Costco bamboo flooring

tcjohnssonJuly 6, 2006

Bamboo newbie here.

I checked out my local Costco in Honolulu, Hawaii and they had a medium color horizontal carbonized bamboo for only 2.09/sq ft. They came n a box with 23.8 sq ft (about 50 lbs of bamboo per box). Manufacturer is "Golden Arowana" and it's produced in China. Product is 19/32 thick and between 3 and 4" thick. I was amazed because I could never find bamboo flooring for under $4 here locally in Honolulu, Hawaii and this was half the price!

I did look closely at a sample and I noticed that the boards are not very straight. They tend to bow to the side slightly, maybe by about 1/8-3/16" variation from one end to the other. Is this acceptable?

Can anyone comment on this flooring? I'm thinking of installing this in my rental cottages but I'm worried about wear and durability. Can they be installed floating or do they need to be glued or nailed? The base floor beneath the existing carpet is wooden planks. I was also thinking of installing in the kitchens and bathrooms but I'm not sure if this is a good idea. My assumption is that the kitchens are OK, but the excessive moisture in the bathroom may not be good for the bamboo.

Any feedback is much appreciated!

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I am interested to
know your experience after this post. My wife and I have been looking at the Costco Bamboo as well. It says "Golden Arowana" on the bottom of the planks

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 1:03AM
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Bumping this thread. Was hoping to hear from someone who has used the Costco brand bamboo? Any comments?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 1:38PM
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Well, 6 months later and the floor still hasn't been installed (the rest of the place is taking forever). I'll try to bump my own thread to see if anyone's worked with this floor yet. I should have the installer come by to begin work on the first couple units (I have 6 total to do on the same property) within 2-3 weeks.

Any advice with this flooring is MUCH appreciated. It looks like Costco is still selling the product, at least here in Honolulu, HI.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:18PM
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I've seen it for sale at Costco and have been tempted but I don't really have anyplace to use it. Surely someone has tried it?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I am also interested in this flooring, and found a site where it's talked about. I will try to upload the link for you. (I'm not sure if I posted correctly but here it is:

Good Luck with your floor

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco Bamboo thread

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 7:54PM
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Please take a look their installation web

It is very helpful for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Arowana Bamboo

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 4:08PM
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They warn on their site: "Light scratches on the surface are common and have a white appearance due to the aluminum oxide". I noticed this 4 years ago on competitors' products when I would do the fingernail scrape test on samples. Many with a glossy finish would leave a noticeable white mark, and I dismissed them from contention. You may or may not care about this, but at least keep this in mind and check it out at your local retailers while comparison shopping. I seriously doubt they would have given us this legal disclaimer if it had not been complained about numerous times by consumers.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 3:26AM
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Like all wood flooring manufacturers, Wellmade cannot warrant scratches & dents; all wood floors will scratch & dent. Unlike all manufacturers, on our Golden Arowana web site we try to educate Costco Members so they can make an informed decision as to whether HW is a suitable flooring for thier lifestyle. Unfortunately, very few HW floors will pass this 'fingernail scrape test'. Our finish is designed to 'bend rather than break'. A hard finish will fracture and/or flake when an object is dropped on the surface. This allows contaminates from water,cleaners, spills, & etc., to react with the wood beneath, turning it black. Once this happens, it cannot generally be repaired, but has to be replaced at a cost of between $250-$400 by a professional. In one instance you have a small dent, in the other, you have an expensive repair. Of course you can ignore the spot, but it will only get worse. Also, contrary to popular belief, the harder the finish, the easier it is to scratch. Some manufacturers use an acrylic impregnated finish which is pretty hard, and considered more of a commercial rather than residential finish. For flooring only, the general cost of these products are usually in the $8-$10 per s/f range. This is only a part of the whole story, unfortunately, time and space does not allow me to provide a complete education. The bottom line is that all wood floors will scratch & dent, many people believe that it adds character to a wood floor. If you do not agree with them, then maybe a wood floor is not for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Arowana

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:25PM
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I have actually installed this flooring in my new bedroom. I LOVE it! I used the HighPRO AS-4090 18 gauge flooring stapler. This tool made the install of this 5/8 in flooring a snap. This is not for the un-handy.... A nice product. As a matter of fact I am installing more in the dining area this weekend!

