Flooring to cover 3 rooms of different characteristics. Bamboo?

mudwormNovember 18, 2012

Hello, I'm here asking for help again because I'm having a very hard time trying to pick flooring for our remodel. It shouldn't be too hard because we already narrowed down to two colors -- I think we are going with Cali Bamboo Fossilized (Stranded Woven) Wide planks. It only comes in two colors anyway.

Natural color as in this photo:

Java (Carbonized) color as in this photo:

(Above photos are linked to the product page.) I must say, the color contrast between these two based on a few planks we borrowed from an installer appears more dramatic than the pictures show.

Any Bamboo flooring owners out there? Are you happy with the choice?

We are having a hard time choosing color because the flooring will cover three rooms: kitchen, living room, and wood room (aka dining room) as shown in following graph:

However, these rooms have very different characteristics. Kitchen and living room have regular walls (sheet rock) and will be painted. The galley kitchen will have two toned cabinets. Tall and wall cabinets are in maple natural. Base cabinets all in dark brown color close to following:

The living room gets limited day light.

Now, the wood room is surrounded by dark knotty pine panels in ceiling and walls. Trying to be loyal to the old house, we are not planning to pull the panels out or even paint over. Following photo was taken when we were putting up storage cabinets in that room.

My dilemmas is : Light colored floor may brighten up the rooms, but would it feel top heavy in the wood room when ceiling and walls are darker? Dark colored floor looks classy, I think, but will it render the whole house too dark?

What would you do? I don't want any thresholds or transitions between rooms, but I could choose the same material and install two colors -- e.g. light floor in kitchen and living room, and dark floor in wood room. Do you like that idea?

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Just went through this dilemma. I love your floor plan, and your wood room.
My vision was to have the same flooring throughout 1st floor, to make the space grand. I had to remove ceramics and match exisitng brazilian cherry.
It was worth the time, expense, and trouble. It flows, and seems larger, without the thresholds, and color changes.
Personally, I love the dark woods, and bamboos. I have cabernet ( wine)stained cabinetry in the kitchen, and one shade darker for the floors. Living room faces north, and does not seem dark to me, as I have caramel walls, and a sandy octagon carpet.
Back to the kitchen, dark floors and cabinets are highlited by creamy nettuno bordeaux granite and creamy honed travertine backsplash. The 2 rooms here are southern exposure, and very bright.
I would pick the dark bamboo. My neighbour has it, and watches 5 grandchildren full time, and it is a dream.
Guess we all have our own taste.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:01PM
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We put bamboo in the kitchen, same-room dining room, living room, hall, and our bedroom. We have the carbonized color (toffee), but it looks different in different lights. Here is the DR and kitchen which get lots of south light:

This is the same floor in the LR and MBR, both of which have north facing windows:

We've been very happy with the bamboo. It's very scratch resistant, water sprinkles don't bother it, and it's easy to keep clean. We actually liked it so much that we added the hall and our BR in two different after-thought episodes. As the weather gets colder, we don't find it to be cold underfoot, which is nice.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:13PM
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We just put in Teragren stranded bamboo in our first floor (including the kitchen). Our contractor was a little skeptical since we pulled up marble tile, new carpet, and newly refinished hardwood to do so. But, having a single flooring type really opened up the whole first floor and it feels much less choppy.

We did a wider plank in the Teragren Chestnut color (which is similar too, but a bit darker than the Cali Bamboo java). We also debated whether a darker floor would be make the house seem dark, but we think it looks great (we do have very high ceilings and lot of natural light though). We looked at Cali Bamboo too and thought it was a great product, but we didn't find a color we loved. Keep in mind that Java isn't that dark (compared with the dark espresso walnut floors we've seen a lot of).

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Thanks all of your for chiming in.

And thanks suzannesl for posting the photos. I see what you mean that the same floor may appear in different colors when in different lighting. Your floor matches your dog! I told DH that the java color may be too close to cat puke (he once stepped in it not seeing it), but he says light color will show the stain from the cat puke. Who would have though the flooring color decision is tightly intertwined with our little furry companions.

Anyhow, despite all your help, we still have not made up our mind yet. Maybe we'll do coin toss.

