Why Bamboo?

Bamboo Flooring


Beauty for a Lifetime

Bamboo is a green and durable alternative to hardwood. Naturally, you need to cut down a tree to produce hardwood, but because bamboo is a grass, it takes significantly less time to grow and harvest (about 5 years compared to 20+ years of tree growth). Bamboo is truly one of nature’s most renewable resources. It is comparable in strength to the mightiest Northern Red Oak trees, yet it withstands contraction and expansion compared to traditional hardwood. Bamboo is also more impervious to moisture than wood. 

The warm and rich tones of our bamboo products enrich the environment it’s surrounded in, and would be an excellent fit for any commercial, residential, or product space, though designers and architects have found it’s use in homes, offices, hotels, and retail shops to be unique, elegant, and tranquil.


Bamboo Flooring — Pros vs. Cons

Not only is bamboo more durable and elegant compared to hardwood, but it is a heavy staple in the green movement. Bamboo is not a tree, but a grass, and it’s known for being one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. Unlike trees, all bamboo plants have potential to grow to full height in a single growing season (three to four months). It’s not uncommon for bamboo to be ready for harvesting three years after it’s planted. For general knowledge - bamboo primarily grows in Asia where it is a prominent cultural phenomenon. It’s used for clothing, eating, and building.


Bamboo Flooring Facts

  • Bamboo is harder than red oak according to extensive ASTM testing. 
  • Bamboo is 50% more stable than red oak because of moisture content changes. 
  • Bamboo is more durable than any other hardwood flooring product. 
  • Bamboo flooring is unaffected by termites and carpenter ants after the anti-pest treatment. 
  • Bamboo is easy to clean, making it a nice addition for people with allergies. 
  • Bamboo provides an exotic look to traditional spaces. 
  • Bamboo is easy to install. It’s made from giant bamboo specifically grown for building. The flooring planks are milled with tongue and groove edges to provide interlocking assembly. Each pre-finished plank is coated with clear, UV cured acrylic polyurethane. State of the art machinery is used to apply and cure the coating.


What are the top bamboo products available?

All of our products are constructed with solid bamboo to withstand years of wear and increase durability. We have Bamboo Products available in the following categories: 

  • Solid Bamboo 
  • Engineered Bamboo 
  • Click Engineered Bamboo 
  • Solid Strand Bamboo 
  • Engineered Strand Bamboo 
  • Click Engineered Strand Bamboo 
  • Click Solid Strand Bamboo 
  • Distress Bamboo 

We also have Bamboo Moldings available in the following categories: 

  • Stair nosing 
  • Threshold 
  • Reducer 
  • ¼ round 
  • Baseboard 
  • Treads


Can I use Bamboo floors in my building?

Per the NFPA’s life safety code, Bamboo flooring passes with a class 1 rating; that means it can be used in all classes of buildings (homes, hotels, offices, retail).


What is Bamboo Flooring’s resistance compared to hardwood?

Bamboo flooring showed an average hardness of 1640 (27% harder than Northern Red Oak and 14% harder than Hard Maple). It’s slip resistance was measured at a static coeffecient of 590, which exceeds OSHA’s recommendation for level surfaces in the workplace by a staggering 300%. The abrasion resistance test Bamboo & Hardwood Imports, Inc. took reaffirms our facts in that bamboo is one of the toughest planks in the industry. All products are available with an aluminum oxide finish with UV protection with an anti-scratch finish or a natural oil finsih.


Bamboo Flooring Installation, Maintenance, and Concrete Moisture


Bamboo Floors Maintenance

Bamboo flooring can be maintained through these simple tips. Every floor must be mopped, vacuumed or swpt with a soft bristle broom daily, or as necessary to remove dust and grit from the surface. 
Place “walk-off” mats at all entrances of the building. It will capture the majority of harmful dirt before it reaches the bamboo floor. Floor protector pads of soft felt or similar material should be placed on the bottoms of the legs of furniture. Floor protectors must be kept clean of grit and periodically replaced. Keep high heels in good repair. An unprotected heel could dent the floor. 

Scuffmarks and stains should be removed with slightly rubbing with wood floor cleaner and a cloth. Never pour water onto a bamboo floor to clean it.


Bamboo Floors Installation

Prior to the installation of any Bamboo flooring product, the installer must determine that the environment and sub-surfaces involved must meet or exceed the standards of general construction. The sub-floor must be dry, stiff, and flat. Do not proceed with an installation without having an inspector test your floor.


What should I look for before installing new bamboo floor in an unfinished building?

The building should be closed in with all doors and windows in place. All concrete, masonry, framing members, drywall, and paint should be dry before proceeding. 

The wall coverings should be in place and the painting should be completed. 

Exterior grading must be complete with surface drainage directing water away from the building. All gutters and downspouts should be in place. 

Don’t install bamboo flooring in full bathrooms. 

Basements and crawl spaces must be dry and well ventilated. 

Crawl space must be a minimum of 24” (600 mm) from the ground underside of joists. A ground over of 6-8 mil black polyethylene film is essential as a vapor barrier with joints lapped six inches and taped. The crawl space should have perimeter-venting equal to a minimum of 1.5% The crawl space square footage. These vents should be properly located to foster cross ventilation. 

The sub-floor must be checked for moisture content using the appropriate testing method. 

Permanent air conditioning and heating systems should be in place and operational. The installation site should have a consistent room temperature of 60-75 degrees F and a humidity of 35-55% for 14 days prior to the installation, and hold these temperatures until the installation process is complete, to allow for proper acclimation.