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:44AM
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I have installed the golden arowana flooring from costco in three of our bedrooms. It is stable. It scratches a little easier than oak, but not unacceptably so, or more than the oak we have in the living room. I just need three more boxes to finish the fourth room, and I cannot find any.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 3:00PM
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Glad to see someone post this. I had the same question about this flooring. Sells for about $2/sqft.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 1:27AM
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This stuff is junk, I would steer clear. The flooring is made in such as way that dirt gets between the cracks and is impossible to clean. Your floor will soon look like it has black stripes running the length. I've also had many pieces start a slow crack that continues to get bigger with time. It looked great after it was installed but now it looks cheap and dirty, stick with a high quality real wood flooring product.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I noticed the black 'stripes' between boards today (not on Costco products). I thought maybe it was adhesive but they'd said they were not glued down.

>>The bottom line is that all wood floors will scratch & dent, many people believe that it adds character to a wood floor. If you do not agree with them, then maybe a wood floor is not for you.>>

Polyurethane/aluminum-oxide finishes do not develop patina like a regular old wood floor does. There is no comparison between the two. Today's floors do not develop character. They just get worn.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:22PM
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The "cracks" in the flooring are beveled or eased edges, and are on all factory finished flooring. It is necessary to do this, so that there will not be a "sharp" square edge that can be broken and splinters created. Unfinished floors do not need this as they are sanded after installation to make the floor smooth. Our bamboo flooring is as high quality as any solid bamboo flooring made, and far better than most. We can't guarantee their will never be a problem, but I can assure you that we stand behind all warranty's for our products. Please note that we are in contact with this poster to ensure that his concerns are properly addressed.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:09PM
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I purchased about 400 square feet of Carbonized Bamboo "Golden Arowana" flooring from Costco for a bedroom and for a library in Minnesota. It was a piece of cake laying and I used the Fein oscillating tool to make all the intricate cuts. The wood was in my home for a few weeks to acclimate and all pieces were straight.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I put the Costco Bamboo floor in my kitchen, it's a great floor. I saw the same one at a local flooring store (wider planks) the price was much more. I did throw out planks which had color I didn't want to use, which probably amounted to 1/2 a box, which was fine. Here is a picture of part of my floor:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Very brave people in my opinion. Flooring for almost half the market price from Costco? Really?

Very, very brave.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Well good luck it has been well posted that young growth bamboo 2-3 years old is problematic. 5-6 year not so much.
But remember bamboo is a grass not wood and if you live in a very arid area, southwest with winter time RH low as 4% you will need to provide humidity at levels of 35% to 60% relative humidity in the winter months or checking and gaps may appear. Once it is stressed it will not just automatically straighten out in the summer months. Strand Bamboo, a much harder and more expensive bamboo, is particulary suceptible to low humidity problems. See mfg requirements in their warranties.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Given the renewed interest in this flooring product, I wanted to share my recent experience. In February 2012 I purchased 24 boxes (693 sq ft) of the Golden Arowana stranded, carbonized flooring when Costco had it on sale for $59.99 a carton ($2.07 a sq ft). While I had read about the many issues with bamboo flooring, at this price and Costco's satisfaction guarantee I decided to take the plunge.

The product is advertised as having a new finish which is more resistant to scratching than previous years. The finish is a matte gloss that helps hide any scratches. If possible, get all cartons with the same lot number. Unfortunately because of the quantity I needed, that was not possible. I did notice some minor variation in the gloss level between lot numbers. The installation instructions recommend pulling from multiple cartons which helps blend any variation in gloss level. The finish on the display board in the store held up well to key scratching and has held up well in my home after four months. But I don't have an environment that is extremely hard on floors (large dogs, children, lots of traffic, sand, etc) so your results may differ.

After installing the flooring in my family room, I can say this is a first-rate product. The click and lock system goes together easily due to excellent edge milling and wax on the locking mechanism. It locks together much easier than other floating floors product I looked at. A down side of the wax is it gets on your hands and then on the floor surface. But some mineral spirits and a soft cloth cleans it off. Very few boards had to be culled for defects. Most of the damage was in the click lock mechanism at one end of the board. I set those boards aside and was able to use most of the culled boards at the start / end of a run after cutting off the defective end. The product is very dense and tough. I found it dulls the saw blade quickly. A carbide blade is a must.

Some of the boards can have a pronounced grain pattern. In my situation this was fine, but you may want to account for a bit more waste if you want a highly consistent look in your finished floor. I found that once all the boards were down, they blended together nicely.

