It’s not pleasant to have beautiful new bamboo flooring laid only to discover in a few years that cracks, warping or shrinking start to raise their ugly heads. Sometimes the cost of repair or replacement can be a lot more than the installation of the original floor so it pays to get it right the first time.
The following ten secrets have been developed over my nearly 35 years in the bamboo flooring industry. What’s provided me with further, invaluable “insider” knowledge is the large amount of insurance work that I’ve done for some of the largest home insurers in Australia.
- Never leave your flooring decisions to a man! I know this statement sounds odd but it actually has good “manly” logic behind it. Surprisingly (and this is changing over time), men don’t tend to spend a lot of time inside the house nor do house cleaning compared with women. Because of this, women tend to have a much better appreciation for practicality, colour and what will or won’t work with the furnishings and fittings in the home.
- Not having a comprehensive assessment completed before installation! When spending the amount of money that you’ll need to get high-quality bamboo flooring installed, you’ll need a thorough pre-installation assessment. Fortunately, this service is normally provided free of charge and if it isn’t, move on to another flooring company that will.
- Not insisting that a moisture meter is used on the area to be laid and also on the bamboo floorboards about to be installed! Installers that don’t use moisture meters are actually a lot more common than you might think. There are plenty of builders, roofers and other tradespeople who are installing bamboo flooring who are unqualified and don’t use moisture meters. This means that they have no-way of accurately knowing just how much moisture is present and greatly increases the chance of floor damage over the longer-term.
- Not checking that a strong guarantee is provided! This one is a sure sign that you want to move on to the next bamboo flooring company as any “worth their salt” will confidently provide one. You should expect at least a 20 year guarantee on your bamboo floorboards and a minimum of 12 months on the installation.
- Buying purely on price! We’ve all been caught by this in the past but it’s not advisable when the purchase is one that you and your family will walk on every day. The problem with buying bargain-priced flooring is that it is cheap for a reason. Either it is of poor quality, damaged or unpopular so needs to be sold quickly.
- Not checking the bamboo flooring company’s track record! Before going with any flooring company, ask around, check on-line, read reviews, anything that might give you some insight into the integrity of the company. You’ll need to be particularly careful with new flooring companies that have only been around for a short time. If this is the case, ask if you can speak to their previous customers which should help guide your decision.
- Buying your bamboo floorboards from a company that doesn’t do the installation! This can be another trick for new players. No high-quality, professional bamboo flooring company will want to be installing “unknown” flooring without being absolutely sure of its origin and quality which can often be impossible to ascertain when purchased from another source. Also, watch-out for flooring companies that use contractors to do their installations rather than doing it with their own in-house tradespeople. Many contractors will tend to work for a number of different flooring companies and can be difficult to track-down if problems occur.
- Not learning about the advantages and disadvantages of bamboo flooring! Bamboo flooring, like any product, has pro’s and con’s so it’s important that you learn about them before you make a decision that will have lasting consequences. Some houses just aren’t suited to bamboo as they are too damp which is just asking for problems.
- Not re-sanding, re-finishing or exposing your bamboo flooring throughout your home sale process! It may seem obvious but it’s not to everyone. A good bamboo flooring installation can be brought back to life many years after it was first installed with a good sanding and finishing. Good real estate sales people have found that an attractive bamboo floor can increase the resale value of a home quite considerably.
- Choosing the wrong colour of bamboo flooring for your home! This is another common issue and often tied to the first secret in this list. Dark coloured bamboo in small rooms makes them feel more like “solitary confinement”. Gloss finishes, particularly on light coloured bamboo flooring, in high light areas can cause nasty reflections which can cause you to walk into a wide range of your household furniture.
By being mindful of these ten secrets you’ll be in a great position to purchase the perfect floor for your home. By getting it right at the start, you and your family will enjoy your new bamboo flooring for years to come and rest-easy knowing that your investment will be “returned with interest” when you decide to sell. thin strap bra