Hawa bamboo quality?

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  #1  
Old 05-06-07, 09:13 PM
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Hawa bamboo quality?

Hi

I just purchased a house and intend to rip out the carpeting in the house and install some bamboo in its place. Have been having a hard time trying to find something that is under the $2.50 per sq. foot.

I am narrowing manufacturer's down slowly. Does anyone have any experience with either of the following?

Hawa (found this for 1.87 per sq. foot)
Premium Green from Simplefloors (around $2 per sq. foot)
 
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Old 05-06-07, 09:59 PM
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There's a saying in the flooring industry that's been around for a long time: "Nothing cheap is good and nothin' good is cheap."

Do your research and compare apples to apples. Compare structural, finish, and other warranties. Know your installation prep for subfloor, acclimation, and installation warrranty.
 
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Old 05-09-07, 04:36 PM
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Plus, what I learned from "hardwood vs bamboo" ask for samples. I noticed that several of the sites I visited selling bamboo offer samples.
 
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Old 05-10-07, 08:10 PM
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I'm starting to gather samples from different manufacturer's. So far I have samples from this Premium Green Bamboo from Simple Green and also some from a local company named Bamboo Advantage. I can definitely see the quality difference with the Bamboo Advantage being superior but it is also 3$ more per sqf. Definately quality stuff and I've seen their work from high end condo's, Lexus dealerships, museums, and other establishments.

Still trying to find a happy medium that isn't as costly.

Going to try and get some samples from Hawa, Teragren, and Yanchi if possible.
 
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Old 05-11-07, 06:24 AM
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Look at Plyboo, too.
 
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Old 05-12-07, 11:52 AM
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Visited a local flooring company today and retrieved some Teragren samples. Nice matte finish which seems it would give less glare from light's and the sun coming in from the windows. It feels a little rougher on the surface which is nice as it hides dents, scratches better. I have been beating them up a little now and under a bright window, it seems so far the Teragren is visibly the best of the bunch.

I should be receing the Yanchi, Hawa samples this week and I will report my findings on those as well.

Going to try and find some Plyboo samples now.
 
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Old 05-24-07, 07:14 AM
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Use Caution when selecting Bamboo flooring

Hi My Name is James and I manage a retail flooring store in Maine. Twelvepol is correct in what he said. You really do get what you pay for. Bamboo is a great product to use on your floor, but you have to be careful. It can be as hard as Brazilian cherry but as soft as pine and it all depends on what species of bamboo and at what stage of maturity it was harvested. Bamboo is technically a grass and it grows relatively fast ( usually matures within 5-7 years) Manufacturers that produce inexpensive bamboo flooring (such as Hawa) do not grow their own bamboo and they buy the immature grass which is the softest and the least expensive. Manufactures like Teragren and plyboo have their own bamboo farms and follow very strict guidelines for harvesting the product only after the grass matures. you may pay a little more for what appears to be the same product but believe me when I say you will know the difference in a couple of months... especially if you have kids and pets Teragren , in my opinion is a superior product.
 
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Old 05-30-07, 10:12 PM
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bamboo

i had a condo job that the architect is a big LEEDs guy and they ordered some boxes of premium green from simplefloors and promised that it was LEEDS and FSC etc...

turns out it wasn't certified by anyone for anything and they stuff was crap. The boards were different widths and the finish was questionable at best. good thing they got the 400 square feet to view as samples before they finished spec'ing. it is a 45,000 foot job! they don't have a final answer yet, but it will be interesting to see the next batch of samples. I think it is teragran
 
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Old 06-04-07, 11:30 AM
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Smile Update

I just wanted to give an update on the testing I have done on the samples I have recieved. Treat this as a mini-review of the different brands if you will. Almost everything was Horizontal grain except except f the Premium Green which I had requested both horizontal and vertical samples.

Note: these were only tested on samples so your results may vary! I will rate them on a scale of 1-5 for scratch resistance, hardness, Overall quality, Price.

scratch resistance was tested with dropping keys, scraping with different tools, actually dragging different furniture pieces over the samples.

Hardness was tested by blunt force over the samples from hammers, walking on the sample with heels. Staple gun on them which was great since the pressure used was exact every time.

Overall quality is given by what my opinion is the actual construction of the sample. How even were the horizontal slats?, T&G design? Tight fight, loose it? Micro Bevel depth.

Premium Green Bamboo from Simpleflloors.com - Semi-Gloss Cheaper product, not all that great, was softer than most others.
Scratch Resistance - 2
Hardness - 2
Overall Quality - 2
Price - Cheap (around $2.10 per sqft)

Bamboo Garden Bamboo Classic - Matte -Actually a decent product. Had a strong odor to it though. Very yellow tinge to the sample.
Scratch Resistance - 3
Hardness - 3
Overall Quality - 3
Price - around $2.79 per sqft)

Westhollow Bamboo Style Series II Premium Collection - Semi Gloss -Seemed pretty solid and the slats seemed pretty even.

Scratch Resistance - 3
Hardness - 3
Overall Quality - 3
Price - around $2.79 per sqft)

Style Series II Elite Collection - Semi Gloss finishPretty much the same as the Premium stuff except the very top layer seemed thicker while the sandwiched layer was thinner.

