How does bamboo hold up in bathrooms


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Old 11-13-05, 09:11 AM
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How does bamboo hold up in bathrooms

After looking at a few samples we are excited about putting bamboo throughout our whole house, sometimes accented with sea grass area rugs. Does anyone have any experience with how it holds up in bathrooms and kitchens? We are a little concerned with how well it is sealed against water and how it holds up against scratching from dogs as well.
 
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Old 11-16-05, 09:18 AM
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Some frown upon the use of solid hardwood or engineered flooring in bathrooms and kitchens because of potential moisture issues from leaks. If spills are wiped up immediately, then there is usually not a problem. In the event of a leak, the results can be devastating to flooring. Thus, some prefer to use solid or engineered flooring in guest bathrooms or powder rooms, where there tends not to be much water, such as in busy bathrooms where children may splash water. More and more people are using solid hardwood and engineered wood in kitchens.

Many of today's prefinished flooring products have additives that make them scratch resistant. There is no floor finish that is scratch proof. Flooring will ding and dent. Depending upon location of bamboo harvest and bamboo manufacturer, some bamboo flooring is harder and denser than others. Pets, if small and nails kept clipped, tend to fare well with floor finish. A 75# or larger animal that likes to run and slide, would tend to scratch floor finish. Proper care and maintenance of hardwood flooring is important to the longevity of floor finish.
 
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Old 12-04-05, 11:27 AM
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Agreed, use plenty of those rugs in wet areas :-)

Any wood product is going to encounter porblems when it is exposed to moisture for a long time. So just be sure to target the common problem areas - below sinks, dishwashers, ice makers on your fridge...hope it turns out great:-)
 
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Old 12-06-05, 10:21 AM
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Natural seagrass rugs are made from natural plant fiber. These should not be used in areas where water and spills and staining will be an issue. Absorbent cotton rugs are preferred.
 
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Old 12-10-05, 04:10 PM
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Then you have a damp rug, sitting on a bamboo floor
 
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Old 12-14-05, 08:20 AM
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Cotton rug or bath mat should be hung on side of tub or shower to dry before returning to floor.
 
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Old 01-11-06, 02:14 PM
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Bamboo flooring, maintained properly, would be the ideal wood flooring for high humidity areas. Spills should be cleaned completely just as with any floor.
 
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Old 01-11-06, 07:59 PM
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Really. I guess you didn't get the memo.



We have a small file on bamboo-related journal articles.
Bamboo is a remarkable material. It can reach maturity in about 3
to 8 years...that's about 1/10 that of wood. With this rate of growth, one
would expect greatly reduced properties when compared to wood. On the
contrary, the following table shows some comparison between Bamboo and
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly) (from reference 1, below):

Air-dry...............Specific gravity...............Compressive
strength.............Tensile
strength...........MOE.........................Modulus of rupture (Bending
Strength)
Giant Bamboo..........0.52......................................6130
psi.....................................17,400 psi.............1.55x10^6
psi................14,900 psi
Loblolly pine.............0.51......................................7100
psi.....................................12,800 psi.............1.79x10^6
psi................12,800 psi

In this same study, the shrinkage from green to air-dry was measured to be
approximately....0.02% in the longitudinal direction, 9.3% in the
tangential direction, and 18.2% in the radial direction. When compared to
Northern Red Oak, for example, Bamboo shrinkage values are approximately
TWICE that of N. Red oak.


Information for this comparison to Oak can be found in Table 3-5 of our
Wood Handbook (these values are from green to OVEN-dry, not AIR-dry)..
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/FP...tr113/Ch03.pdf

If you have concerns with using a 3-ply panel consider the following: In
regular plywood, this would mean that you are dealing with (likely) 1/4"
plywood. However, in this case, the concerns that you have should be
reduced because you are dealing with 1/4" layers, rather than thin
veneers. Be sure that you are
dealing with a panel that has a balanced layup. That is, outer layers are
aligned in one direction and inner core is cross-banded....


