The current flooring in most of the basement is vinyl, but it is not in good enough condition that we would keep it exposed. Because the process of manufacturing bamboo evolved at a rate that far exceeded the intelligence of most retail salespeople, many varieties of the product were sold with bigger promises than could be provided by the material. So, if you were one of the people who was promised a 25 year warranty, but you’ve experienced a lack of durability you may be frustrated.
Attempts to refinish strand woven bamboo by my colleagues at the NWFA headquarters have proven unsuccessful because the fibers of the bamboo constantly pull up and away from the glue substrate in the board resulting in a never ending fuzz”. If you want to go darker with your bamboo floor, then I advise a system like aniline dye and a tinted sealer coat.
In my experience waterborne finishes and conversion varnish finishes work great when applied to bamboo. Although bamboo is a grass, as a flooring material it is classified with hardwood. According to the latest market data, bamboo currently accounts for about 2% of total hardwood sales, or around $50 million, down slightly from 2.5% in 2014. When bamboo is used in the U.S. there seems to be a shift from solid construction bamboo to engineered strand. In the strand-woven process, strips of bamboo are coated with resins and then compressed with heat to form timbers.
This process produces bamboo flooring that is said to be twice as hard as traditional solid bamboo. According to executives, the benefit of an engineered strand is greater dimensional stability, which in turn allows bamboo flooring to be used in any climate and makes it attractive for commercial applications, where it is especially popular in specified commercial because of its green story. The growth in engineered strand has necessitated a change in installation methods; five years ago, approximately 90% of bamboo installation was tongue and grove, in which the floor is nailed down, whereas 80% today is click/floating.
Still a viable supplier of bamboo flooring, USFloors launched with the category when it started in 2001. While the company is best known for its COREtec Plus resilient composite product, as well as cork and engineered hardwood, it maintains a significant presence in bamboo with more than 60 SKUs. In store, the majority of flooring dealers segregate bamboo from their hardwood selections. Some dealers have started to incorporate bamboo into hardwood sections and in turn have been rewarded with higher sales as a result.