Bamboo Flooring FAQs
What is carbonized bamboo flooring?
Choosing bamboo flooring is almost always about the color, since the durability is equal across products. Carbonized flooring is a great choice for home owners who want to enjoy the benefits of bamboo, but prefer something a bit darker than bamboo’s naturally blond color.
One of the biggest advantages of the carbonization process is that you can achieve your desired rich dark color and it will be the same color all the way through the plank, so sanding the surface won’t remove the color. The deep rich color that you see in carbonized bamboo flooring is a result of a carefully calibrated heating process.
What is the difference between “click-lock” bamboo flooring and “tongue and groove”?
These are two terms that describe how the individual floor boards join together. While one is not generally better than the other, each has its own set of circumstances for which it is better suited.
With click-lock flooring, each board is cut in such a way that allows it to lock onto the next board when they are placed together. One favorite feature of this type of flooring is that it does not require any type of adhesives or fasteners, and they are thought to be a much quicker and easier installation.
With tongue and groove flooring, the boards are also cut so that they join easily together. However, with this type of flooring, you don’t see the same type of locking effect. As a result, you will need to attach the floors with either glue or nails. While this type of installation is considered to be a more permanent option, it also means that they can be more difficult to remove, should the need arise.
Can bamboo flooring be installed in a laundry room or bathroom?
If you choose to install a bamboo floor in water-prone areas, we encourage you to make that decision only after very careful consideration. Bamboo is a very durable and hearty material, but virtually no type of flooring is truly resistant to the long term effects of moisture.
Before you install bamboo or eucalyptus flooring in a laundry room or bathroom for your client, please contact us to discuss your options in further detail.
When placing an order for bamboo flooring, how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
When it comes to waste from a flooring installation, the amount of bamboo that you end up throwing away depends heavily on the skill level of the person who is installing it. Highly skilled contractors obviously tend to waste less than homeowners who are undertaking a do-it-yourself project. As a general rule of thumb, consider ordering anywhere from 7% to 10% extra per project. If you’re still unsure, contact a member of the Blue Forest team, and we’ll help you determine the right amount for your order.
Are there any concerns about these floors shrinking after installation?
In general, when you buy your floors from a reputable flooring company, shrinkage should not be a concern. That being said, all hardwood flooring will expand and contract depending on the relative humidity inside the room, so we recommend that you maintain reasonable climate control settings within the 35%-55% humidity range recommended by the National Wood Flooring Association.
It’s also important that you allow the planks to acclimate to their new surroundings with the climate control turned on. Letting the boards acclimate for a period of at least 3-4 days is recommended for Blue Forest products, but you should always consult your manufacturer’s instructions, as these recommendations may vary.
If you are still concerned about installing bamboo floors due to unpredictable climate, chat with a member of our team to learn about your options.
Eucalyptus Flooring FAQs
Eucalyptus Flooring FAQs
Eucalyptus flooring has been gaining in popularity in recent years, and it’s a request that is being heard more and more often by flooring contractors. You can be sure that eucalyptus flooring is something much more than a passing trend, though. It is renewable, durable, and affordable, and we are positive that this eco-conscious flooring option is here to stay.
How is eucalyptus flooring installed?
Eucalyptus flooring is installed in the same manner that you would install any other type of plank flooring. Here, you generally have three options: glue down method, nail down method, and click-lock. If you’re new to the world of eucalyptus floors, you shouldn’t be intimidated at all. A member of the Blue Forest team is more than happy to help you determine the right type of installation for your project.
Are eucalyptus floors generally difficult to maintain?
Absolutely not! Similar to other types of hard flooring, you should avoid waxing or wet mopping (which is a dream come true for some home owners). Dust mopping or using a cleaner specifically designed for these types of floors is your best bet. Otherwise, you’ll just want to suggest that your clients take all of the usual necessary precautions. Heavy items should be lifted, not pulled across the floor, and it’s always wise to use felt pads under furniture with wooden feet or legs.
Due to its superior hardness and durability, you and your clients can be sure that these floors will remain beautiful for years to come.
Are there any obvious differences between bamboo and eucalyptus floors?
Both of these flooring options are a wise choice for any home or business. They are both responsibly harvested from sources that are extremely renewable. They also both offer a hardness that is far superior to many of the traditional wood flooring options, and they are much more affordable.
The primary difference between the two is aesthetic – eucalyptus has knots while bamboo has nodes. Eeucalyptus is a type of tree that is known for its rapid regrowth, whereas bamboo is a grass that is woven together to give you that signature bamboo aesthetic. Both types perform well in almost any surroundings.
