It's recommended that you use natural rubber or felt rug pads under all rugs laid on hardwood floors. If you’re looking for a simple, non-slip rug pad we recommend using a breathable, natural rubber-based pad. Natural rubber has excellent gripping power, is a renewable resource, and won't damage your floors over time like a more typical, less expensive PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pad. Natural rubber rug pads have been on the market for over 30+ years and have a proven track record for performance and floor safety.
If you need a larger area covered you can also use a 100% felt rug pad. They offer excellent cushioning and support for larger areas and are less prone to slipping. A felt rug pad is thicker and denser than traditional non-slip rubber rug pads and offers a dense buffer. Whichever rug pad you choose, make sure it's breathable (perforated).
Bamboo, hardwood, and vinyl floors should be kept at least 18-24 inches away from high-heat sources or the heat can dry them out and cause irreparable shrinkage. Here are 2 rules of thumb to follow and you should be just fine:
1. Install the flooring at least 2 feet away from the stove by putting in an apron of brick/stone/similar around the stove.
2. Acclimate the flooring that will be installed near the stove in the same area where it will be installed, with the stove turned on (no closer and no farther than where it will be installed).
Dimensional stability refers to the ability of a substance or part to retain its shape when subjected to varying degrees of temperature, moisture, pressure, or other stress. Bamboo floors, like hardwoods, are made of a natural and hygroscopic material, which means they are subject to dimensional change when exposed to variations in temperature, moisture, and humidity.
Engineered bamboo floors and hardwoods are typically a bit more dimensionally stable than solid floors (the former expands and contracts 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). This is part of the reason we do not recommend floating solid tongue & groove bamboo floors.
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.
The standard requirement for all wood flooring (including bamboo) is that you maintain proper interior humidity levels between 40%-60%. As long as your installer follows our installation instructions, and those interior humidity settings are maintained, you'll have a trouble-free and super durable floor for a long time. Meanwhile, vinyl flooring is generally stable outside of that range, but you still want to avoid extreme temperatures (outside of 35 degrees to 85 degrees) and humidity (outside of 10%-80%).
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.
Yes, we do provide discounts for large quantity orders. If your order falls into a category below, please reach out to our customer support team at (866) 710-7070 to see what discounts are currently available:
- Flooring orders over 1,000 sq ft
- Plywood orders over 25 sheets
- Magpanel orders over 100 sheets
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.
Absolutely. If pet urine has damaged your previous floors enough to seep into your subfloor, that's something you'll certainly want to tend to before your new floors go in. Treat your subfloor with an enzymatic odor eliminator to ensure these unpleasant smells no longer escape your subfloor and negatvely affect your indoor air quality. Our OdorGhost subfloor primer is a great product for accomplishing this - and it's warranted to work with our Ironwood vapor barrier flooring adhesive!
Yes, you can store flooring boxes in a covered building outside of the home under the following conditions:
- The boxes are protected from the elements (moisture, rain, snow, etc).
- The boxes are not open or cut.
- The temperature does not drop below freezing.
- The boxes are sitting on top of a pallet or other substrate that keeps them at least 5 inches off of the ground, and the ground is not wet.
BAMBOO/EUCALYPTUS FLOORS: Remember, storing boxes in a garage or non-climate controlled space is not considered acclimation. In fact, for floors that are stored in a garage/shed first, we recommend acclimating them at least 2-3 extra days on top of the normal acclimation period. The boxes will still need to be brought into the space in which they're going to be installed first (for acclimation) as per our installation instructions.
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.
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.
All types of rigid core (SPC) and engineered bamboo flooring can be installed below grade, but it is not recommended that solid hardwood or bamboo flooring be installed below grade. When installed via the floating method, we recommend the use of a quality 3 in 1 underlayment to serve as a moisture barrier and for footfall noise reduction. Engineered floors can be installed via the glue-down method on any level of the home, but if installing over concrete or crawl space you must use a urethane flooring adhesive that contains a vapor barrier (all-in-one glue).
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 8 mil 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.
Some of our floors and plywood contain the densest hardwood material in the world (strand woven bamboo) and will wear down standard saw blades pretty quickly. For this reason, we recommend a minimum 80 tooth tungsten carbide saw blade. Diablo is a brand that sells such a blade (check your local big box store or online).
Plywood Tip: if you get burn marks on some of your cuts you can sand them off saw using a few stages of different high grit sandpaper.
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. Call (866) 710-7070 for additional details.
