Floating Bamboo Flooring | Cost and Installation Process
Ten reasons to buy Floating Bamboo Flooring:
1. Beautiful and elegant design element in your home or business.
2. Durable – Outperforms traditional hardwoods.
3. Environmentally friendly – No rainforest hardwoods.
4. Installs like traditional tongue and groove flooring.
5. It can be ordered pre-finished in two colors or comes unfinished for ‘sand in place’.
6. Dimensionally stable – Twice that of Red Oak.
7. Ideal for commercial, residential, and sports courts.
8. A proven flooring material used extensively throughout Asia.
9. An abundant and renewable resource.
10. Competitively priced.
If you are looking for floating bamboo flooring you should know that bamboo is one of the most durable of the hardwoods in the world. Besides being extremely strong and durable there is the issue of price. Because bamboo is a rather quick growing plant, the cost of bamboo is relatively low compared to other hardwoods.
The fact that it does grow so fast makes it very Eco-friendly and a renewable source. Those facts alone make it an excellent flooring material for just about anywhere. Floating bamboo flooring can come in various strengths depending on thickness and whether or not the wood is carbonized. Carbonized bamboo is darker than natural bamboo and softer, but the color makes a difference, as people buying bamboo flooring tend to choose the darker hues rather than lighter hues as it naturally looks.
What is the bamboo and why it represents a sustainable alternative to conventional floors
Even though it can be used like timber, bamboo is actually a grass that functions as a single plant, self-propagating as it spreads underground via a network of rhizomes. Bamboo is not harmed by harvesting and can regrow into mature fiber in three and a half to seven years. By comparison, Oak takes approximately 120 years to grow to maturity. In addition to being attractive, easy to maintain, and harder than standard hardwoods, it also represents a considerable ecological saving since it reduces the need for virgin lumber, often harvested using clearcut methods. Bamboo is gaining popularity due to its strength, natural beauty, and multi-faceted uses. In fact, next time you are in the San Francisco airport – take a look at the floor of the bookstore in the international terminal!
Most bamboo is found in China, but India, Japan, Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Indonesia are also commercial exporters. In China, the bamboo is raised by farmers and sent to a Chinese factory to be split, milled into small rectangles and glued into planks. These materials are then shipped to the US and milled by manufacturers.
Over half of the world’s population relies on bamboo for daily use. Among 1500 uses applicable here include: furniture, cabinetry, flooring, baskets, cases, screens, scaffolding, structural posts, fences, wall coverings, mats, and much more
Most bamboo flooring uses urea-formaldehyde as a binder or adhesive, which produces a negligible amount of airborne formaldehyde.
The bamboo grass has a minimal environmental impact since Bamboo can be harvested after 3 years of growth in controlled forests. Compared to a fast-growing pine forest, about twice as much fiber can be taken from a bamboo forest per year.
A test as to whether the flooring is being harvested sustainably is to check for mold. Bamboo must be harvested at least 3 years after it shoots. If not, the high sugar content of the new shoot causes immediately moldy conditions, especially in humid places.
Bamboo is useful in controlling erosion, the rhizome web keeps riverbanks intact.
In Asia and South America, many cultures keep their traditions intact because everything they need is provided by this plant which costs only time.
The leaves are as nutritious as alfalfa, so feeding them to livestock creates no waste in the system.
Bamboo is generally available in several pre-finished colors (such as natural, amber and cherry) and since bamboo accepts many different stains it is exceptionally versatile and can be blended to match almost any interior palette.
The various available forms include woven mats, several inches wide flooring, 20-inch wide x 6 foot long sheets (Smith and Fong), strips glued to canvas for tambour or roll-top desks, and veneer.
Flooring is available where the rectangles are next to one another in single-ply (vertical grain) or in 2 or 3 plies where the wide side of the rectangle is seen on the surface. Most of the pre-finished flooring comes with a slight bevel between them which emphasizes the distinction between pieces. Look carefully at the profiles of the pieces.
