The answers to all your questions

What is the difference between Bamboozle’s flooring ranges?

Bamboozle’s ranges of bamboo, Australian hardwoods and French Oak floors are all made using the same patented process that ensure the most stable and beautiful floors available. The main difference in the product range is really the look of the floor. There are some difference in the hardness of the floors (download our “Hardness Guide” for more details) and the gloss level. And whilst there are some price differences between our different floor ranges, we ensure a competitive and value-for-money outcome for all our customers. All Bamboozle floors are: – Made with stabilised solid flooring technology for maximum stability, strength and durability – Covered by Bamboozle’s Lifetime Warranty – Prefinished with highest quality coatings to minimise scratches and wear-and-tear – Managed from start to finish by our experienced supervisors – Installed to Bamboozle’s industry-leading installation quality standards.

Can heating systems affect my bamboo floor?

Heating systems typically do not affect bamboo flooring. On occasions customers have experienced some shrinking and surface damage to floors that are directly in front of fan forced gas, or wood-heating systems that are installed directly on to the floor. If in doubt, please explain your situation to us and we will gladly share our experience with you.

How do we repair a damaged bamboo floor?

It is inevitable that your floor will become damaged at some point. This is no different to solid timber, laminate or any other wooden flooring. The type of damage will dictate the best course of action. We provide a care kit with every floor that has a number of products that you can use to fix minor damage yourself, for example scratches and dents. One of the great advantages of a pre-finished Bamboozle® floor is that damaged boards can be easily rectified. In most cases a great result is achieved by simply cutting out and replacing the damaged floor boards, returning your floor to its original condition. The process is a little more complicated for sanded and polished floors as you may require an additional coat of polish or a resand over the entire floor once a floorboard has been replaced.

Can my bamboo floor be sanded and how many times can it be re-sanded?

Yes, all Bamboozle® floors can be professionally sanded several times. As the Bamboo floors vary in density, so too does the amount of times that you would be able to sand them. The denser the floor the more sandings you will be able to get out of them. Our experience indicates that you should expect to get over 4 sandings with the Bamwood® styles of bamboo flooring. All Bamboozle® floors will give you years of enjoyment.

Does dirt build up between the floorboards?

Typically no. By following the Bamboozle® cleaning and maintenance guide your beautiful bamboo floor will continue to look great for many years. In the showroom all we use to clean the floor is the Enjo (micro fibre) mop. It is very quick and effective.

Can you install bamboo flooring over under floor heating?

We have done this in a number of installations. There are a number of things that need to be considered. Our experience with under floor heating is that the installer of the heating needs to pay attention to the level of the finished floor. On a number of jobs we have found that the screed or mesh that covers the under floor heating cables can be uneven, making it very difficult to install over. You will need to inform the Bamboozle® team if you intend to install under floor heating under the bamboo. We have a blog post explaining more about bamboo flooring and underfloor heating considerations.

How do I care for my bamboo flooring?

Caring for your bamboo floor is very easy and we provide all customers with a floor care kit, which includes a guide to maintaining and repairing your floor. A quick summary to maintain your floor’s beauty:

  1. Install protector felt on furniture
  2. Use area rugs on high traffic pathways
  3. Place mats at exterior doors to trap sand and grit from incoming traffic
  4. Remove spills promptly
  5. Vacuum or sweep floor regularly with a soft broom to remove sand and grit
  6. We recommend using a neutral detergent soap and cotton head mop (such as the WOCA cleaning products) or a micro-fibre cleaning mop

Can I install the floor myself?

This is a difficult question for us to answer without knowing your skill level. In saying this we have had many customers choose to install their own floors and the majority of them have had great results. If you choose to install yourself we give you a self installation guide that gives some useful hints and we also give you phone support. We’ll also invite you to see one of our floors being installed, to help give you further insight into the process. A few customers that have run into difficulty have asked our installers to lend a hand. So if you have the confidence this is a great way to save money and can give you a sense of satisfaction.

Are there different grades of bamboo flooring like other timber flooring materials?

