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Frequently Asked Questions about Bamboo Flooring


bamboo flooring faq

Bamboo Flooring FAQ

Is carbonized bamboo flooring stained?


No. Carbonized bamboo is darker in color because it has undergone a change, not a stain. During the manufacturing of the product, the strips of bamboo are boiled and change color (becoming browner in tone). This process also softens the material.

Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

So carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo?


Yes. The process that changes the bamboo to the beautiful carbonized color also softens the product approximately 30%.

What is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring?


A natural bamboo stock is hollow and the walls of the plant are fairly thin. Strips of bamboo are therefore laminated together to make our 5/8″ flooring. The terms “horizontal” and “vertical” refer to the manner in which bamboo strips are laminated together. In the horizontal style, the strips are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings, or “knuckles”. In the vertical style, the strips are turned on their sides and laminated together in long, slender rows creating a different appearance.

Can a bamboo floor be floated?


Yes. There are two types of floating bamboo floors: Glue-Seam and Gluless-Click. Glue-Seam require that a bead of adhesive be applied to the edge before joining the planks together. Once glued they cannot be pulled apart. Glueless-click is the easiest installation as it requires neither nails nor adhesive. The planks are simply clicked together.

How does bamboo flooring hold up to high humidity?


As long as you let the flooring acclimate for no less than 72 hours, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where it is to be installed, high humidity should not affect the floor.

Is strand-woven bamboo the same product as traditional bamboo flooring?


No. Strand-woven bamboo is manufactured differently than traditional bamboo flooring. In the strand-woven process, strips of bamboo are coated with resins and then compressed with heat to form timbers. These timbers are then milled into flooring. This process produces bamboo flooring that is twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring.

Can I clean my bamboo floor with a mop?


Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. As with a hardwood floor, you should avoid excessive moisture. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill.

When ordering bamboo flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?


As a rule of thumb for non-professionals, add 7% to 9% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.

What are the different moldings and how are they applied?


  • The Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left during installation.
  • The T-molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the bamboo flooring meets tile or carpet of similar height.
  • The Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the bamboo.
  • The Stair Nose molding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Stair Nose to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.
  • The Stair Tread molding is a one-piece molding used to entirely cover the structural stair tread.

Can I install bamboo flooring in a bathroom?


Bamboo floors are typically not covered by warranty if installed in a bathroom. Like hardwood flooring, bamboo could swell if excessive water is left to stand. So it is not a good choice for bathrooms.

What is the difference between bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring?


Technically, bamboo is considered a type of grass. There are several advantages to using bamboo flooring compared to hardwood flooring. First, bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly product. It takes only a few years for a bamboo plant to grow to maturity, while it takes decades for hardwood trees. And when bamboo is harvested, the root continues to live and produces new stock. Each year, one “mother plant” generates several new bamboo stems that grow to full length in a few months, and to mature hardness in about five years. Bamboo plants are therefore quickly replenished following a harvest. Second, bamboo is actually harder than many hardwoods, including red oak, so it makes a more durable flooring. Third, in most cases bamboo is less expensive than hardwood while installation costs are the same. Hardwood installers and contractors need no additional training to install bamboo flooring. Bamboo can be installed using exactly the same tools and methods as are used for installing hardwood.

How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?


In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your bamboo flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.

  • Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moister, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your bamboo floor.
  • Dust mop or vacuum with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop.
  • For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
  • Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor.
  • Avoid excessive water. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
  • Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your bamboo floor.
  • Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.
  • Although most bamboo flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

Where can I install bamboo flooring?


Bamboo flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood, OSB, or existing vinyl flooring. There are several locations that are not recommended for bamboo flooring. Because bamboo flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that bamboo be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your bamboo flooring to warp or swell.

How do I install bamboo flooring?


There are several things to consider before you begin to install bamboo flooring. Careful preparation before beginning will make installing your bamboo floor a quick and easy process.