What colors are available for eucalyptus flooring?
There are a variety of eucalyptus flooring color choices, and we’re always adding something new to our collection. Be sure to check out the “Our Products” section of our website or join our mailing list to be the first to know about new product releases.
How does eucalyptus flooring compare to other types of hardwood floors?
As we mentioned, eucalyptus is a rapidly renewable tree, which means that it’s a much more responsible choice than traditional hard woods. Aesthetically, eucalyptus (due to the strand weaving process that is used during manufacturing) offers a beauty and shine that easily rivals other types of wood floors. Lastly, it is also a superior choice, economically speaking. With eucalyptus flooring, you can cover a much larger area on a much tighter budget.
In terms of hardness, our eucalyptus floors have been found to be as much as three times harder than oak, which is often referred to as the “standard” for hardness of wood floors.
Flooring Installation Tips
Blue Forest Bamboo Tips for a Successful Flooring Installation
The process of installing bamboo or eucalyptus flooring is almost identical to that of installing any of the other traditional hardwoods, and the level of expertise required to successfully complete the project varies based on a number of factors. Everything about the flooring installation affects the final outcome:
- What type and quality of flooring have you purchased?
- Onto what kind of surface to do you plan to apply the flooring?
- What are the tools that are required to complete the project?
In order to save yourself a lot of time, money, and heartache, be sure to consider every aspect of your flooring installation before making a firm decision about whether or not you will hire a professional flooring contractor. Here are some flooring installation tips that will make the process easier for everyone involved:
Choosing the Right Tools for the Job
Of course, you should always remember to use personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles, ear plugs, and a dust mask, when working on any home improvement project. Additionally, we recommend that you have the following tools handy, in order to achieve a professional-looking end result:
- Rubber Mallet and Tapping Block
- Wooden or Plastic Spacers
- Tape Measure, Carpenter’s Square, and Level
- Floor Nailer and Floor Fasteners (for nail-down method)
- Approved adhesive, tools for application, and adhesive remover (for glue-down method)
- 3M/Scotchguard #2080 tape (other tapes may pull up the finish if left on floor/moldings too long)
- Miter Saw and Table Saw
Important Considerations, Regardless of Installation Method
When installing bamboo or eucalyptus flooring, there are a few very important considerations that apply, regardless of the method of installation that you have chosen:
- Review the manufacturer’s guidelines and warranty information before you ever begin the project. It helps to have a single point of contact with the company that has supplied the floors, because questions will inevitably arise before, during, and after the installation.
- Be sure to order more than you need. Again, the manufacturer will be your most valuable resources in determining exactly how much of the flooring material that you should order, because they are most familiar with their products.
- Allow the flooring material to acclimate to its surroundings (specifically, the room into which the flooring will be installed). Acclimation times vary by product, so consult your manufacturer’s guidelines before you begin.
Installing Over a Wood Sub-Floor
Whether you are installing over a wood or concrete sub-floor, you want to be sure that the surface is clean, level, and structurally sound.
Wood sub-floors make the perfect foundation for installing bamboo or eucalyptus flooring, and they are typically receptive to either a nail-down or glue-down method. For best results, your sub-floors should have a minimum thickness of ¾ inches. Before you begin your installation, you should examine the surface carefully. Ensure that the subfloor is properly attached to joists and correct any potential problems as you notice them. A level will be very useful during this preliminary process, and a sander will also help smooth out minor issues.
For newly constructed homes, it’s best to install your new floors last (after all other finishes have been completed). If you are installing the floors as part of a remodeling project or in a newer home, remove all baseboards and any other existing trim prior to starting.
The humidity level of your wood subfloors should be well controlled, and should never exceed 12%, regardless of seasonal weather changes. If you are concerned about climate compatibility with your chosen flooring material, speak with a Blue Forest team member about acceptable vapor barriers.
Installing Over a Concrete Sub-Floor
Particular care must be taken when installing Blue Forest products over a concrete sub-floor. Most importantly, we recommend that all concrete work should have been completed a minimum of three months prior to installation. If there are significant variances in the concrete surface, grind them down until you’re satisfied that the floor is level.
Because concrete foundations tend to retain moisture as they cure (which is then released over time), we suggest using a moisture barrier in both new builds and renovation projects. This will ensure that the surface remains dry all year around. There are several adhesives on the market that also contain a built in moisture/vapor barrier.
Just as with wood sub-floor installations, you should be sure that the surface remains clean and dry throughout the process, and you will need to remove all baseboards and trim prior to beginning your project.
