Bamwood® vs Solid Compressed Bamboo Flooring

When you are doing your research you will find a number of companies in Perth selling this solid style of bamboo that is eco friendly. It is usually called compressed grain bamboo (or composite bamboo boards, or strand-woven bamboo).

In fact, we were one of the companies that first introduced this product to Perth a number of years ago. To our surprise at the time, we had a number of our customers calling us very distressed that their beautiful floor had started to cup on the surface, and this was happening just a few short months after installation. Past experiences have shown us that this product is not suitable for Australian conditions. The structure of the compressed grain board is fundamentally flawed. The grain only runs the length of the board and there is nothing to stop it distorting across the face of the board under Australia's extreme conditions. There are some companies in Perth that import this style of board that are adamant that this problem is only due to moisture in your slab and they usually insist you put a moisture barrier down first which will solve the problem. It is our experience that this is just not true and it is the structure of the board that is flawed. A classic case was our original showroom floor which cupped only months after being installed, even though there was no measurable moisture in the slab. Interestingly, the factories that produce compressed grain products are aware of this problem. More information from the Australian Timber Flooring Association (ATFA) for industry recommendations can be found here. In most cases, the floors required sanding and polishing to flatten them again – not a nice process, quite dusty and smelly – and required the customer to move out of the house for a week or more – which is obviously a little distressing. In a couple if instances, the floors cupped so severely that they had to be ripped out and replaced – which was even worse for the customer. Of course, all these floors are covered by our lifetime warranty, and we showed the integrity to follow through on all our obligations. Obviously, this is something we all want to avoid. The great thing for Bamboozle® customers is that you don't have to worry about this problem any more. Bamboozle®, in conjunction with our partner factory, have developed a superior product that has given our customers total peace of mind. Bamwood® technology was developed by us to solve these problems. There are a number of steps that are essential to making Bamwood® suitable for Australian conditions. One of the visual differences was the addition of a cross-laminated centre layer – this essentially helps stabilise the surface of the board and preventing the cupping occurring (pictured above). There are also another 5 critical steps in the manufacturing of the Bamwood® board that improves the stability compared to solid compressed grain boards. These extra steps include controlled moisture content, improved seasoning, a superior European glue formulation and system, improved pressure control, hot pressing and scientifically tested balancing times. Even though the Bamwood® board costs considerably more to make, this is a much smarter eco flooring choice and becomes an investment considering the flooring has to perform in your home for many years to come. It wouldn't make sense to make these changes if the benefit to our customers was not significant. It is worth mentioning that having the cross-laminated centre layer does not reduce the amount of times you can sand the floor and in many cases it allows you to have more board life (ie. if the floor cups you will always get a reduced sanding life because the edges of the board must be sanded away to make the floor flat again). On any wooden or compressed bamboo floor you can only sand the surface down until you reach the tongue and groove of the board. Since we started implementing this technology several years ago, we have installed Bamwood® floors into over 4000 homes without a repeat of the significant problems inherent with compressed grain flooring.