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bamboo flooring – questions to consider

Room with Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring can be considered green for a variety of reasons, but this doesn't mean that all bamboo floors are eco friendly. In this section you'll find questions you can ask your local bamboo flooring store to determine how environmentally friendly the flooring you're considering truly is. Also included are additional questions and answers that can help you figure out the best method for installing and caring for your new bamboo floors. Have additional questions? Use our Live Chat feature at the top of the page to talk to our bamboo flooring professionals here at®.

Bamboo Flooring Products

Bamboo Flooring Questions to Ask Your Local Floor Store

What types of bamboo flooring do you offer?

Evaluate the construction (solid, engineered, strand woven), grain (horizontal, vertical, strand), and colors (natural, carbonized, stained). Although it can be more expensive, strand woven bamboo is harder and more durable than most bamboo floor types. Also check out the bamboo flooring installation methods, whether the edges are prefinished or unfinished, and the widths of the planks.

What grade is this bamboo floor and how long is it expected to last?

Bamboo flooring is graded either A or B, as follows:

  • Grade A: Fully mature. Has consistent color. Does not include mold or fungus.
  • Grade B: May be immature, less durable bamboo. Coloring may be inconsistent. May include mold or fungus. Finish may be susceptible to scratches and other damage.

What type of glue is used to manufacture this bamboo floor? If it contains formaldehyde, what level of emissions does it produce?

Some manufacturers use adhesives that do not include formaldehyde. Others use formulas with such low levels they are considered harmless. Review the Materials Survey Data Sheets (MSDS) to make sure the product you buy meets the E1 Safety & Emission Standards (emissions of less than 0.1 parts per million). The MSDS comes with the flooring.

What type of finish does this green flooring have? How safe is it? How durable?

Like many floor coverings, bamboo floors are vulnerable to scratches. The better the finish, the fewer scratches you can expect. However, more durable flooring finishes may contain harmful chemicals and will almost certainly make the flooring more expensive. Make sure you know what you're getting when it comes to the finish on your bamboo flooring. Ask your local floor store about green (eco-friendly) finish options. Some flooring bamboo flooring brands have a specific floor finish that meets green specifications.

Are the bamboo floor planks sealed on all six sides?

Unless all six sides (top, bottom, tongue, groove and both ends) are sealed, the flooring may be vulnerable to moisture damage. Bamboo planks should be sealed with an eco–friendly flooring adhesive that's recommended by the manufacturer.

Can this bamboo flooring product be refinished? How many times?

Refinishing can help restore a worn bamboo floor's shine and remove unsightly nicks and dings. Solid bamboo can be finished more often than most engineered products, as engineered bamboo flooring usually has a thinner top layer. Balance the extra cost of solid products against the time you expect the bamboo floor to last and how likely you are to refinish it.

How is bamboo flooring installed?

If you plan to install the flooring yourself, this is a critical question. Floating floors usually are easier for less–experienced installers because they fit together without nails or glue. Some products may not be suitable for do–it–yourself installation because they need to be edge nailed, which can be tricky.

What is the manufacturer's warranty?

Superior products usually are backed by warranties offered through reputable companies. If you're not familiar with the manufacturer or the warranty does not appear to be adequate, be very cautious about investing in the product. Good quality green flooring products carry 10–year warranties. Better quality floor products carry 25–year warranties.