One question though... Do you all have your floor nailed down, or floating? One installer told me about another reputable brand, Plyboo, who happens to be local (in SF Bay Area). Unfortunately, their wide plan of stranded bamboo only comes in click & lock type. For whatever reason, I got the impression that click & lock will look, feel, and sound temporary. Any thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:46PM
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We're in the bay area too. We were told that lot of people here use floating floors because radiant heating and slab foundations are so common. We picked a click-lock and you could never tell the difference between that and a glue down/nail down. Just make sure you get a good underlayment.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Thanks Bluej422.

While we were almost set on Cali Bamboo, an installer I talked me told me about Plyboo and it turned that they are local! The wide planks (Stiletto line) only come in click & lock. Oh no, there are more colors to choose from!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Our floor is nailed down to our subfloor as we're not on a slab. The people who know how floors turn out are the installers, especially when they are not direct employees of the flooring store. If a semi-independent installer who's been doing this for a number of years tells you he's put down any number of click and lock floors and they're good, I'd believe him.

Yes, when we figured out the floor and Katie were the same color, we felt especially clever! DH has given her a "stage name": Toffee Bamboo. Not only that, we are babysitting a kitty who's just one shade lighter than Katie. He's been here going on two years, but I expect his owner will reclaim him some day. Kitty thinks he owns the place, including Katie's new bed:

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I'm in the Bay Area as well and just installed Teragren chestnut on the first floor and wheat in the 2nd floor master bedroom. Our installer and our salesperson were both very non-committal about which method to use, glue down or floating. We finally decided to glue down because we were going to have an island and heavy book cases on top of the new floor and didn't want any movement. At that point our salesperson told us that's the best way to install the planks, that floating sounds terrible when walking on it, but that some people (mostly do-it-yourselfers) want to float the floor because it's easier.

We had existing oak flooring that we decided to keep and refinish, and we knew the bamboo wasn't going to match it. We decided to go with the darker bamboo next to the oak because the lighter just looked too yellow side-by-side.

We've got lots of wood colors going on in the house - oak, bamboo and walnut.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:40PM
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annkathryn, your gorgeous cabinet and countertop grabbed all my attention! Thanks for posting the photo and your experience.

I did notice that you have a dark floor adjacent to a light floor. So, it has been done!!! I'm excited because I think we will go with two colors since we have such a hard time deciding on one color. Same flooring material (bamboo), but it will dark color in the living room, and light color in the kitchen and dining room. I will not use threshold or transition between the two colors since the material is the same.

I was a bit worried about that decision (though I have not ordered yet) because everybody seems to like one color throughout for the flow and the openness. So hard to make up my mind!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:45PM
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I didn't use a transition between the 2 wood floors although I did have one between the bamboo and the tile floors in the laundry and bathrooms.

Here's the wheat color next to the existing oak at the entrance to my master bedroom. It's not a great look side-by-side if you look very carefully, but we don't notice it on a daily basis. The upstairs hallway is actually a bizarre mix of red oak, white oak, and 2 planks of maple (visible on the left by the top of the stairs) thrown in for good measure. I'm not sure what the original owner was thinking! From Master bedroom

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 5:01PM
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To be honest, I can't tell one wood from another, so annkathryn , I wouldn't have noticed anything weird about that transition. :p

Well, I just ordered the flooring. Dark color for the living room, and light color for kitchen and dining room. That just tells you how indecisive we are. But I think it'll come out good since the rooms really have very different personalities. Excited!!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:16PM
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We put Teragren Synergy in our bedrooms (installed ourselves ... talk about the test of a marriage). I love them to pieces and adore how they look, BUT they are truly the hardest floors in our house. I don't think this is actually possible but they feel harder to me than our tile floors in our kitchen and bathroom. So much so that I'd be just a *tad* wary of installing them in a kitchen for fear of leg fatigue. Of course, like I mentioned, we have tile floors in our kitchen and the only time I feel tired standing there is when I do a marathon cookie baking session when I'm on my feet for an entire day. So that is the only negative (and it's more a matter of preference than anything) to the bamboo floors as far as I'm concerned.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:32PM
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