How to Handle Planks of Bamboo Floor after it’s been delivered

Handle and unload the bamboo planks with care. Store it in a dry space. Flooring should not be delivered until the paint has dried, and all doors and windows are in place. Concrete should be at least 60 days old prior to installation. Bamboo Flooring should be stored in the environment in which it is expected to perform.


What are the sub-floor requirements for installing bamboo floors?

Sub-floors must be clean - sweep clean with a broom and make sure it’s scrape-free and smooth! 

Make sure it’s level. The floor must be completely flat. Within 3/16” in 10’ and / or 6’. Sand high areas joints; fill low areas (no more than 1/8” at a time) with a cement level compound or milk additive latex patch of 3,000 PSI Minimum compressive strength. Follow the instructions of the leveling compound manufacturer. Leveling compounds must be tested for moisture to ensure they are properly cured and within the manufacturer’s specified requirements for proper installation. 

The sub-floor must be structurally sound. Nail or screw any loose areas that squeak. Replace any water-damaged, swollen, or delaminated sub-flooring under pavements. Avoid sub-floor with excessive vertical movement unless they have been properly stiffened prior to the installation of the bamboo flooring. 

Most importantly, make sure it’s dry. Bamboo and adhesive will not stick to a moist subfloor. Check your sub-floors moisture content of the sub-floor with a reliable moisture meter.


How to Handle Planks of Bamboo Floor after it’s been delivered

Handle and unload the bamboo planks with care. Store it in a dry space. Flooring should not be delivered until the paint has dried, and all doors and windows are in place. Concrete should be at least 60 days old prior to installation. Bamboo Flooring should be stored in the environment in which it is expected to perform.



Preferred: ¾” (19 mm) 
CDX grade plywood ¾’ (23/32”) OSB 
PS2 rate 

Underlayment MINIMUM: Existing Solid Wood Flooring, Vinyl, Resilient Tile, Cork Flooring 
Concrete Slabs: Acoustic concrete, ¾” Chip, Wafer Board, Metal 
Ceramic, terrazzo, slate and marble 5/8” CDX grade plywood, Acoustic Cork, Particleboard


How to Identify Moisture in Concrete Slabs

Bamboo flooring can be glued directly to concrete. A sealer should also be applied. Before you begin gluing, prepare the surface by sanding or scouring with open coat paper or a titanium disk. All concrete sub-floors should be tested for methods content. A lot of the time, visual checks are not reliable to test for methods content. Acceptable test methods for sub-floors moisture are: 

  • Calcium Chloride Test: The maximum moisture transfer must not exceed 3 lbs./1000 Square feet with this test. 
  • Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter Meter: Moisture readings should not exceed 4.5 on the upper scale. A dry slab, as defined by these tests, may be wet at other times of the year. This test does not guarantee a dry slab. All concrete slabs should have a minimum of 6 mil poly firm moisture barrier between the ground and the concrete. 
  • Acoustic Concrete: Acoustic concrete normally contains large quantities of gypsum that may inhibit the adhesive’s capability to properly bond. Acoustic concrete must primed with the concrete manufacturers Recommended primer/surface hardener. 

Note: Test several areas of the sub-floor, especially near walls.


How do I install slip sheets on concrete slabs?

If moisture is present, inexpensive sheet vinyl “slip-sheet” (PVC) may be installed. Use a premium grade, alkaline resistance adhesive and a full spread application system to properly bond the vinyl to the sub-floor. Follow the sheet vinyl manufacturer instructions for installation procedures. A patch test may be required as an adhesion test. Install in several small areas (3 x 3) and allow the vinyl to set for 72 hours. After that time, remove the vinyl. If the backing remains attached to the concrete, the sub floor should be acceptable for sheet vinyl installation. If you have any questions regarding installation or the handling of moisture problems, please contact the distributor/retailer from whom the goods were purchased.


What type of maintenance is necessary before installing slip sheets?

Clean the surface thoroughly with a good quality household detergent. If vinyl appears to have a coating of wax or other maintenance materials, it must be removed with the appropriate floor stripper. Allow ample drying time - usually around 72 hours (Note: Do not sand any resilient products for they may contain asbestos fibers, which may be harmful). Do not install over floors that exceed two layers.


How do I prepare the doorway and walls for Bamboo Flooring Installation?

Undercut door casings. Remove any existing base, shoe mold or doorway thresholds. These items can be replaced after installation. All door casing should be notched out or undercut to avoid difficult scribe cuts.


Final Notes on how to install Bamboo flooring, and a note on Urethane Adhesive.

When installing Bamboo Flooring, allow a minimum of 72 hours of adhesive curing time before applying seals, stains and finishes to UNFINISHED flooring. Trowel filling and fillers are required to reduce the possibility of penalization caused by the finish “gluing” the slats together. Test the moisture content of the wood in accordance with the stain/finish manufacturers. Avoid installing from the surface of the flooring. If necessary distribute weight using a kneeler board. Urethane Adhesive takes 60-90 minutes (always read the container label before proceeding). Spread sufficient amounts of recommended Urethane adhesive with the recommended trowel In area that can be covered in 60-90 minutes. 

Hold the trowel at a minimum 45 degree angle firmly against the sub-floor to obtain a 50-60 sq ft. per gallon spread rate. When not in use, keep the adhesive container tightly closed to prevent thickening. Thickening of the Urethane will cause difficulty in spreading the adhesive. Proper ventilation within the room must be provided. An electric fan is helpful. The floor should be installed from several cartons at the same time ensure good color and shade mixture. 

See www.nwfa.org for any questions regarding bamboo or wood flooring and Installation tips.  Background c/o BHI

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