Why Choose Floating Bamboo Flooring
The choice of floating bamboo flooring allows for ease of installation since the flooring is not connected to the sub-floor. You should consider some type of foam to underlay the bamboo and many floating floors come with some sort of foam already attached, again to aid in the ease of installation. Adding this extra layer helps make it a little more comfortable to walk on rather than it just being another hard service over concrete.
Choosing The Right Product
When choosing a style of floating bamboo flooring, the variety on the market now can seem to be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. Bamboo is well known and easily recognized by its knuckle pattern which comes from the joints in the stalks of the bamboo plant. Choosing whether you want a horizontal or vertical graining in the wood is another very important cosmetic decision when choosing your flooring.
Because bamboo flooring is more resistant to moisture damage than other hardwoods, it can be an excellent choice of flooring for the kitchen or bathroom or basement or any other room that is prone to moisture. This makes tasks such as mopping your floor not a big issue since the wood won’t warp like other woods can do unless you have special coatings and cleaning products.
So we know that when installing it we are choosing a material that is beautiful, strong, very durable, Eco-friendly, and wallet-friendly. A testament to the durability of the material would be that when properly cared for, a bamboo floor that is more than 10 years old can look remarkably like new flooring that just when in yesterday. Because of the moisture-resistant nature of the wood, there is also a far less chance that you will have to deal with buckling and rippling of the wood like you would with other types of hardwood flooring.
Lastly and increasingly, more importantly, is the sustainability of the material, since bamboo replenishes itself very quickly after being cut. You can feel good about the fact that you aren’t tapping into resources that are in danger of dying off like some types of wood that comes from trees in the forest that is slowly becoming extinct and you will have a great looking floating bamboo flooring for years to come that you can be proud of.
I am very satisfied with this product I’ve bought from Amazon four years ago. Yes, FOUR YEARS! And I am still satisfied with the quality of it. I already recommend it to other friends of mine and they are also very satisfied. So why don’t you take a look here?
Floating Bamboo Flooring Installation
If you are interested in floating bamboo flooring installation then you need to be aware of the process in either doing it yourself or hiring someone. While hiring someone to do it will cost money, it can be done on your own if you like to do home improvement projects around the house and you are very handy but it is good to know the process or whether you should hire someone to have it done professionally. If you do choose to DIY then you will feel a sense of great accomplishment every time you come into the room. DIY flooring is awesome and very recreative. I will try to explain below how easy is to install bamboo flooring in your house.
The product is typically factory pre-finished and can be installed like any hardwood floor is- by nailing or gluing it down. Bamboo is also available unfinished and can be sanded and finished on site. Like other solid floorings, bamboo should be acclimated outside of the packaging in the room for several weeks before installation to get the humidity and temperature to equalize the top and bottom.
The successful colors are achieved by fuming since bamboo has such straight grain with few exposed pores, it accepts stains differently than wood. Always try potential stains on samples first.
The Installation Process of the Floating Bamboo Flooring
If you are worried about it being too hard of a process and not having the right tools then put that fear to rest. The actual tools you need are very simple and you may already have them. If you don’t have all the tools you need to install floating bamboo flooring then you can most likely rent any tools you don’t have at your local hardware or home improvement store. Some of the tools you will need are a rubber mallet, a hand saw, a compound miter saw and a Porta face-nailer. To Save Time and Money, I recommend you to try this bamboo flooring installation kit:
Preparing For Installation
Preparation is very important in the process of floating bamboo flooring installation and being prepared will have a big impact on how your floor will ultimately look so don’t overlook this process. If you are replacing old flooring then be careful not to damage the subfloor underneath. If there is a carpet that you are removing then make sure all the floor tacks are removed so they don’t get in the way of the floating bamboo flooring lying down flush.
Before Installation – Other aspects to consider
The subfloor must be solid, level, clean, and dry. Fifteen-pound building paper should be laid directly onto the subfloor as a vapor barrier. This building paper will also serve to minimize squeaks caused by small movements in the flooring. Leave 1/4-inch space between flooring and wall to allow for any expansion.
Two-inch long flooring nails, or 2 inches, 15 gauge flooring staples with a 1/2-inch crown should be used with pneumatic or mechanically operated floor nailer. These nailers are struck with a rubber-faced hammer to drive each board tightly up against its neighbor while simultaneously driving the fastener through the tongue of the flooring and into the subfloor.
