Monthly Archives: August 2016

Clean Bamboo Floors Tips

Clean Bamboo Floors Tips

From natural light shades to darker caramel hues, bamboo floors are very popular for the beauty they add to a room. Besides their aesthetic value, bamboo floors are esteemed as they are environment friendly. Bamboo plants can grow in as little as 3 to 5 years, and are low maintenance plants. They are used for various purposes, including flooring. After having invested one’s time in choosing and installing bamboo flooring, one would definitely want to see them without a scratch or dent for as long as possible. Following these simple tips on bamboo floor cleaning will help one take care of them on a daily basis.

How to Clean Bamboo Floors

  • Like any wooden floor, bamboo floors are sensitive to excess moisture. Hence, use of excess water while cleaning the floor should be avoided. A dry dust mop or a microfiber flat mop can be used daily to clean the bamboo floor. Even using a vacuum with a soft attachment would be a good option to keep a bamboo floor free of dirt and grit.
  • In case of any liquid spills, or food being dropped on the floor, cleaning it with a soft cloth, dampened with water, would do the trick. However, one should be careful about squeezing any extra water out of the cloth.
  • Wax, wood polishes, solvent cleaners or oil soap should never be used for cleaning bamboo floors. Using floor cleaners specifically made for bamboo floors is the safest option to ensure proper maintenance of such high quality floors.

General Care

  • Avoid walking around with shoes, especially high-heeled shoes, as they are particularly damaging to bamboo floors. In case that can’t be done, keep a mat outside the house to clean the shoes and remove it of the dirt and small stones that get stuck on the soles of the shoes. These stones might leave scratches on the bamboo floor that can’t be removed later. In case there are pets in the house, their claws must be trimmed to avoid excess scratches or gouges.
  • It is always wise to cover areas of the floors that are walked upon more, with mats or rugs. However, one should ensure that the rugs are of colorfast and non-scratch variety.
  • Protective pads should be attached under the legs of all furniture. These pads should be cleaned regularly to keep them free of dust and dirt. Replacing them periodically would also help minimize any damage caused to the floor.
  • Whenever any piece of furniture needs to be moved, it should be lifted and moved. Under no circumstances should furniture be dragged along the floor.
  • Bamboo floors should not be exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight. This might cause the floor to lose color and ruin the look. Using blinds and curtains properly will not only enhance the look of the room, but will also protect the bamboo floor from fading.
  • Placement of the rugs and furniture should be changed regularly. If the same area of the floor is covered for long it tends to retain its original shade whereas the other uncovered areas may become lighter in color. Also, moving furniture ensures that certain parts of the floors do not get dented because of the heavy weight of furniture being kept there for too long.
  • Using a humidifier will help manage humidity levels in the room. It is advisable to maintain a 30 to 50% humidity level, as excess humidity may crack the planks, while low humidity can shrink the planks.

Flooring manufacturers usually include care and maintenance tips with their products. In case such recommendations are not available, it is always advisable to contact them to get information on cleaning bamboo floors. Besides that, following these simple dos and don’ts will help one maintain the beauty and the longevity of bamboo floors.

Tips to Choose a Bamboo Floor

Tips to Choose a Bamboo Floor

Bamboo floor is highly appreciated by consumers because of its texture, quality and the advantages it offers. Its stylish and contemporary appeal makes it a good option for remodeling floors. Bamboo is also a wonderful alternative for hardwood floors because the physical appearance of both are same. Choosing a good quality bamboo floor requires some prior knowledge about its types. The price is determined according to its origin and the quality guaranteed by the manufacturer. There are certain important factors that you should consider while pondering on how to choose a bamboo floor. We provide you some good tips on this.

Choosing a Bamboo Floor

You have to scrutinize the pros and cons of bamboo floors before taking any decision. Moreover, the type of bamboo floor that you choose will depend on the interior decoration of your house and the prevailing climatic conditions. The color of the bamboo is another important factor that should be considered. Take a look at those important factors that you must know before installing a bamboo floor.

