Strand Bamboo Brands

mrsjoeSeptember 30, 2009

Short story: Can someone please provide me feedback on EcoTimber, Morning Star and Cali Bamboo all in Strand Woven Carbonized? Are there any other brands I should be considering besides these and Teragren?

Long Story: I'm trying to finalize our flooring plans, and currently we are planning to install about 400 sq. ft. of strand bamboo. My husband wants to just go with Lumber Liquidators Morning Star Carbonized because he thinks it will be the easiest because of being able to just go into the store and order it. Plus, he likes the $3.99 / sq.ft. pricing. I'm nervous because of all the negatives that get posted about LL and also because of the formaldehyde smell of the Morning Star that has been mentioned. Also, Consumer Report ranked it well below EcoTimber and Teragren, but didn't really say why.

Anyway, I know Teragren is out because they seem the priciest and were ranked below cheaper products. I was hoping that someone could tell me their opinions on the Morning Star, EcoTimber and a brand called Cali Bamboo someone mentioned on this site. I'm leaning towards the Cali Bamboo because it seems the formaldehyde will not be as potent as the Morning Star, but I have no idea of the quality. The Cali Bamboo is right now $3.92 sq.ft plus shipping, versus the EcoTimber which is at least $6. So I'm also more likely going to be able to talk my husband into the Cali Bamboo.


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Mrs. Joe, any developments on this since your last post? My ex recently installed the Teregren Synergy chestnut and he says he's happy with it. Like you, my budget calls for something cheaper. I have purchased bamboo fencing from Cali Bamboo and was pleased with the company and the product. I am now considering their Fossilized java flooring for my home and I have a sample on the way now.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 4:49PM
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We bought EcoTimber woven bamboo for two bedrooms, and we have yet to install it. I've worked with two different installers, and the verdict is that it's a TOTAL pain in the tush to nail down. It's just too dang dense, but using a staple bigger than 18ga voids the warranty and splits the tongue. We are considering gluing but don't really like that option.
Does anyone know if solid T&G bamboo can be floated, gluing planks together but not to the floor??
One plus, the EcoTimber does not seem to have an odor. I had a sample of Morning Star and it definitely had a questionable smell.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 8:21PM
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Hi Elkberry

You will have to call or email EcoTimber. Their web site doesnt list floating, but you need to ask to be sure.

Why donÂt you want to glue? You have professional installers  right? Hopefully they have lots of experience with gluing. If not, you might want to look for someone who has.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Hi jeri
We're concerned about the potential "forever" of glue, if we ever want to make a change. Also, the EcoTimber glue is $200/tub which does 200 feet or so. For 3 tubs worth, I guess I could buy a Powernail 50P for $500 and try that. But I've heard so-so results from the gun too.
Another thing about gluing is that one bedroom is partially over slab. It is plastic lined and has "sleepers" under the plywood subfloor.
Any thoughts?
Thanks, elk

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 5:03PM
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Hi, any updates on the preferred brands? I'm also looking to install but want to stay away from Lumber LIquidators. Am leaning towards click and lock, however am somewhat open. Also have been looking at Teragren but is more money than I like so also looking at Cali and Mohawk. Anyone have other brands or ideas? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:32PM
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How about Simple Floors? I looked at their products in person and they look great.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Erinpdx... since you just registered could it possibly be that you are affiliated with Simple Floors?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:41AM
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Although I am not currently looking at strand Bamboo, I did research it and found a low voc Bamboo engineered that you float. One of those clicking types. I don't remember the brand, but it may have been "Style" or something that sounded a bit commercial. The website looked a little hokey, but I did look at a sample in a local floor store and that it was good. It was a Chinese product, but someone else on the Gardenweb had just installed in kitchen and she has dogs. She was very happy with it. I would search this site. I am NOT an affiliated sales person with this company. I just remember it was my "back-up" product. Right now I am looking at the 3-strip long planks, just cuz I am not that crazy about bamboo strand and want something with more movement. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:18PM
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I looked at the ecotimber since it was so highly rated by Consumers but felt it was a little dull and planks narrow. The Taragen synergy as an engineered bamboo, also highly rated but too expensive. I did see a strand solid wood made by Trilium which has a nice shine which I like and is comparable to the ecotimber price. I am more concerned about denting than scratching. Does anyone have experience with Trilium?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:39AM
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I will say this...We sell Bamboo..but not a lot of it. We are a serious flooring store and go about our business with a no nonsense approach. The reps that come in our store are from all over. ?The common thread of knowledge on Bamboo is that there are only 3 types that should even be considered. They are Teragren, Wicanders and US. For what it is worth! We only sell one of these and we do sell others....but this is what the experts tell us continually. they say it is all about quality. Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Thanks. I'm trying to be more green in my thinking but not so sure that bamboo is going to be the answer any more...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 3:37PM
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I'm having the same concern. I originally went to lumber liquidators and found a nice hand scraped strand bamboo flooring. I then went online and researched a load of companies. So far, I like Cali bamboo. My biggest concern was the formaldehyde in the products. Cali bamboo has little to no formaldehyde added in there product. I've read those same reviews about Morning star, but they were outdated. I was emailed a material safety data sheet on Morning Star brand, but no one could tell me how much formaldehyde content was in the morning star product. At the bottom of the sheet there was a disclaimer:

"The information and data herein are believed to be accurate and have been compiled from sources deemed to be reliable. It is offered for your consideration, investigation and verification. Lumber Liquidators makes no warranty of any kind, express or implied, concerning the accuracy of completeness of the information and data herein. Lumber Liquidators will not be liable for claims relating to any party's use of or reliance on information and data contained herein regardless of whether it is claimed that the information and data are inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise misleading. It is incumbent upon the user to obtain the most up-to-date information".

