Bamboo flooring has gained much popularity in recent years. Beautiful finish, natural feel and elegance, different stains and colours, durability are among the main reasons that fuel its popularity. However, it has certain vulnerabilities as well which can be problematic if you do not maintain it well. Flooring is a lifelong investment you must not take it lightly.
This post focuses on the different problems that bamboo flooring can pose and how to overcome them for a better home.
- Moisture issues
Compared to most hardwood, bamboo is naturally denser and hence more resistant to moisture with moderate antimicrobial properties. However, it is not invulnerable. If your floor is exposed to moisture and wetness for a long period it will develop warps and buckles and eventually weaken. If the bamboo used for making the floorboards are of mediocre quality or harvested too young, they are prone to the effects of temperature and moisture.
Solving this issue:
While a fail-proof and permanent solution to moisture trouble is not possible, you can minimize moisture damage when you take certain preventive measures and take note of quality factors.
- Measure the moisture level of the bamboo floorboards before installation using an accurate moisture meter.
- Give the floorboards enough time to reach equilibrium moisture content or EMC before installation.
- Make sure that water spills are immediately cleaned up and do not get soaked up in the floorboards.
- Be well-informed about the manufacturer from whom you are getting the floorboards to make sure the seller is reputed.
Bamboo flooring which has been exposed to excessive moisture can have mould and mildew growth, particularly in the sub-floor.
2. High expectations
The growing popularity of bamboo flooring builds unrealistic expectations about the product. It has several advantages but that does not mean that it is ideal in every circumstance or that it does not need any maintenance and cleaning up.
The key is to,
- Have realistic expectations based on the grade of the bamboo floorboard that you are
- Ensure a minimum and regular maintenance of the floor to upkeep its lustre.
- Accept that despite its advantages, bamboo is a natural material and will have some vulnerabilities that cannot be simply eradicated.
3. Health concerns
To create bamboo floorboards, the strands are glued and compressed together under high pressure. Urea and formaldehyde are used for the glueing process and these chemicals can cause health troubles for some people. Formaldehyde has off-gassing issues and the fumes can cause respiratory troubles.
To avoid any health problems,
- The installers often wear a safety mask for protection against the fumes and off-gassing of formaldehyde.
- It is a pungent smelling gas and the stench of formaldehyde is unbearable.
- The workers often wear protective clothing to avoid skin irritation caused by the chemicals in the bamboo floorboards.
- Some customers can fall sick due to the off-gassing long after the installation is completed and this is an issue that should be considered while choosing the flooring type.
Some customers may be allergic to the fumes. It is best to ensure that you do not have any intolerance for chemical fumes to avoid any post-installation health hazard.
4. Manufacturing defects
The quality of any type of floorboards varies from one brand to another. When you are choosing bamboo flooring from certain manufacturers, the quality should be noted to avoid getting mediocre products. Since bamboo flooring does not have any standards and universal quality rating scale like Janka hardwood rating, it is relatively difficult to understand the quality.
However, you can,
- Go through the reviews for certain products that you have chosen to understand and analyze customer’s opinion on it.
- Do not fall for attractive but unrealistic prices and remember you will get only what you pay for.
- Make sure the manufacturer is authentic and has the licence for the business so that they follow all the guidelines of quality control.
- Check the floorboards and ensure the chosen grade of the product has superior workmanship and finish.
5. Carbonized bamboo variants
Carbonized bamboo is considerably weaker than regular bamboo. The bamboo strands are carbonized primarily for obtaining a darker hue which is more aesthetically appealing. However, since it weakens the product it can be a problem if you are looking for a heavy-duty flooring material that can withstand high traffic and rough use.
If you are still inclined on carbonized bamboo, you have to take certain precautions to minimize the chances of damage.
- Avoid situations that can cause abrasions, liquid damage and staining on the floor
- Maintain a regular cleaning routine for carbonized bamboo floor
- Trim your pet’s claws frequently to ensure their claws do not scratch the floor to severely
Homeowners prefer carbonized bamboo flooring because of the colour variations that it offers. The hue can vary between rich golden-brown to darker true browns.
6. Staining and refinishing
Bamboo flooring can be sanded and refinished from time to time provided the floorboards are thick enough to withstand the procedure. Since the density and thickness of bamboo flooring vary and there is no universal way of measuring the thickness, it is difficult to determine the number of times it can be refinished. You can simply consult the seller regarding the specifications of the bamboo floorboards that you are choosing to ensure you get quality products that will give you optimum utility.
Bamboo flooring offers several advantages that outweigh the drawbacks, which is why it has gained such immense popularity in the recent years. If you are looking for the best bamboo flooring in Canada, AA Floors can be your next destination. The experts can guide you regarding the best suited variants according to your requirements.