Bamboo flooring installation is growing in popularity, as home owners become more familiar with the eco-friendly aspects of using bamboo. The more simple installation, hence less time and expense, comes with an engineered floor.
While several factors apply to the installation, today we’ll discuss two of them that are unique to bamboo: the expansion of bamboo planks and the hardness of the flooring.
Important Factors in Bamboo Flooring Installation
To understand bamboo flooring installation, remember this is an engineered floor. Several layers of product have been fused together, the top layer being bamboo which has been split and pressed flat. Another method of preparing bamboo, called strand-woven, weaves together strands for additional toughness. Some users claim strand-weaving gives the floors more of an appearance of a traditional hardwood floor.
The two types of bamboo floor planks react differently during installation. So, it is important for the installer to understand the differences: while both need time to acclimate to the home or room before installation, standard bamboo will expand both in width and length. Strand-woven acts more like traditional laminated flooring and expands primarily in width.
Bamboo Flooring and the Janka Scale
The second factor is the Janka Scale, the scale used to rank the hardness of flooring. The higher the Janka number, the harder (and hardier) is the floor.
However, when buying bamboo, you can’t rely on Janka alone. A typical bamboo floor might have a high Janka ranking, but it is still susceptible to sharp objects such as high heels or dropped items, because the bonding between the fibers is not as strong as the bamboo itself. This is not true in the case of strand-woven bamboo flooring.
Like many home projects, when considering bamboo flooring installation, it is best to become well-acquainted with the product and to consult a professional prior to beginning the project.
Is laminate flooring right for you? On many home projects, both in a new home or a remodeling project, homeowners naturally want to consider the best floor for the home.
For a variety of reasons, laminate flooring (also called engineered flooring) can be a very good option. It is easier to work with, less expensive to install, and the work can be done faster so it fits well into a time-sensitive project. Many homeowners also appreciate that the laminate is prefinished so the buyer can see exactly what it will look like.
Environmental Issues with Laminate Flooring
While all the above is true, it doesn’t mean that choosing the best laminate flooring can be done without careful consideration. For instance, not all laminate floors are good in all environments, which is why they are ranked by RH (relative humidity). RH includes the outside climate (heat, humidity) as well as the inside environment (furnaces and air conditioning). RH can also be affected by the work being done on the job site, because the floors are often laid early and are subject to inconsistent air/heat and exposure to the elements.
For instance, in a place where the furnace is running all winter, there are different levels of humidity than in a home that is in a moderate climate with a lot of moisture in the air. Likewise, a desert city such as Phoenix is very different than Houston. Both cities are hot, but you might not use the same laminate floor in both places because of the differences in humidity.
While many people praise the ease of installing laminate flooring, the same advice you would use with any important element in your home applies: work with, or seek the advice of, a professional before you make any buying choices.