So I guess what they mean is that the info on the safety data sheet is BS.

I'd like to know. Cali bamboo is great, but I actually prefer the hand scraped look they have from Morning Star at lumber liquidators. Does anyone know if Morning Stars 2011 line has added formaldehyde?? (That's the lovely odor you smell from the floors). I can't seem to be able to get a solid answer.

This is what the safety data sheet states for Morning Star:

3000 John Deere Road
Toano, VA 23168
Emergency phone: 1 800-HARDWOOD
Fax: 1 757 259 7295
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is issued by LUMBER
LIQUIDATORS. LUMBER LIQUIDATORS flooring will issue a new MSDS when there is a
change in product specifications and/or regulations. LUMBER LIQUIDATORS will not accept
any responsibility for any change to its MSDS in content by other person or organization.
Product name: Prefinished Strand Bamboo Flooring
Trade name: Morning Star Bamboo Flooring
Other Names: Various
Manufacturer Information: Lumber Liquidators Inc
3000 John Deere Road
Toano, VA 23168
Tel: (757) 259-4280
Fax: (757) 259-7295
This product is composed of bamboo fibers bonded together with urea formaldehyde (UF) resins.
The fibers are mixed and pressed together to give a unique shade blend and increase hardness. The
wear layer is finished by 7 coats of polyurethane with aluminum oxide coating manufactured by
Treffert or Klumpp
UN number: Not applicable
Dangerous goods class: Not applicable
Product Use: Building Materials � Commercial or Residential
MSDS Morning Star Strand Bamboo Flooring,
Revision 3, April 2009 Page 2 of 7
Hazardous ingredients/identity information:
Name CAS
% Agency Exposure Limits Comments
Bamboo1 None 89-90 OSHA3
PEL5-TWA6 15 mg/m3
PEL-TWA 5 mg/m3
TLV7-TWA 3 mg/m3
TLV-STEL8 10 mg/m3
Total dust
Respirable dust fraction
Respirable dust fraction
Inhalable particles
Urea Formaldehyde resin
10-11 OSHA
PEL-TWA 0.75ppm
PEL-STEL 2 ppm
TLV - Ceiling 0.3 ppm
Free gaseous formaldehyde
(contains less than 0.1%
free formaldehyde)
UV Finish
Polymerized polyurethane
None 0-1 OSHA
PEL-TWA none
TLV-TWA none
1 CAS # = Chemical Abstract System. 2 OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 3 AGCIH = American
Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists. 4 PEL = Permissible Exposure Limit. 5 TWA = Time Weighted Average.
6 TLV = Threshold Limit Value. 7 STEL = Short Term Exposure Limit
Note: Bamboo is a member of the grass family which has distinct anatomical differences from that
of wood. Therefore, bamboo would be regulated as an organic dust in a category known as
"Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated" (PNOR), or Nuisance Dust by OSHA. The ACGIH
classifies dust or particulate in this category as "Particulates Not otherwise Specified".
Physical data:
Physical State: Solid
Boiling Point: Not applicable
Freezing Point: Not applicable
Specific Gravity: 0.58 g/ml
Vapour Density: Not applicable
% Volatiles By Volume: 0
Melting Point: Not applicable
Vapour Pressure: Not applicable
Percent Moisture 5% - 9%
Solubility in H20 (% by wt.): Evaporation Rate (Butyl Acetate = 1): Not applicable
pH: Not applicable
MSDS Morning Star Strand Bamboo Flooring,
Revision 3, April 2009 Page 3 of 7
Appearance and odor: Bamboo fibers mixed creating a shade blend unique
to each plank (light yellows for natural, light browns
for carbonized or a mix of lights yellows and light
browns shades). This product can also be stained
with various colors. Low-fuming urea formaldehyde
resins have a slightly aromatic odor.
Fire and explosion data:
Flash Point: Not applicable
Auto ignition Temperature:
Not available, however, it is usually accepted that the
ignition of bamboo begins when the temperature
reaches 204-260�C (400�500�F).
(Depends upon duration of exposure to heat source
and other variables).
Explosive Limits in Air: Not applicable. See below under "Unusual fire
and explosion hazards"
Extinguishing Media
Water, Carbon dioxide, Dry chemical, Sand.
Special Fire Fighting Procedures
Unusual Fire and Explosion
Sawing, sanding or machining can produce bamboo
dust as a by-product which may present an explosion
hazard if a dust cloud contacts an ignition source. An
airborne concentration of air is often used as the LEL
for bamboo dust.
Reactivity data:
Conditions Contributing to Instability
Stable under normal conditions
Conditions to avoid Excessive moisture, condensation or water vapor;
Open flame or conditions above 400 F.
Avoid contact with oxidizing agents. Avoid open
flame. Product may ignite when temperature reaches
in excess of 204�C (400�F).
Hazardous Decomposition Products
Thermal and/or thermal oxidative decomposition can
produce irritating and toxic fumes and gases,
including carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide,
aldehydes, organic acids and polynuclear aromatic
Hazardous Polymerization Not applicable
MSDS Morning Star Strand Bamboo Flooring,
Revision 3, April 2009 Page 4 of 7
Carcinogenicity Listing:
(X) NTP1: Group 2, A & B
Formaldehyde, Wood dust
NTP-Group 2: Reasonably anticipated to be a
carcinogen. A) Limited evidence of carcinogenicity