Care should be taken to properly space the nails 8 to 10 inches apart along each floorboard and at least 5 inches away from each end.
Measuring For The Installation Surface
After the surface area, you are planning to the floor is clean, the next step is to measure the surface area so you know how much bamboo flooring you will need for the project. Whatever amount of area you come up with from your measurements it is a good idea to add at least 15-20 percent more flooring in case you make the wrong cuts or need more later on. When you get the flooring back to the room, you should next lay all the flooring down for a rough example of what it will look like. This makes it easier to know what will go where.
Floating Bamboo Flooring Installation Process
The next step if you are working on floating bamboo flooring installation then you do not need adhesive or a face nailer. Next start to lay the pieces down and tapping the joints together with your rubber mallet in the area you chose to start at. One useful tip is to make sure you do your measurements correctly and measuring twice is always a good idea before you cut. After you have finished laying down the whole floor it is time to inspect and make sure all the joints are aligned properly and there are not chipped or fraying edges.
After that, it is time to enjoy your new bamboo flooring. You will be amazed every time you walk in the room that it was your handy work and you will be proud to show it off to all your guests. They will also be amazed that you did the floating bamboo flooring installation yourself.
Bamboo flooring can also be installed over a concrete slab with an approved adhesive:
As with a wood subfloor, care should be taken that the concrete is flat, clean, and dry. Be sure to test the moisture content of the concrete slab to stay within the 3% recommended moisture range between the flooring and slab. Use any high-quality wood floor adhesive available, such as Franklin, Bostik, or Bruce brands, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for trowel notch size.
Finishing Floating Bamboo Floor Installation
Bamboo flooring can be re-finished like any other hardwood floor surface/ Floor sanding requires the use of special sanders designed for wood flooring. Re-finishing is a highly skilled profession. For the best results, we recommend employing a professional flooring contractor.
After sanding, be sure to apply the first coat of finish the same day that sanding was completed. This prevents moisture from being absorbed into the flooring preventing rough, raised grain appearance. The floor can be finished with commonly used products for wood flooring, including penetrating sealers, pigment-wiping stains, moisture-cured urethanes, and polyurethanes. Be sure to test a sample piece before proceeding with the entire floor. Do not Wax.
Routine maintenance is a function of the finish applied. Bamboo flooring can be sanded and refinished like any other solid wood flooring. The “vertical grain” configuration allows more cycles of sanding than the 2 or 3 ply.
Performance / Durability
In a test where a steel ball is dropped from various prescribed heights, bamboo resisted denting better than oak and is about equivalent to our hardest native wood, maple. The finish chosen can have a much greater impact on long-term durability and scratch-resistance. Eventually, all floors will scratch, and bamboo can easily be refinished, unlike laminate flooring.
Success Story – Soon after 2000 square feet of flooring was installed at Misugi Design in Berkeley, it was submerged for a week due to flooding. A few pieces cupped very slightly, but the floor remained intact. Any other hardwood floor would have been ruined. This story illustrates the incredible durability of bamboo!
Comparable in price to a standard hardwood floor.
Types of Floating Bamboo Flooring Products:
Available in natural or carbonized amber, either unfinished or prefinished with three coats of polyurethane. It can also be sanded and finished like other traditional floorings. Sold three-ply bamboo laminate – tongue and groove configuration.
Natural Bamboo flooring has a rich, natural, beautiful blonde coloration. Each plank comes with a full tongue and groove on all four edges with a micro-bevel edge creating a traditional ‘V-groove‘ when installed.
Carbonized Bamboo flooring results from a process of heat and pressure is applied to the bamboo prior to lamination. This process turns the bamboo a rich coffee/ amber color that permeates through the bamboo – it is not an applied stain and will always retain its color even after sanding. Each plank comes with a full tongue on all four edges with a micro-bevel edge creating a traditional ‘V-groove‘ when installed. All pre-finished material comes with three coats of ultra-violet cured heavy-duty satin polyurethane.