Yes. As with timber flooring there are different grades of bamboo flooring material. Bamboo flooring is an engineered product that requires specialist machinery and skills. It takes an average of 6 hours of labour per square metre to manufacture. There are over 100 manufacturers of bamboo flooring of some description in China. However, there is only one manufacturer that consistently produces material to our high specifications and has experience producing quality flooring for overseas markets like Germany and the US. As you would understand, there are a lot of steps required to manufacture high quality bamboo flooring. In fact there are many integral steps in this process. Shortcuts can be taken with a number of these steps to produce a cheaper product, such as using cheaper glues, lower grade raw materials, cheaper finishes, and no insect treatments, to name a few. However, to compromise on any aspect of the manufacturing process will result in a sub-standard final product. For some of the most popular styles of bamboo flooring, such as the Bamwood® style, the adoption of the cross-lamination design is essential for superior durability and product integrity. Bamboozle® is the only company that can supply uncompromising quality in bamboo flooring.

What happens if my floor gets flooded?

It really depends on the severity of the flooding. It is dependent on the volume of water spilt on the floor and how long it remains on the floor before it dries or is drained away. In minor flooding scenarios there is often no change to the floors appearance, however instances of major flooding can result in the floor having to be repaired by replacing boards in the damaged area or by sanding and polishing. Long periods of excess water tend to damage the polish on the surface of the floorboards. Bamboozle® boards are engineered in such a way that help them to be more resistant to moisture than a solid timber floor and therefore can often withstand these situations with more resilience. These built in features include; coating the boards with polyurethane on all surfaces and having a cross-lamination layer that includes a humidity expansion gap. It is also understood that the bamboo fibre is regarded to be more water resistant than most timber fibres.

Is the floor going to require ongoing maintenance?

No special maintenance is required; you simply treat your floor like solid timber. A number of people choose to recoat their floor with one coat of polish every 5-7 years and on average you would expect to completely resurface your floor every 10-15 years. This is all dependent on how you treat your floor and the amount/type of foot traffic it receives.

Do you install the boards on plywood like they often do with solid timber flooring over existing timber flooring?

Traditionally, the best method of installing a solid timber floor is to glue and pin the floorboards onto sheets of ply wood. There are several benefits to this type of installation; Firstly, it helps protect the timber from moisture in the sub floor, Secondly, it helps hold down the floor-boards and thirdly it helps minimise the affect of undulations in the sub floor. However, Bamboo is better suited to direct stick installations because it is 15mm thick, more resistant to moisture and movement, and the gluing techniques we use minimise the undulations in the sub floor. Also the way the Bamboozle® boards are manufactured with the cross laminated centre layer effectively reproducing the benefits created by installing boards onto ply wood. Therefore there is little benefit in installing Bamboozle® floor boards onto plywood, unless of coarse your sub floor is unsuitable for direct fixing.

Will my floor look like the showroom floor?

Yes, all the floors are hand-graded in the factory for colour and quality before being packed. Bamboozle® floors are all hand selected for colour tones and packed to give a comparatively even coloured floor. However, a small variation is maintained to achieve a natural look. We can achieve varying degrees of colour variation based on your preferences, but please understand this is not a perfect science. Cutting corners on just one step and it is unlikely you will get a floor that meets your expectations. Following are some of the important factors that will determine the final quality of your floor;

  • Experience and integrity of the Chinese manufacturers.
  • The specification to which the product is manufactured, which must be specific to the country it is to be imported.
  • Experience of the supplying company.
  • Professionalism and the integrity of the supply and install company.
  • Skill level of the installer and the standard at which they are held accountable.
  • Presence of Bamboozle’s® in-factory quality assurance inspectors.
  • The training provided to all of the Bamboozle® team.

Feel free to read some of Bamboozle’s® customer feedback for added peace of mind.

Can termites eat the floor?

Internationally, Bamboo is regarded as termite resistant and is not a part of their natural food source. However, as termites will even eat through concrete to get to a timber they want, our experience has shown us that termites can eat bamboo flooring. Therefore, we impregnate the raw material with the mineral boron which has the effect of improving the floors already natural resistance. It is important to note that the floor is not termite proof, so prevention is better than cure.

Can I install bamboo flooring over timber?

Existing timber floors are no different to other types of sub floor and as long as they are level, free from polish and oils then they are more than suitable for installing onto. Installing bamboo flooring over the top of them just means existing timber floors may simply need a coarse floor sanding to level them and remove existing finishes.

Will milk or red wine permanently damage or stain the floor?

Spills will simply pool on top of the boards. The pre-finished boards are sealed on all sides with polyurethane to protect them. In addition to this the floor is clamped up tight when laid. The sanded and polished floors have a coating over the entire surface. Both finishes help protect the raw material from absorbing such spills, however, all spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. If the polish layer is removed the floor will be more susceptible to potential staining.

Why is ISO9001 so important when manufacturing in China?