I had several interactions via email with Wellmade Floor's technical support services. In all cases responses came back quickly and addressed the question I asked. I order several trim pieces to finish out the floor at doorways and around a fireplace hearth. The trim pieces matched the flooring very well. The cost of the trim pieces was comparable to other flooring products I looked at (they are all expensive). Shipping is charged for trim pieces so if just one piece of trim is required, the shipping charge is as much as the cost of the trim piece. But if you need multiple trim pieces, the charges are reasonable. Trim is shipped via ground freight from Wellmade's office is Oregon and shipped within a day of ordering. Be sure to account for transit time especially for East coast delivery as it can take a week to arrive.

The product is only 3/8" thick so proper preparation of the subfloor is absolutely essential. Plan to spend much more time on subfloor preparation than on laying the flooring. The instructions state the subfloor should have no variation greater than 3/16" over 10 feet. I spent a lot of time flatting the subfloor and was well within the 3/16" requirement but still have a couple of spots which sound hollow when walking on that area. But on a whole, the floor sounds solid. The product comes in 2' and 4' lengths, so some layout planning is necessary to use the two lengths effectively and not have a stair step look. Laying the actual floor goes very quickly. I was able to lay the family room (about 500 sq ft) in one day. But the room had no major obstacles to work around.

The flooring has been down just four months so it has not yet gone through all the seasons to see what happens with changes in humidity. So hopefully there are not major problems. But at this point I am extremely satisfied with the product. The flooring looks great and at Costco's price point it is an excellent value even at the everyday price.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:14AM
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question to the last poster, did you nail, glue or staple the Costco bamboo floors? how did the winter treat you and do you feel like it is hard enough for a family roo, walkway, etc. with kids.

thank you

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:47PM
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To Bin673:

We installed the Carbonized Arowana Bamboo flooring (from Costco) following the manufacturer's instructions. They are available online home.html and also included in each box of flooring. We live in the Minneapolis Minnesota area and have huge temperature swings from -20 below zero to 95F along with humidity swings from about 18% to 85% as well.

This wood has a hardness of nearly 3000 pounds making it the 2nd hardest flooring according to their website and a phone conversation I had with a manufacture rep. We have it installed in a second floor bedroom and in our main floor library. It's extremely hard and we have no scratches since August of 2012. Even dropping a non sharp 1 to 2 lbs tool doesn't seem to make a scratch or dent. The floor is finished with an aluminum oxide coating. So far we have not had any problems and if this continues, it will be best flooring we've ever come across.

Here's how we installed it. In the upstairs bedroom we did not want to use a power chop saw so I used the Fein oscillating saw to make all the cuts. It was a piece of cake and we quickly finished a 130 square foot room in about 3 hours working slowly.

We installed the flooring over the sub floor free of nails, staples, dirt, sand and grit. Made sure the sub floor was fairly smooth.
The we put down a foam sound solution / acoustical underlayment. Purchased the 3 feet wide by 33 feet 4 inches long blue 100 square foot roles (about 3/32 inch thick) from Menards home store in Minnesota
Measured the room to make sure the last strip would not be too narrow splitting the difference between the last strip on either end (if necessary)
The floor snaps together easily. Do not glue or nail because it need to float. The snap joints have a little past wax on them to facilitate easy assembly. After laying entire floor, wax smudges can be wiped off with a wool type rag.

Laid the flooring down so that it would be free to expand and contract around the room leaving about 1/2 inch on all sides to prevent buckling of the floor during humid seasons. Our base board was about 1/2 inch above the subfloor allowing the flooring to expand under the baseboard.
Nailed down base shoe around the room1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch tall making sure it was nailed to the base board and not the flooring.

That all there is to it. Mark

Here is a link that might be useful: Carbonized stranded Bamboo flooring

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:33PM
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We are considering this flooring for our kitchen as well. How has your flooring held up so far?

Thank you

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Some of you have had this flooring installed now for more than a year. FMayberry, can you comment on how it managed through the winter? We are installing it (well, my HUSBAND is) now in May 2014 and wondering what you think after some time has passed. I was just told by a dealer that Wellmade has discontinued this flooring which is why Costco was selling it so affordably, but I suspect he is confused since he carries multiple flooring, trims, carpeting, etc.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:19AM
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I am thinking of purchasing Costco's bamboo flooring for my living room and office. I would like to hear from any of you who have had this flooring down for months to years. What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 11:25AM
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I put Costco bamboo in my kitchen 2 years ago, they look the same as when installed. I put a film on my skylight to prevent possible fading. My daughter just bought a co op, she plans to put same in her new apartment.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 8:05PM
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