  • First of all you have to consider the purpose of use while laying a bamboo floor. Indoor and outdoor floors are usually constructed with horizontal or vertical sheets of bamboo while strand-woven bamboo is much preferred for outdoor spaces like a porch or a portico. Bamboo floors installed at outdoors should also be U.V resistant.
  • Avoid carbonized bamboo since they are comparatively softer than strand-woven bamboo, which is known to be the hardest quality of bamboo. The biggest disadvantage of using carbonized bamboo is, it easily gets dented when subjected to pressure. Thus, it is not a suitable option for floors.
  • Strand woven bamboo is probably the best quality bamboo not only because of its durability but also because of its weather-resistant properties. It is manufactured from bamboo strips that are further molded and shredded into strands and then glued with resins. This quality is unique to strand woven bamboo that offers complete protection to the flooring.
  • Since daily activities are carried out on the floor, you must look for durable and scratch resistant varieties. You can also get an additional acrylic coating done on the surface of the bamboo for giving extra protection. Look for moisture resistant varieties, that could be cleaned easily by wet moping. The quality of bamboo should be such that it is capable of withstanding vacuum cleaning.
  • While remodeling your floor with vertical bamboo, you will observe thin strips having fine lines that run between a narrow stalk. This is a characteristic properly of vertical strips and you can easily identify it with these specifications. Similarly, horizontal bamboo strips have three distinct layers, that are stacked with each other. The middle strip is comparatively narrow and sleek while the rest two layers are wide and flat.
  • We often get attracted by the external appeal and come to know the disadvantages only after using. Bamboo floors having light shades could be remodeled easily with darker tones. Thus, the choice of floors also depends upon the texture and color of the bamboo. Check with the supplier regarding the staining options suitable for the product that you are going to purchase.
  • Choosing the color of bamboo floor and determining its staining properties are two different aspects. Although the natural light shade of bamboo has a traditional approach you can still look for different options that will complement the interiors of your house. A few good colors include burnt mocha, rec cognac, coffee brown, Irish moss, etc. These colors have contemporary appeal, which when used in the right proportion beautifies interiors with excellence.
  • If your budget is low, you can temporarily get an unfinished bamboo flooring and then complete the work when needed. There are certain disadvantages of using unfinished bamboo because it’s devoid of protective coating. In order to save some expenses, you end up spending a huge sum merely on repair cost. Thus, go for pre-finished bamboo floors that have been chemically treated to its durability and texture.

Always consult with an experienced person, check out the product reviews and compare the costs before deciding the type of flooring suitable for your home.

Tips to Install Bamboo Flooring on Stairs

Tips to Install Bamboo Flooring on Stairs

While decorating your home, we always opt for the well followed flooring trends in the hope of adding elegance. If you are looking to add something really extravagant in your home, then opt for bamboo flooring. Bamboo flooring is a really graceful flooring option for your house and staircases, which is easy to install as well as maintain. Bamboo flooring is the most affordable and eco-friendly type of flooring which is popularly chosen for stairs and the overall flooring area of contemporary dwellings. It is a relatively easy to clean flooring option for stairs. Trust me, it will definitely add up to the beauty of your dwelling. It is also the reason why many homeowners are replacing their existing carpeted stairs with this utterly oriental flooring option.

If you have made up your mind for bamboo stairs, then the next question on your mind would be how to install it! Well, let me tell you that installing bamboo flooring on staircases needs pretty good knowledge about carpentry, construction and interior designing. Hence, if you are not pretty sure about the job, it is always better to hire an efficient team of professionals. However, you can always refer to the following section of the article for understanding the installation procedure for bamboo flooring.

Installing Bamboo Flooring on Stairs

Preparation
There are two basic ways of installing flooring on stairs. One is by using prefabricated bamboo stair treads and bamboo stair risers, while the other one is by using bamboo stair nose and flooring boards. Although installing bamboo flooring is a safe thing to do, one cannot deny the initial care you require during the process of installation. You need to take care while nailing the boards. You may also need to protect the installed flooring from scratches until you are done with the entire installation process. Now, before moving ahead with the process of installation, you need to estimate about the required material and time for bamboo flooring. It is always better to have all the required material ready with your, beforehand.

Measurements
Now that you have taken the DIY approach to bamboo flooring installation, you first need to take measurements to purchase material. For that, you may need a tape measure so that you can measure width and depth of each step. Once done with it, multiply the measured width into length which will give you the measures of ‘square footage’ of the stair tops. Then is the time to measure rise of each step. Once done, multiply the number with the width to get ‘square footage’ of the risers. Lastly, multiply square footage of the tops and risers to get the accurate square footage of the entire staircase. Now add 10% to the final sum as waste factor.

Material Needed
Before moving ahead with the instructions, you need to gather all the required material for bamboo flooring installation. These materials include: pry bar, a hammer, sandpaper, vacuum machine or broom, various types of saw like reciprocating saw, circular saw, bamboo flooring boards with matching bamboo nosing, (stair nosing: it is the horizontally hanging material, which is present outside the vertical stair risers) pneumatic nailer and flooring nails. As I mentioned above, in order to protect the installed bamboo flooring from scratches, you need to cover the finished steps with cardboard or newspapers.

