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bamboo flooring retailer

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Joined: Jul 8 2003

Hi,

I am seriously considering installing floating bamboo flooring in all the bedrooms over working radiant heat. From what I heard, all people who have done this are happy with bamboo. I'm reseaching bamboo products and thought I would benefit from those who have done the same kind of reseach before. So I'd appreciate if you could share the following info based on your research/experience:

- brands? models?
- stores for purchase (brick-mortal or online)?
- cost (material, installation)?
- installation referral?

We are in the south bay area. Send info to JIONGCHEN AT YAHOO DOT COM if you prefer.

Thanks in advance!

Jiong

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Joined: Nov 26 2004

We did extensive due diligence on bamboo flooring options and can provide the following suggestions:

- go with an ENGINEERED bamboo product. The engineered product is harder and more suitable for use over radiant heat.
- floating is the way to go and you should utilize either TUPLEX as an underlayment or one specifically recommended and warrantied by the manufacturer for use over radiant heat.
- we looked at just about every engineered bamboo product out there and found two manufacturers to have the best product: EcoTimber and Plyboo (do an internet search to find information on either). . Both manufacturers are local and you should be able to source product from any local flooring specialist. Additionally, Plyboo will sell directly to your contractor if you already have someone lined up to do the installation.
- We ended up choosing EcoTimber (for virtually all areas except the bedrooms and family room which are carpeted) because we felt that the surface coating utilized on this product made it a little more wear resistent. We did however purchase some bamboo veneer panels from Plyboo for use on the walls in our updated/"Zen" bathroom and it looks really good. They are also very helpful if you have any questions/require assistance.
- Pricing for the engineered product will range anywhere from $3.90-$6.50/sq ft. depending on how much of a markup is applied. If you can get it for around $4, you are doing pretty good.

Good luck and hope this helps!

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

I have a couple of flooring guys (contractors, and installers) that are experienced with bamboo over Eichler slab floors. Email me for the info.

renman

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Joined: Nov 26 2004

There has been a lot of discussion re: bamboo flooring recently and I wanted to let folks know that we recently had it installed. So far, so good and they look great. We opted for the EcoTimber Engineered Bamboo Flooring (vertical grain, amber color).

It was installed by a large carpet/flooring company based in San Francisco (e-mail me if you want specfic vendor recommendations or pictures).

Thanks.

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Joined: May 12 2004

i am in the process of having my bamboo (engineered) floor (floating) installed and the store is raccomending (along with the radiant heating pad) to lay a polyethylene sheet underneath to protect the wood from moisture. This does not make sense to me at all, i believe the plastic sheet will not just work as a vapor barrier but also prevent the heat to go through.... i am just concerned the store may not provide warrenty on installation/material if I ask not to have this black plastic sheet installed...help...

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Joined: Nov 26 2004

Did the flooring company take moisture level readings throughout your home before they made this recommendation? The key issue is that most wood flooring products run a risk of warping/cupping if they are exposed to high moisture levels. Manufacturers have their own guidelines regarding appropriate moisture levels for your specific type of flooring and it is usually clearly outlined in their warranty/installation instructions.

Your flooring company may be making this recommendation because your moisture level is higher than usual and they want to minimize the moisture by utilizing another layer between your concrete slab, the typical underlayment and your flooring. I would ask them about this and also ask them about the installation guidelines from the floor manufacturer. Another option would be to have them utilize a paint on sealant which can also have the same effect without impacting the effectiveness of your radiant heat.

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Joined: May 12 2004

thanks very much for your useful tips.. you are correct and the reason why the plastic sheet would be required is the high level of moisture coming from the slab.. i really do not want to end up with a warped floor but i have to consider how the radiant heating is going to work...as anybody ever used the paint/sealant for this matter? the floor company (actually the sales rep) was not aware of this as being an option...

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

The plactic vapor barrier is a very good suggestion. I will be laying a Bamtex click together floor in the Eichler that we are restoring, and we plan to do just that. a 10 mil plastic sheet will have nominal impact on heat transfer, so that really is not a concern. Bamboo is a great product; I personally like that it is a green product (renewable resource). There are some inferior products on the market, as is true with any material. So be careful to do research.
As a contractor, we have done several bamboo floors, and every time the result was very good, and each owner still informs me that they are very happy with the decision.

renman

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