Nowadays, people prefer to install wooden floors, especially bamboo flooring as it is much more durable and cost-effective.
Bamboo flooring makes an ecologically friendly choice because it is manufactured from the fastest growing species (Moso) of bamboo. The Moso species has been reported to grow at an amazing rate of 2-3 feet per day. A bamboo crop can fully mature in just 5 years, compared to traditional hardwoods that may take 60-70 years to reach their maturity. Thus, the use of bamboo in the construction of floors and furniture discourages the cutting of already compromised hardwood forests on a large commercial scale.
Moreover, it is less likely for bamboo flooring to be attacked by insects and pathogens as bamboo is quite resistant to the attacks of foreign intruders. The bamboo planks are also treated with anti-microbial growth and mineral boron insecticides.
Once you have decided to install bamboo flooring in your home, the next step is to do some research and prepare a bamboo flooring checklist; to help you buy a perfect bamboo floor for your home.
Questions you should consider asking yourself before purchasing a bamboo floor:
1) What are the different types of bamboo does the store stock?
Remember that there are different types of bamboo flooring based on how the trimmed strips of bamboo are glued together. These are:
- Horizontal bamboo flooring is created by laying the strips on top of one another.
- Vertical bamboo flooring is manufactured by laying the bamboo strips on their narrow sides with their faces glued together.
- Woven-Strand or Compressed Strain bamboo flooring is made by utilizing the thin, long strands trimmed from the bamboo stalks.
- Compressed bamboo flooring is known for its strength and durability, making a perfect option to install in areas that receive a high amount of foot traffic.
2) What is the grade of the product and its expected lifetime?
- Grade A bamboo is fully matured at harvest, contains no mold or fungus, is consistent in colour, and lasts a lifetime under normal conditions.
- Grade B bamboo, on the other hand, is harvested before the bamboo is mature, is not consistent in colour, contains mould or fungus, and is offered with lower quality finishes.
3) What is the sanding and refinishing of a bamboo floor?
Better quality floors can be finished with six to eight coats, including one coat of aluminium oxide. Make sure that the bamboo is sealed on all four sides as this will help prevent moisture damage. Ask your salesperson to show you bamboo flooring that doesn’t make use of those glues and adhesives, and contain harmful levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that is proven to trigger attacks in asthma patients and is also a suspected carcinogen. Purchase a floor that meets E1 Safety & Emission Standards.
4) What is there warranty policy?
Ask the salesperson about their warranty and is it their company warranty and not their manufactures warranty, because you will not be able to claim on this. Ask them how long they have been in business. The longer, the better and do they provide support? Also ask about customer testimonials and feed back of their services. If you find bamboo flooring going really cheap and it has no warranty do not buy their product. Always read the fine print before purchasing bamboo flooring.
5) Ask if they would let you go out with one of their installers so you can see the quality of the installation.
This is important because if the installation is not very good, you might get problems later.
6) Is the product in stock?
Some local stores place orders which can result in delayed shipments. Ask the salesperson to check stock with the distributor. If your selected flooring is in stock, remove a piece from a box and inspect it. It also makes a good idea to take the flooring sample home to see how well it matches with the furniture within your home, and the lighting in your rooms.
7) Find out fees, penalties and stipulations for returning.
Ask if they will reimburse you for returning leftover bamboo planks.
8) Do they provide installation services?
If not, do they have a list of licensed installers they recommend? Ask if they provide DIY (do-it-yourself) instructions and carry accessories such as moisture barriers, adhesives, trims, mouldings, rugs, mats, cleaning kits, repair kits and other tools needed for installation. Ask if they deliver the product. If so, is there any fee?
Getting answers to aforementioned questions will definitely get you a dream bamboo floor for your home. To round out the buying process, also consider your home décor and furnishings, climate extremes, foot traffic levels, pets, kids, disabilities, stairs, condition of the sub-floor and sound insulation in your home.
After purchasing the bamboo floor, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your warranty is not voided.