  • Ensure that your sub-floor is flat and smooth.
  • Take extra care when installing bamboo flooring over radiant heating. Ensure that you read both the bamboo flooring and radiant heat system instructions carefully before beginning.
  • Read your bamboo flooring manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
  • Allow your bamboo flooring to acclimate in the room where it will be installed for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Inspect each bamboo flooring panel carefully for defects or damage before installing it.
  • Always use a tapping block and never hit bamboo flooring directly to avoid fracturing the flooring edge. A piece of flooring trim makes a good tapping block.
  • Add at least 5% to your square footage when ordering to allow for waste and cuts. As a rule of thumb for non-professionals, add 7% to 9% depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.

What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?


Bamboo flooring is rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a bamboo floor:

  • Bamboo floors are easy to clean.
  • Bamboo floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
  • Bamboo flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring, usually costing 25% to 50% less than hardwood.
  • Bamboo flooring is long-lasting.
  • Bamboo flooring can be installed over numerous types of sub-floors such as: wood, sheathing grade plywood, vinyl tile, concrete, or Oriented Strand Board.
  • Bamboo floors are environmentally friendly. They use a quickly renewable crop. If they are made with safe resins, they have extremely low formaldehyde emissions and make excellent floors for healthy homes.

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(23) Comments

  1. I’ve had carbonized strand bamboo floors for seven and a half years and in both my bathrooms and they hold up great. Do they get wet when I get out of the shower, yes I just wipe it up with the towel and never had a problem. I once left a wet microfiber mop and I could see the bleed, but unlike my previous Oak floor which stained permanently when I removed the mob by the next day it was back to normal. Once a month I use a steam mop and it doesn’t hurt it at all period And I use Bona to clean the floors and it works great . Yes you have to watch for scratches from furniture legs and put felt covers on them. Mine have a very smooth surface and if you have cats who play in the water you will have them up over there little Paw marks often. Just get Bona and with there lsrge microfiber mop and it takes less than 5 minutes to do an 18×20 ft room.
    Bamboo is most beautiful floor you can get at the best price. I wouldn’t have anything else.

  2. Will bamboo flooring perform as well as engineered oak for everyday living? Live is Iowa where humidity changes Dailey. Have 2 small dogs. Normal activity. Love the look but scared.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Melanie,

      Thank you for getting in touch. Bamboo is very durable but if you have changes in humidity I would highly suggest going with the engineered hardwood floor instead. Bamboo is very sensitive to changes in humidity and you may have issues with expansion and contraction. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Can one use a Roomba on a Yamachi Premium grade floor without scratching the floor? Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you for your inquiry! You should be able to use a Roomba on the bamboo floor but we can’t 100% guarantee it won’t scratch the floor. It all depends on the type of bamboo and whether the Roomba is dragging or has something sharp at the bottom. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Greg,

      Comfort mats should be fine on top of the bamboo floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. Can you install a floating bamboo flooring over a hardwood floor? The hardwood flooring has been glued down to a concrete slab and it would be very difficult to get the hardwood flooring up.

  5. anne DArcangelo

    My contractor layed the bamboo floor over a subfloor and moved straight into the dining room which still had large tumbled tile flooring. He said he sanded it all down so it was level with subfloor in kitchen area. I now have a couple large gaps between two pieces that should be connected with mo gaps, ? I also see a few other spots where the gaps between two pieces is larger than the rest if the fkor. Did he install these over the wrong service or did not prep the tiled floor properly? If so, please tell me how i can fix this ugly lookibg defects i have to look at everyday ans compant pucks up on it. Very embarrassing. ..thank you!
    Anne and sad

  6. hello, I am looking to pull out the carpet in my family room and replace with wood: This is a heavy traffic area to my back yard. the room is an addition to the house and stands on a concrete slab. How will bamboo hold up to this area. I need something that is scratch resistant, wears well, looks good and is comfortable. Any suggestions about Laminate flooring. Thank You for your time.

