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 Post subject: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:04 pm 
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I've heard lots of horror stories about installing bamboo in the arizona desert, and so I've avoided it as I shop for the ~800 square feet of hardwood floors to replace the carpet in my 3 bedrooms.

Recently, I was in a store here called "Floor & Decor" and noticed a gorgeous strand woven dark bamboo product that appealed to me. The store clerk assured me that it is much more durable than standard bamboo flooring, and that it's resistant to the typical problems that bamboo floors in dry climates like ours face. I've done more research online, and it seems like everyone agrees that strand woven bamboo is super tough and durable, but I'm still skeptical.

I also found birch and hickory engineered products that I liked. The birch felt much to soft, and the hickory was nice, but I prefer the look of the strand woven bamboo. I'd like to avoid dings, dents, and scratches as much as possible. My thermostat typically shows the humidity in my house between 35% - 45% (though I should probably get a real tool to measure it). I would be installing over a concrete subfloor with a high-quality underlayment. I think the strand woven product I was eyeing was glue down, but may have been floating. Can't recall.

Any advice from those who have tried this in Arizona or who understand strand woven bamboo and its behavior around here with humidity in the 30s- 40s?

I'd sure appreciate any feedback. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:23 am 
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Location: Tucson AZ
All my clients who want bamboo get a humidifier, then your pretty much married to it. There's two kinds of humidifiers out there, stand alone and attached to your HVAC unit.
There's some bamboo I won't install anymore but have, the dreaded strand click. You can find plenty of complaints on it in these forums.

Then you can read my blog. http://floorsavior.com/blog/

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Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
IFCII Certified Inspector
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:18 pm 
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Thanks for the input - your site is great, lots of good info there.

I was under the impression that strand woven bamboo was much harder than the standard cheap bamboo. When you say "the dreaded strand click" do you mean strand woven?

So ultimately, should I avoid all bamboo at any cost?


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:24 pm 
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We are located in Minnesota where the climate is very dry in the winter time, however, we do distribute our flooring to various homes all across the nation. With Stranded Bamboo you have to be more careful of the moisture content and way of harvesting. Stranded Bamboo is compressed bamboo making it very high density but also reducing it stability.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to do the research and find a reliable source for the material and labor. Experienced installers will know the common pitfalls and will be able to inspect the material for quality milling and moisture before installing.

My personal opinion is that SWB is more difficult to maintain then some other species, however, do not let the reputation scare you away if this is the style of flooring which suits your home. Not all brands are created equal.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:00 am 
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Personally, I wouldn't risk it, esp if you have other options you love.

I've read about so many problems w/ bamboo - the standard and strand woven alike - on this forum and in other places. I agree that strand woven is better...just not sure that's good enough and having permanent humidifier seems odd and an extra expense.

I'm in NY where there are less issues, but even here there are tons of issues. I've seen many customers w/ the strand woven (which has now gotten more popular), but they are not happy with it. It tends to show everything.

We are in a market where solid hardwood is the standard and people like that look better and ability to refinish.

Debbie Gartner, aka The Flooring Girl
http://TheFlooringGirl.com


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Stranded Bamboo in Phoenix, AZ. Unwise?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:30 pm 
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dsutton01 wrote:
Thanks for the input - your site is great, lots of good info there.

I was under the impression that strand woven bamboo was much harder than the standard cheap bamboo. When you say "the dreaded strand click" do you mean strand woven?

So ultimately, should I avoid all bamboo at any cost?


By "dreaded strand click" includes strand woven, just different names; the locking mechanism can be distorted by large swings in humidity and temps causing it to decouple. Also installing it in an arid environment without proper acclimation meaning, unpackaging it out of the cellophane wrapper can also cause it to shrink which also distorts the bamboo if its to dry. Thus the reason many if not all manufacturers require higher than possible rh requirements. Some rh requirements as high on the low end at 40% rh. This is unattainable in winter months back east and pretty much impossible in arid environments.

This is why you need to be extra cautious as these people who sell bamboo will not back up the warranty if you have an issue and the inspector walks in with a thermohygrometer and your rh is lower than specified your screwed.

If you have to have it stick with regular T&G or my fav is vertical natural. Carbonized is much softer and dents just looking at it.

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Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
IFCII Certified Inspector
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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