Scratch Resistance - 3
Hardness - 3
Overall Quality - 3
Price - around $3.09 per sqft)

Yanchi Premium Select - Semi Gloss finish. Hardness was decent, Nice coating on these but one of the samples that I had recieved had a really small gap between the top and middle layer of bamboo. Would probably not have effected installation but this brings questions on quality control.

Scratch Resistance - 3
Hardness - 3
Overall Quality - 2
Price - around $2.87 per sqft)

Hawa Bamboo - Really liked this product. I had this in Matte and Semi Gloss finish. Very hard product. Very scratch resistant. on par with pricier items. Not sure about consitancy though. I had recieved 2 matte samples and 2 semi gloss samples. The staples from the gun kept forming W's from 2 of the samples being so hard. Not one staple drove straight. This happened on only 1 of the matte finish sample and 1 of the semi gloss sample though. The other 2 samples were still very hard but staples would at least drive though them.

Matte-
Scratch Resistance - 4
Hardness - 5
Overall Quality - 4
Price - around $3.33 per sqft)

Semi Gloss-
Scratch Resistance - 4
Hardness - 5
Overall Quality - 4
Price - around $3.33 per sqft)

Plyboo Natural Horizontal - Liked this product alot. Fared well on all the tests and pounding. Seems the micro bevel on this product is the finest of the bunch. Would probably look the cleanest after installation.

continued...
 
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Old 06-04-07, 11:49 AM
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Continued

Teragren Signature Natural Horizontal - Really nice stuff if not the best. Very scratch resistant. Great QC on these. Very expensive though. Signature series boasts less color variation, and random length boards from 2-6 feet which may expedite installation, They also carry the Spectrum line which I suspect would be same quality but with more color variation and non random length boards.

Scratch Resistance - 5
Hardness - 4
Overall Quality - 5
Price - around $5.20 per sqft) cheapest I've found. priced closer to $6 in most places. Spectrum is around $3.79 per sqft.

Bamboo Advantage Bamboo - Based out of local Boston! Had a chance to visit their showroom and they were very helpful. They make a ton of stuff and reminds me of what Plyboo does with all the different furniture that is made with their products. The gentlemen showed me all sorts of contracts/jobs that they had with local high end condoes, convention centers and a Lexus car dealership. Was not afraid to show me a patch of the showroom which was beat up by a flood. Boards were a little curved but acceptable. Can't expect much if your floors go through a flood. Expensive though.

Scratch Resistance - 4
Hardness - 4
Overall Quality - 5
Price - around $5.00 per sqft)


Wow that was a lot of samples I had around but I have learned a lot about bamboo during this time. Some of the things I have learned and would be beneficial to everyone would be.

I would highly recommend Teragren, Plyboo, Bamboo Advantage and Hawa to anyone installing bamboo flooring. This pretty much leaves out the sub $3.00 items.

Personally, I've narrowed it down to Plyboo. Middle of the road price and great Quality Control did it for me. Best milling of the bunch.

Some notes that may be helpful:

Matte finish - Hides the scratches a lot better. Less light reflection and the non smooth surface is great for maintenance.

Semi Gloss - Seems to make it harder at least on the Hawa sample. Those things are rock solid especially semi gloss.

Moisture - I had these things sitting in a submersed in a huge bucket of water for 48 hours. All were slightly curved regardless of pricing. Seemed the products that seemed to have more coating on the underside would fare better though. The Vertical sample came out looking straight as ever even though it was the cheapest product. If your looking for bamboo that would hold up well to higher moisture or would be installing in an area like a kitchen or god forbid a bathroom, Do yourself a favor and go Vertical.

In the end. My opinion is that if your not doing a whole lot of square footage. The price difference between these is not a whole lot and doing 300sqft would mean a difference of $1600 and $1200+. Not much of a difference is there? now if you had a 3000 sq foot job. That's a different story. That $.25 per sqfoot can be huge to the average DIY'er.

Just a note. All marks dents scratches show up really dark when the bamboo is wet. They eventually turn back to normal after they dry.

I'll post back with pics after I have finished installing the floor later this month.
 
  #11  
Old 06-17-07, 12:08 PM
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Teragren bamboo

Morlikster, thanks so much for sharing your bamboo sample testing results. I am going to order Teragren samples of all their products from the Teragren website. Do you know if the $20 sample pack offered on their website includes a sample of the Studio tera-loc floating floor?
Any idea whether the Studio tera-loc floating floor is of comparable quality to the Teragren signature line?
Thanks again for ranking the bamboo samples of various companies. It is so very helpful.
 
  #12  
Old 06-17-07, 11:01 PM
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The Teragren samples that I had were from a local flooring company. They had a complete 2nd floor showroom that was installed with everything that Teragren offered.


I did not pay a dime for the samples. The best thing to do would be to check for a local distributor/vendor for Teragren products and personally speak to the shop and secure some samples. Looking at the samples is great but it doesn't beat actually seeing the stuff installed in a showroom, especially if it is in a room that has very heavy traffic.
 
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