We do not recommend installers. However, you have several options available to you to locate a good installer:
- Ask friends and family. Someone you know has had wood flooring installed within the last 5 years. Ask neighbors, friends, family and coworkers if they were happy with their wood floor installer and if so get their name. Contractors appreciate word-of-mouth referrals and some may even offer a "neighborhood" discount. Yelp is also a good way to find installers; look for those with a minimum of 3-5 reviews.
- Do your homework. If a contractor disparages a certain product and tries to convince you to buy one of their own floors, be wary. Sometimes this is done because of a bad experience with a low quality brand in the past, and other times they're trying to earn an extra commission from a product distributor.
- Get at least 3 estimates. Most installers will give you a free estimate over the phone or charge a small fee (from $20-$50) to do an in-home estimate. Try to cover all bases and ask as many questions as possible to get a good sense of their experience and knowledge.
- Pay a fair wage. Doing price comparisons is vital for you as a consumer. The vast majority of floor installers are honest, hard-working men and women that charge a fair wage and are working to support their families. If they go above and beyond it doesn't hurt to give them a tip at the end of the project.
- Request a warranty. The best installers are confident in their installation skills and will offer a warranty to back up their workmanship.
- Plan ahead. You'll want to assume that most installers are booked up with jobs for the ensuing 2-3 weeks, so the earlier you start getting estimates the better off you'll be. Also remember that most of our bamboo floors require at least a 3-day acclimation period, so you'll need to factor that into your plans as well.
Crowning - also referred to as 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.
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.
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. You can also check out our Moldings 101 page!
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.
No. Our floors are already optimized for moisture content, and ready to be acclimated and installed almost anywhere in the world. Also, please not that due to the structurally dense nature of strand woven bamboo and eucalyptus, it is practically impossible to achieve accurate and consistent moisture readings outside of a controlled moisture chamber, even with a wide variety of moisture meters that exist on the market today, so we don't recommend testing the floor moisture before installation.
We do however require that testing be performed on the subfloor to ensure it's not emitting more than 12% humidity/moisture before, during, and after installation. Also, you will want to make sure the floors have been stored in a dry, covered area and have not been left out in freezing temperatures for more than 24 hours.
The installer/homeowner must also ensure to acclimate the floor** correctly prior to installation and maintain the humidity level between 35%-55% post-installation. Remember - if acclimating on top of concrete, a crawl space, or other moisture emitting surface you must first lay down a (minimum) 8 mil thick polyethylene tarp or vapor barrier under the acclimating boxes, with the apron of the vapor barrier extending out at least 18 inches from the opened boxes. (This is to prevent the flooring from absorbing moisture while acclimating).
**Not all of our floors require acclimation - check each floor's product detail page "Specifications" section where you will see an "Acclimation Period" row with required acclimation data.
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).
The fastest method to take up cured adhesive is to use grinding machines. A clean and less toxic one is a dustless diamond grinder. If you need to scrape glue out of a smaller space, Sentinel is a brand that makes some good non-toxic adhesive removers that will soften the adhesive to allow it to be scraped up easier.
Nailing and gluing a floor down won't cause damage or defects, but it's usually only recommended on extra-wide solid hardwoods (exceeding 6 inches in width). On planks that are less than 6 inches wide, doing both is superfluous - you only need to do one or the other. It's also important to never nail or staple through click-lock floors, as they are not intended to be nailed down.
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).
Making cross-cuts and cuts down the length of floor planks can be tougher with traditional hardwoods, since the grain can prohibit a clean, even cut. However, you won't have this issue with strand woven bamboo floors and can easily cut the planks in any direction since the woven strips of bamboo that make up the floor planks are fused together during manufacture. Because of this, strand woven bamboo floors do not require a particular saw in order to be cut cleanly.
Cupping can happen for several reasons, but the #1 culprit is installer error or improper maintenance of environmental conditions onsite. Cupping is usually caused by elevated moisture content rising from the sub-floor and hitting the bottom of the flooring planks. Moisture affects the sides of the plank quicker than the center, causing them to swell and form the “cup” shape. There are many causes including improper flooring adhesive, incorrect trowel with the wrong spread rate, improper acclimation of the floor prior to installation, and many more. If you follow our installation and maintenance guides, you should not experience any of these issues.
Some cupping can be considered normal on wide planks, but if it is significant, there is usually an underlying issue. Important things to look out for:
1) The flooring was installed over a crawl space that wasn't properly sealed and the humidity is coming up through the subfloor and hitting the wood/bamboo floor.