Instructions
Now that you are prepared with measurements and all the required materials, go through the following instructions for installing bamboo flooring on stairs. If you find them confusing, then it is always advised that one should contact the professionals.

  • If there was carpet on the stairs, then you may need to remove the carpet as well as pry away the tack strips so that you can get a level surface. You also need to remove excess staples, if any. In order to prepare the surface for installing the flooring, sand it down with sandpaper, so that all the bits and high spots on the steps are cleared. Lastly, vacuum or broom the stairs for a clean and smooth surface.
  • Cut away the existing stair nosing, with the help of reciprocating saw. Removal of stair nosing should create a right angle (90 degree) between riser and tread. Make sure that there is no overhanging left. Once you have removed the stair nosing, then is the time to install the risers.
  • Risers are the pieces of bamboo flooring that you will be installing vertically and alongside the face of your staircase. For that, you need to start from the first bottom step of the staircase and work your way up. Cut the flooring pieces in the exact size required, with help of the circular saw. Place it on the step and secure with nails and pneumatic nailer. Keep at least 6 inches of distance between 2 nails.
  • Now is the time to install the bamboo stair nosing. To do that, understand that the nosing should overhang at least 1 inch away from the steps. Keeping that in mind, cut desired size pieces of bamboo nosing and install them carefully on the prepared steps. Nail the nosing with the help of nails and pneumatic nailer. Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the steps.

Once you are done with installing all the risers and nosing, you may like to install stair stringer along the base of the steps. This will definitely accentuate the look of your newly installed bamboo staircase flooring. As I am saying it repeatedly, if you are not too confident about the DIY way, then do hire qualified professionals! All the best!

Floating Bamboo Flooring Ideas

Floating Bamboo Flooring Ideas

Bamboo flooring is a smart and creative option for home and office flooring. Walking on bamboo floors feels great due to its smooth and polished texture. This flooring is available in many designs, colors, and styles. It gives a wide choice for those who wish their wall and floor patterns to sync well. There are many types of bamboo flooring like floating, carbonized, engineered, natural, or strand woven. Out of these, the floating and strand woven bamboo flooring are in great demand.

In case of floating flooring, the floor is not nailed or glued to the sub-floor, instead, just placed over it. It can be installed in homes and offices and also in places like theaters, gaming rooms, party floors, etc., as it helps to reduce the effect of noise. Preferably, it is not installed in bathrooms as water can seep through the edges and get accumulated under the floor, thus causing damage to the shock-absorbing layer in the middle.

Floating Bamboo Floor

In this flooring, the bamboo planks are not attached physically to the sub-floor. Instead, they are attached to each other by water glue or sometimes just interlocked and placed over the sub-floor as a single unit. The sub-floor can be made up of any normal flooring material like concrete, tiles, or wood. A layer of plastic and foam is placed in between the sub floor and the single unit made out of the planks. Corks made of recycled car tires can also be used as the middle layer, since it acts as a better shock-absorbing material. Bamboo has the tendency to expand and contract with changes in humidity. The same applies to the bamboo planks which make up the flooring. It has an advantage over the usual bamboo flooring. Since the planks form a single unit and are not attached to the sub-floor, they do not bend out of shape. Even so, it is advisable to maintain a half or one inch distance from the edges of the walls or cabinets to allow its normal expansion and contraction process.

Strand Woven Bamboo Floor

It is the most exotic and the most cost-effective option of bamboo flooring. It is made from Moso bamboo, which is boiled to remove any sugar content that can attract termites and then dried for a long period of time. After drying, the strands are flattened under high pressure so that planks can be cut from them. Then, they are treated with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesives. This makes the strand woven bamboo twice as strong as the normal one. It is more moisture-resistant than the regular bamboo flooring. Hence, the planks can be nailed or glued directly to the sub-floor or installed as the floating type. Another advantage of strand woven bamboo is, that none of it is wasted. Every bit and piece of the strand is used in the flooring. It is extremely strong and durable which makes it suitable for installation in heavy activity areas.

Bamboo flooring installation is easy and can be done without any professional help. Though it is a little tricky due to the moisture factor, it is manageable. It has a few advantages and disadvantages. In spite of the disadvantages, many people opt for this flooring due to the aesthetic value it adds to the surroundings.