Two things should be considered:

1. The panel should be finished on BOTH sides so that you do not get
moisture entering on one side (the unfinished side). A moisture gradient
across the thickness (which happens when only one side is finished) will
surely cause a flat panel to warp.

2. Given that you now know that Bamboo moves (shrinks/expands) twice as
much as Oak, be sure to incorporate this movement into the design of your floor or furniture.




Reference:
1. Lee, A.W., X. Bai, and P.N. Peralta. 1994. Selected Physical and
mechanical properties of giant timber bamboo grown in South Carolina.
Forest Products Journal. 44(9):40-46.
 
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Old 01-13-06, 03:22 PM
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Memo recieved. =)

The way we measure stability (shrinkage and growth) is by Dimensional Change Coefficient. Super easy and conventional

change in humidity (humidity %) X width of the plank (inches) X Dimensional Change Coefficient

So basically, every inch will change an amount equal to the Dimensional Change Coefficient for every 1% change in humidity.

ie..

aVanti Bamboo shipped from the Bay Area CA to El Paso TX.

change in humidity (10%) X inches per plank (5 5/8) X dimensional change coefficient (.00144)

One plank will shrink .081 inches and therefore adequate acclimation prior to installation would be required. Shrinkage would be about 5" for a 700 sq ft room.

The Dimensional Change Coefficients for hardwood flooring
are much higher then bamboo which makes bamboo more stable in changes of humidity.

http://www.highlandhardwoods.com/chart.html

This measure can be tested by anyone with a ruler and a humidity measurer.

Our first hand tests have proven the Dimensional Change Coefficient of our bamboo.

I didn't know that the radial stability difference was so great. I'm gonna test some vertical flooring.
 

Last edited by TJennings; 01-14-06 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-16-06, 08:11 PM
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Go look at the specs for installation of Manningtomn Bamboo! No basements and no bathrooms and no floating, right in there installation instructions. Could they know something other bamboo producers don't, to keep their respected name? Or are the others just trying to sell to the masses, with undocumented claims? Why is it recommended the wood subfloor be within 2% for bamboo, maple, and brazillian cherry, and Oak 4%


Bamboo, a grass, swells and shrinks at twice the rate of Oak. It swells and shrinks in all 6 directions, where wood only in 4, Wood doesn't grow in the length, unlike bamboo.
 
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Old 01-17-06, 11:00 AM
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"No basements and no bathrooms and no floating, right in their installation instructions"

It is best to not install any hardwoods into a bathroom.

I called Mannington and the very helpful staff told me that any hardwood would probably be a bad idea to install in a bathroom, outside of a powder room or enclosure w/o a shower. Engineered hardwood would be the best for places with high changes in temperature or humidity.

Engineered hardwood has layers of plywood below the hardwood surface placed perpendicularly to each other to slow the growth and shrinkage of the hardwood. Engineered bamboo is inarguably more stable than solid wood.

Some bamboo such as Mannington bamboo may not be rated for basements or floating. Some bamboo flooring is.

"Bamboo, a grass, swells and shrinks at twice the rate of Oak. It swells and shrinks in all 6 directions, where wood only in 4, Wood doesn't grow in the length, unlike bamboo."

According to NWFA, wood does grow and shrink in length. Bamboo may grow in length more than wood, i don't know, but the growth in length is irrelevant. The growth in width of the planks are the only instances in which there is significant growth or shrinkage.

Oak may be rated to withstand a regular change in humidity of 4% but most bamboo can withstand more without much concern for changes in width.

Cupping and Crowning (differences in moisture from the top of the plank to the bottom of the plank) may be an issue for bamboo, i don't know, but I will test this at our facility instead of discrediting or releasing any undocumented claims. Just as I am currently testing the dimensional change coefficient of vertical bamboo flooring.

P.S. My trade is knowledge, not sales. Keeping old clients, not necessarily making new ones.
 
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Old 01-17-06, 11:06 AM
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I put 6 different samples of bamboo and 3 samples of wood on a piece of plywood. They all have been lightly sponged with water.
 

Last edited by TJennings; 01-18-06 at 09:35 AM.
 

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