Click-lock flooring installations require that you take many of the same precautions as with nail-down or glue-down methods. For example, moisture levels are still an important factor to consider, as well as expansion and shrinkage. The convenience of being able to “float” these floors without the use of fasteners or adhesives, however, makes click-lock flooring much more DIY-friendly. We recommend using a high quality 3 in 1 vapor barrier underlayment with a high sound absorption rating (check the STC and IIC sound rating).
When installing click-lock flooring, it’s important to remember that the boards should never be forced together. Individual planks should fit easily together, in order to avoid damaging the perimeter of the plank. If you’re using a mallet or hammer, never tap the board directly. Use a tapping block.
The Blue Forest team is committed to providing the support you need throughout the duration of your project. From your initial order to years following installation, a member of our team is here to help. If you still have questions or concerns about our products or the installation process, feel free to contact us!
Compare Flooring Types
Comparing Flooring Materials
With so many options available today, making a decision about which flooring material will be best for your home can be a challenge. When weighing the advantages, disadvantages, and cost of various flooring types, it’s important that you carefully consider both aesthetics and functionality.
Choosing a Flooring Type
Before you choose one type of flooring over another, take the time to carefully evaluate the space. To start, it’s helpful to ask yourself a few key questions:
- Will this floor be installed in a moisture-prone area, such as a bathroom or kitchen?
- Do I plan to install this floor in a high-traffic area, such as a living room, hallway, foyer, etc?
- How long do you hope for this floor to last? Remember that certain types of wear and tear, such as that created by children and family pets, can potentially shorten the life of your floors (depending on the material that you choose).
- What size is the room, and does it have an irregular corners or borders that may make installation more difficult?
- Will this installation be performed by a professional, or will I try to install the flooring myself?
Your responses to these questions should be taken into consideration when you’re shopping for flooring. It is very important to keep in mind that certain flooring materials require a higher level of expertise than others.
Most Commonly Used Flooring Materials
While “favorite” flooring types may sometimes come and go as trends, it’s more common for flooring materials to stick around for a while after they’ve been introduced to the market. Generally speaking, most floors aren’t simply going to go out of style.
There are some materials, however, that continue to top the list year after year. Here are just a few:
Carpet has been a favorite for years, due to its comfortable softness and ability to cut down on the noise in a home. Over the decades, we’ve seen every carpet trend you can think of, with varying styles, patterns, fibers, and more. Unfortunately, though, carpet requires quite a bit more upkeep than some of the other common flooring types. Even the stain-resistant varieties can create more work for the modern family, requiring frequent vacuuming and even the occasional shampoo.
More importantly, however, is the concern over off-gassing and new carpet installations. While professional installers are most at risk of being exposed to harmful organic compounds during carpet installation, there is still some residual off-gassing that should concern homeowners. For this reason, many homes and businesses have gotten away from carpet in favor of some of the more hypoallergenic and eco-friendly options.
Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Both of these flooring types were created as a more budget friendly imitation of other flooring materials. Laminate is most often manufactured to look like either stone or wood, while vinyl is usually made to resemble ceramic tiles.
Laminate is known for superior durability and ease of install, whereas vinyl is quite easily damaged. In any case, the potential for harm to your family as a result of installing these flooring materials almost always overshadows the affordability and other advantages. The emission of formaldehyde and other known carcinogens from these synthetic flooring materials can sometimes reach dangerously high levels, and (as of late 2015), there is no governing standard for emissions made by these products.
Many interior designers will tell you that hardwood floors are, by far, the most beautiful flooring option available today. They are also versatile and resilient, and they add a touch of warmth that can really make a space feel like home. Unfortunately, the cost of hardwood floors is more than a simple monetary expense. In recent years, the consequences of deforestation have become more and more of a concern, causing homeowners and contractors to look toward other more responsibly-harvested alternatives.
Bamboo Flooring: The Healthier and More Responsible Option
While understanding the consequences of deforestation has made the home improvement industry want to find “greener” alternatives, it has not changed the fact that we all love the look of hardwoods (and we want to have it in our homes!).
Fortunately, bamboo and eucalyptus flooring have been introduced to appease the most discerning of tastes, while also preserving what forests have not yet been destroyed. Both of these flooring types are harvested from natural materials that grows to maturity very quickly, something that is often referred to as “rapid renewability’. Bamboo and eucalyptus can also be processed into flooring with little to no use of potentially harmful organic compounds, which means they are a safer choice for your family.
Although bamboo is technically a type of grass, it has almost all of the features of traditional wood flooring (as well as a few of its own unique characteristics).