  7. Can strand woven bamboo floors ever be sanded and refinished if needed (like you would with hardwood flooring?

  8. Think very long and hard about installing bamboo, especially if you live in Florida. Many installers are now refusing to install and/or warranty installation as there have been so many problems. Minimally, get a certified wood inspector to moisture test your sub floor before installing. Bamboo is a grass and no matter what, grass likes to absorb moisture. I know this from a first hand nightmare. I have $5000. worth of the most beautiful floor you ever saw, coming up all over my house. We did have a moisture test done prior to the install but it was not a drilled test done into the foundation. And anyway, they only test a few areas , not the whole floor so it is still an inexact test. We acclimated the floor in the house for 2 weeks! before instaling and still, less than 6 months later, the floor started coming up. And to make matters worse, noone can agree on whose responsible to fix it and so we may have to eat a great deal of the cost to re floor the house. And the installers do not want to install even wood after this. I just want to clarify that I did NOT buy this product from Build Direct but still want to caution any buyers.

  9. Pingback: Blue Marble Tile Flooring Blog


    I spilled nail polish thinner, two drops, on my beautiful, pale cream colored bamboo floor. There are now two watery, reddish drop stains. I know…no scrubbing, no harsh soaps, but can I use anything short of replacing the board? The floor’s 8 years old and I know the replacement piece will be a different color.

  11. On line research about bamboo flooring reveals that is tis made with formaldehyde. If sanded for touch-up or refinishing purposes, the formaldehyde is released into the air, can be ingested, and is harmful. Can someone please confim or deny this? Besides being environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive, is it safe to use in the home?

  12. Would you recommend bamboo flooring in the kitchen? I need to replace a laminate floor due to a refrigerator leak. The laminate did not hold up well with the humidity. I live at the beach and I don’t want to replace another floor. Thank you in advance for any insight you may provide. Mary

  13. Hi I am looking at an OUTDOOR strand woven bamboo decking…. Has anyone got any info about durability, in wet climate, swelling, warping, how frequently you have to oil? How long does it last?Looks fantastic if it can hold up !!! Great Green product I would love to promote.

    • Hi Julie

      This is a product that we have been looking at adding to our line up. We are still researching it but it looks like a great product. Bamboo naturally is a stable product when it comes to changes in temperature and moisture. I would have to assume that there would be more in the mixture of things than for your standard strand woven bamboo flooring. All in all I haven’t heard any bad feed back on it but on the other hand it is not as common a material as others so that might be hard to gauge. I say this more towards the US market. Lots of times products like this are used over in Europe for years before it makes it over here.

      While this may not address your exact question I would say this, the natural characteristics of bamboo in combination with the science behind strand woven bamboo I would feel comfortable using it for my deck. Obviously there will be a premium cost compared to domestic wood decking but it should be far less than the exotics from South America all the while still having that unique look everyone is trying to get.


  14. How about durability of bamboo flooring with German Shepherd dogs. There is a problem with regular hardwood floors and dog toenails. Right now, I have area rugs and plastic runners and a lot of carpet to help protect the floors I have now. I would like to get rid of the carpeting in my downstairs living room and bedroom. (Mainly, because of the dogs.) If I get bamboo flooring, can I at least eliminate the plastic or vinyl runners?

    Also it says to cleaning only with swiffers or damp mop. Can you use a steam cleaner on bamboo? I have on the hardwood, and it dries immediately with no damage.

  15. i have hot water radeation under hy sub floor. and im wondering if bamboo flooring is accepable product to use?

    • Hi Howard,

      There are going to be a couple of factors to consider here. First, it might be a good idea to talk to your radiant heat vendor, or at least refer to your user’s manual/warranty with regard to compatible flooring. Second, I might investigate the possibility of engineered bamboo flooring, just to be safe. With engineered bamboo, you still get real bamboo surfaces. But, they’re bolstered by a core layer designed to manage changes in temperature to a greater degree than a solid floor made with purely natural material would be.

      Many types of engineered floors are specifically designed to be installed over radiant heat. Even still, when shopping, get a conversation going with your vendor about the kind of radiant heating system you’ve got, and find out whether or not your choice in engineered bamboo floors is designed to be installed over them.

      I hope that helps, and happy shopping!

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