Bamboo floors

Sometime last year I started researching floor coverings for the studio and kitchen. There were numerous possibilities but slowly I narrowed them down.

Vinyl was removed from the list quickly as it is highly energy intensive to produce, uses lots of chemical and off gases for a long time. To get an idea of flooring and the healthy alternatives check out this link http://www.healthyflooring.org/alternatives.html

Marmoleum was high on the list but needed to be glued down.

Rubber sounded good but only one company makes natural rubber floors and it is in France so rubber has to be shipped from Malaysia to France and then to Australia. Synthetic rubbers are made from oil so that was not on the list.

Carpet did not even get on the list.

In the end we made a list of questions and applied them to all the products.

The questions we asked were.

  • Was the product made from sustainable materials?
  • How far did it have to travel?
  • Was it easily recyclable?
  • Did it need another product to fix it. IE glue, nails
  • Did it out gas?
  • Could it be laid by me or did it need professional skills
  • Was it available in Tasmania

In the end it appeared that a floating bamboo floor would tick nearly all the boxes. The clincher was a visit to GECA website (Good Environmental Choice Australia) and finding a couple of bamboo flooring companies that were GECA certified. This included the levels of glues and binders used as well as the sustainable harvesting and planting of the bamboo. It gives some peace of mind. The only downside was that it was made in China so the travel was long. However all other flooring alternative apart from a cork/rubber composite came from overseas.

The cork flooring is made by Comcork from recycled corks collected by Guides Australia and rubber. It was very high on the list but needed glueing down which made recycling it very unlikely.

The Bamboo flooring we chose was Arc Bamboo in a natural colour. It is a strand woven bamboo flooring product 15mm thick that clicks together on all 4 sides using Uniclic technology. It can be resanded if necessary and came pre finished. It is one of the few bamboo flooring products that is GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) specified. This means that the bamboo has to come from sustainable sources and the glues used are very low emission. Always good to check on the GECA website for products.

It has been down for three months now and is performing well. It is easy to keep clean with an ENJO microfibre mop and sweeping. The aluminium oxide finish easy a little easy to scratch if not careful, but so is polyurethane.

Photos below show the whole story.

Before we started. Ecoply flooring.

Starting the floor laying process

Nearly Finished. Showing foam underlay

The finished floor

Finished !! One days work

We bought it on special and saved 20% from Carpet Court in Invermay. Very friendly and came and measured up, gave us a quote and let us keep it at their warehouse until we needed it.

I picked it up just before Xmas. There were five planks in a pack and 59 packs. the van knew it had a load on board, especially as we had discovered that it was only running on 2.5 cylinders.

Van loaded

A dream to lay. It floats literally over a 3mm foam underlay. The profile “Uniclic” edges ensures that it all fits together very easily. You have to leave a 12mm gap around the edges for expansion and contraction. this was hidden under the skirting.

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7 thoughts on “Bamboo floors

  1. Hello! I have just discovered your great site. We are just about to install an Arc bamboo floor in our studio, so I was thrilled to read that you like the floor. May I ask one question? You mentioned the colour in your post; did you mean the colour was ‘natural’? It looks fab. We are considering the colour ‘coffee’, but now I have seen your floor, I am wondering if our choice might be too dark.

  2. Hi Virginia
    We put bamboo flooring in our renovated home in North Queensland and had 3 small children (baby to 8yo), all of whom rode their scooters and other toddler toys around and around the kitchen centre island on the bamboo floor with no damage. I found it to be extremely durable. So much so that we are seriously considering it in our new house here in Tassie.
    Cheers
    Nicole

  3. I’m soon buying this ARC bamboo and installing it, about 50 boxes of it. Like Virginia, I’m curious to know how scratch-resistant it is. It’s now been half a year, is the floor still looking okay in high-traffic areas?

    Thanks!
    Thomas

    • Hi Thomas
      Thanks for the comment. Yes the floor is looking ok in high traffic areas. Something to consider is that the aluminium oxide surfacing can scratch and leaves a white scratch. This has not gone through to the bamboo surface at all.

      general care is the best way of protecting them. Floor mats to trap dirt, general sweeping and cleaning with a damp microfibre cloth. Do not use wet cloths or mops and wipe up spills straight away.

  4. Hi Sean,
    Greetings. Your project is great adn I am delighted to have some digestable information on timber flooring as we are in the middle of home renos!! I am interested in your feedback on the Arc flooring especially the aluminium oxide finish!! Can you tall me or direct me to where I might read about this as is sounds alarming to live with!! Your sentence is a bit unclear about the scratching…..We have boy grandchildren visiting adn they are very hard on the environment …. how vunerable is the floor??

    Good to see you updated.
    Warm regards Virginia Heydon

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