2) The bamboo flooring was glued down to a concrete slab but the glue wasn't troweled down properly (either wrong trowel was used or there isn't full coverage on the slab) and there are gaps in the glue, so the moisture being released by the slab is hitting the bottom of the wood/bamboo floor. Different glues have different moisture barriers (3 lbs, 5 lbs, and 12 lbs are common) and you will need to use one with a high enough barrier for your subfloor.
3) The flooring wasn't acclimated properly so now the wood has adjusted and it's now it's drying out and changing shape.
4) Dry cupping: when a homeowner leaves the home and turns off the hvac, it can result in what is called the "Green House Effect" in summer time. Excessive heat and humidity followed by air conditioning will cause cupping.
Below are a few good links for further reading:
Gapping in hardwood floors is normal wood behavior and dry, cold days can cause this; in summer when the humidity increases and the planks swell, the gaps may or may not close up. This is normal and to be expected as wood is a hygroscopic material that expands and contracts to balance itself out with the humidity in its environment.
Check your humidity levels using a hygrometer and if your humidity is at or below 35% we recommend turning on a humidifier to remedy the solution. If gapping exists but humidity levels are between 40%-60% (recommended humidity range for hardwood and bamboo) it may be a result of improper acclimation or an uneven subfloor (where the planks are “sliding” down opposite sides of a mound due to repeated foot traffic), or the humidity was allowed to drop below 30% in which case the gaps may be permanent.
The National Wood Flooring Association recommends that you maintain a range of around 40%-60% humidity levels in your home if you have any wood floor installed. Want to know more? Here's another great article on how moisture affects hardwood flooring.
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!
No, you should never add any substance (glue, silicone, etc) in between the click-lock profile/mechanism. In fact, you'll want to ensure that the click-lock profile/,mechanism is clear and free of all debris prior to clicking the planks together or else you could compromise the stability of the connection.
Most designers and installers will lay the flooring longitudinally so that it is parallel to the longest run or wall in the installation. There are some exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb.
|PLANK DIMENSIONS||3 ft (920 mm) length |
5-1/8 in (130 mm) width
9/32 in (7mm - includes 1mm acoustic pad) thick
|FLOORING GROUP||Rigid Core Engineered Strand Click|
|SPECIES / TYPE||Strand Woven Bamboo with rigid SPC core|
|PROFILE (All 4 sides)||Click Lock|
|SQ FT PER BOX||15.45|
|PLANKS DESCRIPTION||Single length planks: all planks are same dimensions|
|WEIGHT PER BOX||37 lbs|
|PLANKS PER BOX||12|
|WEAR LAYER THICKNESS||1 mm Strand Bamboo|
|JANKA RATING||As high as 5342 (Learn more about Janka Hardness Scale)|
|PRODUCT SAFETY TESTING||See test results|
|FINISH TYPE||Accuseal Ultra with aluminum oxide (Finish Details | Print Maintenance Guide)|
|FINISH STYLE||Matte (aka satin/flat)|
|EDGE STYLE||micro bevel|
|ACCLIMATION PERIOD||24 hours|
|RADIANT HEAT SAFE||Yes|
|INSTALLATION GUIDE||Print Installation Guide|
|MAINTENANCE GUIDE||Print Maintenance Guide|
|NAILING GUIDELINES||do not nail|
|SUSTAINABILITY||Lacey Act Compliant.|
|R VALUE||ASTM C518-04:|
|MOISTURE CONTENT||ASTM D4442, Oven Dry Method: 6%-10% average|
|SLIP RESISTANCE||Coefficient of Friction: ASTM D2394 Average; Static 0.586; Sliding 0.59|
|FLAMMABILITY/FIRE RATING||ASTM E648: Class 1 Interior|
|CA PROP 65 WARNING LABEL||Print Now|
|MSDS LINK||Print MSDS|
|CSI SPECS LINK||Print CSI SPECS|
|ATTACHED UNDERLAYMENT||3 in 1 IXPE pad with sound retardant: IIC 62 | STC 53|
|ITEM NUMBER (UPC)||300844149805|
This Floor's Features
|Floorscore Certified?||YES - see cert|
|CA High Performance Schools EQ2.2.3||Meets standard|
|Carb Phase 2 (<= .05ppm)||Meets Standard|
|European Super E0||Meets Standard|
|Japanese JIS/JAS 5-STAR||Meets Standard|