from studies in humans which indicates that causal
relationship is credible. B) Sufficient evidence of
carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals
(X) IARC2 Monographs; Formaldehyde,
Group 2A, Wood dust, Group 1
IARC-Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans; sufficient
evidence of carcinogenicity. This classification is
primarily based on studies showing an association
between occupational exposure to wood dust and
adenocarcinoma of the nasal cavities and paranasal
(X) OSHA3 Regulated: Formaldehyde
IARC-Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans;
limited human evidence and sufficient evidence in
experimental animals. Studies of cancer incidence
among workers in a wide variety of occupations have
failed to convincingly show carcinogenic activity of
formaldehyde in humans. Gaseous formaldehyde has
been shown to cause cancer in certain laboratory
animals after long-term exposure to very high
concentrations (14+ ppm); concentrations which are
far above the levels of formaldehyde gas emitted
by this product.
1 NTP = National Toxicology Program
2 IARC = International Agency for Research on Cancer
3 OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Exposure hazard:
Eye Contact
Wood dust can cause mechanical irritation such
redness and watering.
Skin Contact
Not applicable for this product in its purchased form,
however various species of wood dust may evoke
allergic contact dermatitis in sensitized individuals.
High concentrations of gaseous formaldehyde may
cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Not likely to occur under normal use. If ingested,
may cause gastrointestinal tract irritation.
MSDS Morning Star Strand Bamboo Flooring,
Revision 3, April 2009 Page 5 of 7
Not applicable for this product in its purchased form,
however, wood dust may cause nasal dryness,
irritation and obstruction. Coughing and sneezing;
sinusitis and prolonged colds have also been reported.
Wood dust, depending on species, may cause
respiratory sensitization and/or irritation. However,
gaseous formaldehyde may cause respiratory
difficulties for sensitized/allergic individuals.
Emergency and first aid procedures:
Flush eyes with large amounts of water. Remove to
fresh air. If irritation persists, get medical attention.
Wash affected areas with soap and water. Get
medical advice if rash or persistent irritation or
dermatitis occurs.
Although not applicable for this product in its
purchased form. However, if inhalation of bamboo
dust, remove to fresh air. Get medical advice if
persistent irritation, severe coughing or breathing
difficulty occurs.
Ingestion Not applicable under normal use.
Accidental Release Measures
Not applicable for product in purchased form. Dust
generated from sawing, sanding, drilling, or routing
of products may be vacuumed or shoveled for
recovery or disposal. Avoid dusty conditions and
provide good ventilation. A NIOSH-approved dust
respirator should be worn if dust exposure limits are
Handling and Storage
No special handling precautions are required for
products in purchased form. Keep in cool, dry place
away from open flame. This product will release
small quantities of gaseous formaldehyde (â¤0.12
mg/m3, which is below the E1 classification in
accordance with EN 717-1:1998 test methods).
Store in well ventilated area.
MSDS Morning Star Strand Bamboo Flooring,
Revision 3, April 2009 Page 6 of 7
Personal Protective Equipment:
Respiratory Protection
Not applicable for product in purchased form. A
NIOSH-approved dust respirator is recommended
when allowable exposure limits are exceeded.
Protective Gloves
Not required. However, cloth, canvas, or leather
gloves are recommended to minimize potential
mechanical irritation slivers from handling and
machining product.
Eye Protection Not applicable for product in purchased form.
Goggles or safety glasses are recommended when
machining this product.
Other Protective Clothing or Equipments Not applicable for product in purchased form. Outer
garments may be desirable in extremely dusty areas.
Work/Hygiene Practices Follow good hygienic and housekeeping practices.
Clean up areas where wood dust settles to avoid
excessive accumulation of this combustible material.
Minimize blowdown or other practices that generate
high airborne-dust concentrations.
Local Exhaust Provide local exhaust as needed so that exposure
limits are met.
Special / other None
Disposal Consideration If disposed of or discarded in its purchased form,
incineration is preferable. Dry land disposal is
accepted in most states. It is, however, the user�s
responsibility to determine at the time of disposal
whether your product meets RCRA criteria for
hazardous waste. Follow applicable federal, state, and
local regulations.
Transport and Regulatory
Not regulated as hazardous material by the U.S
Department of Transportation and the Canadian
Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG).
Not a controlled product by WHMIS

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:17PM
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