Points To Consider When Choosing Bamboo Flooring Products
Bamboo Flooring has had a meteoric rise in popularity since its introduction to Australia. This can be attributed in equal parts to its affordability, its durability and its natural beauty. The market is awash with different bamboo products at many different prices and certainly with many different grades or qualities.
When considering the purchase of a bamboo floor a consumer needs to consider the quality and other factors of the product before the price. A good quality product that will last years is not available at the lowest end of the market. As with a lot of other products on the market these days, there are many different styles and qualities of bamboo being imported so the real question is how to determine what represents the most suitable product and the best value for any consumer’s particular application.
With many low quality, cheaper products arriving to our shores, it is easy to dismiss them as unviable. However, if the applicable project requires a very short duration product, then the lower quality products can be considered. This is why it is important to discuss with the sales staff in our stores your particular needs in regards to your bamboo flooring so that they can advise you on the most suitable product.
So what factors can we consider when determining whether a particular bamboo flooring product is suitable?
- Formaldehyde Content – Does the product pass to the European E0 standard or is it like most products only rated to E1? Formaldehyde is a VoC and a known carcinogen so the lower E rating the better particularly in allergy sensitive homes. The better, more responsible manufacturers chemically strip as much as possible from their products in the production process.
- What locking system is used and does it have end drop and lock? For Solid Bamboo flooring system the Valinge system is generally superior to the Unilin system. Valinge also pioneered the drop and lock system for the ends of boards making it a truly glueless system. A full drop-lock system is a most important consideration as it removes the need to tap boards in on the ends and stops gaps forming over time as boards slip apart again.
- Was the product moisture balanced in humidity controlled kilns to Australian conditions? Australia, and more particularly Northern NSW and QLD enjoy higher levels of humidity and higher average temperatures than the majority of manufacturers target markets (i.e. the US and Europe) and therefore we require that the bamboo boards be balanced to a higher moisture content than would be standard for the factory.
- What is the hardness of the boards on the Janka scale? The Janka Scale is the most common method used to determine the hardness of timber products. Bamboo needs to be at 14.0 on the Janka scale to be considered for any project.
- Were the boards produced by hot press or cold press production methods? Hot press is the preferred method producing boards that are slightly harder and able to be more accurately moisture balanced. They are also able, generally, to attain a lower level of formaldahydes and VoC’s.
- Is the finish Klumpp or Treffert and how many coats are there? Treffert and Klumpp are similar with Klumpp generally considered superior as it scratches “less white” and usually carries commercial warranties.
- Does the product have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification? The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, membership based, non-profit organisation founded in 1993 by environmentalists, social interest groups, indigenous peoples’ organisations, responsible retailers and leader forest management companies to develop standards based on the ’10 Principles for Forest Stewardship’ by which responsible forest management can be measured. Membership is an important accreditation for any sustainable product such as bamboo.
- Do the boards have a wax edge seal for additional moisture protection? Again this is a very important consideration as a wax edge seal not only lets the boards join easier and tighter but it also improves top edge moisture protection making it more difficult for spills to penetrate in to joins.
- What sort of backup is available from the manufacturer? If there is a problem will they actually honour their warranties? Do they have professional brochures, proper websites a substantial presence in the marketplace?
These were all very important questions we considered when finalising the partnerships with our flooring suppliers. Both Inovar and Genesis by Proline exceed all our requirements and are market leaders in quality.
Some products may have some of these benefits, some of the “less expensive” ones may have none. Genesis and Inovar were selected by us as they have all these qualities, are competitive in the market on price and unparalleled in support and backup both to us as a Company and to consumers of their products.
Please call us at Tile Wizards and talk to our knowledgeable and informative staff if you have any specific questions.