Strand Bamboo Questions

BambooBeginnerJune 28, 2013

Hi, I am thinking of getting strand bamboo floors in a few rooms of my house, and I had a couple questions I was hoping the experienced folks on this site could help me with.

1. With a strand bamboo floor that is glued down, do we need any kind of padding or other layer underneath, either for soundproofing purposes or as a moisture barrier? We live in South Florida, where it is very humid.

2. I know there have been issues with formaldehyde smells from strand bamboo. Does anyone have recommendations of good, reputable strand bamboo manufacturers whose strand bamboo we can trust to not have this problem? Don't want my family breathing toxic fumes . . .

Thank you so much! This forum is so informative.

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You should test your subfloor before installing the Bamboo. If you're using solid strand Bamboo, it is prone to cupping. Depending on the condition of your subfloor, you may need a moisture/vapor barrier. Humidity has nothing to with subfloor moisture and I assume that for the hottest most humid part of the year, you will use air conditioning so the floor will not be subjected to wild humidity swings. Call someone like Patriot Flooring Supply (561-689-6866) to purchase calcium chloride kits to test the subfloor moisture.

The longer you can acclimate the Bamboo inside the home (removed from it's sealed packaging of course), the less likely it is to cup.

It would be better to use an engineered product to avoid this issue.

Some Bamboo producers claim to sell formaldehyde free products but they're generally among the premium priced products.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Thanks so much. We definitely will keep the house air conditioned at all times. Can anyone share with me examples of good high-end companies whose strand bamboo won't have a formaldehyde problem? I've read terrible things about Lumber Liquidators and Home Depot strand bamboo having bad formaldehyde odors. I know those are quite the opposite of premium, but I am not familiar with what the premium trustworthy brands are. Anyone have good experiences? Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Teragren has fabulous truly green products. And their price reflects it. If you're used to seeing all of the crappy stuff advertised by LL at under $2, you're going to be in for a huge sticker shock. Quality, and quality manufacturing processes cost a lot more money than slapping together some leftover mill product with noxious glues. Teragren is typically $7-12 a square foot, depending on which type, color, and pattern that you might choose. But, it's worth it for the health and safety of your family over lesser more formaldehyde laden products that use soft young bamboo of indeterminate species.

The dealer locator linked below will have links to showrooms in your area. I suggest that you go to see it in person in those showrooms. It's very high quality stuff. Even if the nearest showroom is "to the trade only" they will typically allow homeowners to enter and view the products. Some will be able to link you to an installer who is a member to allow you to buy. That's important, as doing a proper glue down with an additional moisture barrier on the slab isn't a DIY friendly job at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dealer locator

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:04AM
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FWIW, Lumber Liquidators insists all their flooring exceeds all regulatory standards in the EU and California. SEE LINK BELOW... The one bad "report" that is floating around out there causing a stir, seems to focus on one product, and one sample only - not everything they sell. hmmm

That said, it's enough to make me wonder. But there is the other side of me that is a cynic.

Some old school sellers of flooring I've talked to are accustomed to gouging customers with massive profit margins and price fixing. Their world is crashing down in the new reality of a global economy and big box retailers that get better margins than they can ever see. They are vehemently outspoken against all big box stores - particularly LL. I've been in several of these types of stores and they are so much higher in price they cannot compete IMHO. Besides these particular ones being smug, arrogant and slightly shady - talking trash about other sellers and installers of flooring outside of their tiny realm, came off as disingenuous to me, if not outright bitter.

This is enough to make me wonder too - who is fooling who? In fact, it's almost having the opposite effect for me - we're shopping for 1600sqft of flooring, and I just want to run away from those guys.

As a result I'm just completely confused about what the truth really is. Anyone can launch a campaign of vitriol on the web - it doesn't necessarily make it 100% true. It's also the "squeaky wheel" syndrome. How many tens of millions of people have wonderful experiences buying big box flooring that aren't making noise? Yup, totally confused. Maybe that was their goal.

EDIT: I went into another local non big-box flooring store today and they were very good - no trash talk - just helpful, nice and competitive in the market with many products and fair prices. It was a welcome ray of sunshine! So not all of the local stores may be as difficult as the few I went to before I wrote the original reply. YMMV

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by karyn on Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 17:31

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:18AM
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We installed 720 sf of the Morning Star Click bamboo flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators in June of 2013. The material finish scratches easy, however, the scratches are the least of our problems. The cupping started with the shorter pieces in the hallways. By December 2013, the entire installation was cupping and gaps appeared in random areas. When LLI was contacted about the defects, we were informed that the condition was not covered under their warranty.
In reading the various reviews on independent sites for this product, it seems that there is a chronic problem with scratching, cupping and separations. Lumber Liquidators will use any excuse to avoid any liability for providing their customers with a very poor product.
Our first mistake in selecting our new floor was believing that the reviews on the LLI site were unbiased reviews. The product reviews on the LLI website are "selected" reviews. Gee....I wonder who selects them. Our second mistake was actually purchasing this product.
We will have to replace our eight month old floor and it sure as heck will not be with a product supplied by Lumber Liquidators.
We learned a $5,000.00 lesson the hard way⦠donâÂÂt make the same mistake.
The LLI warranty should be condensed to read: âÂÂWarranty is void if material is removed from factory packagingâÂÂ.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:16AM
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