Specialty Floor Types
Repair & Care Of Floors
Bamboo Flooring Hardness Differences
Having seen so many bamboo floors over the years, there are differences from one to the next. A few keys in helping determine which brands offer the best value include checking finish quality. Use a coin and scrape the surface. If it flakes off, the product will not perform for more than a few years and complete refinishing may be needed. A non scientific method of checking hardness is as simple as pressing a fingernail into the face of the board. Some lower priced brands will almost ding when they see a fingernail.
Some Bamboo Floors Are Harder Than Others
While we prefer not to stress bamboo hardness, it is important to have a general knowledge as many are using hardness as a selling point. Bamboo floors require care to keep them looking good. We've seen ten year old floors that look almost newly installed with the exception of high heel marks (common with all hardwood floors) and some minor scratching. On the other hand, we also hear from homeowners that were oversold, and/or failed to do the research, or weren't informed before they made the purchase.
Okay, So What About Hardness? Tell Us!
The carbonized type is the softest of the two distinct colors. It's actual hardness can be placed in a class near that of Black Walnut; considered a soft hardwood as noted on the scale to the right. The reason for the difference is the way the color is achieved. The product is not stained, but pressure heated/steamed and is permanent. The longer it is heated the darker the color and softer the material will be.
From the research we've done, the carbonized falls in the area of 1120 PSI whereas the naturals will be up around 1400. Other manufacturers claim higher numbers. So what does that mean you wonder. Basically, you will see deeper indentations in the carbonized over the natural if proper punishment is provided. High heels would be one leading contributor. Quite honestly, it took us awhile to get used to bamboo, but as time passed it impressed us more. Bamboo can be glued to concrete slabs, stapled to wood subfloors, and some can be floated over most hard surface floor coverings, or installed over existing vinyl floors, providing the subfloor is properly prepared.
Hardness. Does It Really Matter?
What are people buying? While darker, caramel, or carbonized bamboos are softer than that of it's natural state, more people lean toward the darker colors. Vertical or horizontal hardness? We've asked the same question to many. The consensus depends on who you ask and seems to be a tossup and should not sway your decision. Our conclusion; forget about it and choose what you like. As with all consumer products, the longevity will be dependant on the care and preventive maintenance provided.
Yes. They Scratch
Bamboo floors will ding and scratch just as any other hardwood floor will. Natural types tend to show dirt and heel marks due to the yellowish color. Cleaning and care should always be considered. Use area rugs in high traffic areas, including kitchens and entry areas. Does Bowser love to spring towards the front door when the doorbell rings? Allow him a landing area to protect your bamboo floors from scratching and gouging.