Our experience over the last several years has been that without ISO9001 management systems and Bamboozle® trained factory staff it is virtually impossible to predict what quality of floor you are purchasing. It is all too easy to show a high quality sample, but it is consistently delivering a high quality product that counts.

Can I install bamboo flooring over existing tiles?

It is not uncommon to install our floors over tiles. There are a few potential issues that you need to be aware of: If the tiles come loose from the sub floor you are not covered by our installation warranty. Tile floors are rarely perfectly flat so when your bamboo floor is installed it will have some hollow sounding areas. The other thing we must check is that the glue we use bonds very well to the surface of the tile. In most cases we recommend that the floor be wiped over with metholated spirits and given a light sanding to ensure the glue bonds sufficiently. Laying 15mm thick boards over existing tiles can create height discrepancies to adjoining floor coverings and you may need to adjust the clearance height of doors.

Will there be any dust or bad fumes? Will we have to leave the home during floor installation?

Pre-finished: There is no need for you to move out. All the boards are pre-finished, which means there is no floor sanding and polishing in the home. The glue we use to bond the boards to the sub floor can give off a faint smell on the first day or two. Once dry there is no release of smells. That’s a big advantage.
Sanded and polished in house: The laying of the boards is quick and clean. The glue we use to bond the boards to the sub floor can give off a faint smell on the first day or two. Once the glue dries there is no release of smell. The floor sanding and polishing process will be a little dusty. We only use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the process is as quick and clean as possible.

Where does the product come from?

Our product is manufactured to our specific design requirements in an ISO 9001 accredited factory in China. Bamboo flooring is an adaptation of proven European timber flooring technology and instead of using wood we have substituted bamboo. In fact much of the machinery, polyurethane and glues we use are still imported from European countries. The reason this is primarily manufactured in China is due to the abundant supply of suitable bamboo there.

How do we know you are going to be in business long term to warrant any problems we may have with our floor?

This is an important question. Research from overseas has shown that many bamboo and timber flooring companies that were importing cheap bamboo flooring have gone out of business as a result of a range of issues such as poor quality and customer dissatisfaction. In the last few years there have been a number of local cases of this. As with other products you get what you pay for. That is why Bamboozle® only invest in the highest quality materials and installers. If you would like added peace of mind about our history and customer satisfaction, feel free to read some of our many customer testimonials. The livelihood of dozens of Australian families and hundreds of Chinese families depends on our success. That is motivation enough for us.

Do we use chipped up material to make the Bamwood® board?

No we don’t. We actually use the same premium grade bamboo raw material that we use to make the other styles of flooring. With the Bamwood® style we actually rough split the bamboo, so instead of being perfectly square, it has a random grain size and those rough fibres are orientated into the press with a small amount of adhesive to produce this solid board. So the fibres actually run the full length of the board which gives this style its unique appearance which is more reminiscent of wooden flooring.

Will my bamboo floor change colour over time like timber flooring does?

Yes, like all timber floors, bamboo can change colour over time. The caramelised tones of bamboo will become subtly lighter, while the natural tones can become a darker golden colour. This natural process is caused from continued exposure to natural light. The stronger the light source, the more rapid the colour change. It is our experience that this colour change occurs primarily in the first few months, after this the boards remain quite colour stable.

What type of polish do you use? Can it scratch?

The pre-finished floor boards are coated with 7 coats of low emission water based German polyurethane to improve the scratch-resistance of your floor. The floors that are sanded and polished in the home are coated with premium grade products that are capable of withstanding the vigor’s of every day life. The polishes we use at Bamboozle® are tough, but not scratch proof. If properly maintained they will give you years of fuss-free living. We also supply you with a special care kit to help minimise the appearance of any surface scratches.

How long will my bamboo floor last?

With the correct care and maintenance a Bamboozle® floor is just like a quality solid timber floor that you can expect to last for many years. Most people will either re-sand or recoated their bamboo floor on average every 10-15 years to keep them looking like new. Our bamboo floor coverings are all 15mm thick and therefore can be expected to outlast many of the thinner timber floors being installed today.

How long will it take to install my bamboo floor?

Bamboo flooring installation time is entirely dependent on the size of the job and the difficulty of the layout. Our installations are typically quick, clean and easy. They usually take about one third the time of laying a solid timber floor. Some homes can be done in a day; others can take up to one week. The only exception to this would be if we sand and polish the floor in your home, in which case you will need to allow at least double the time it would take to install a pre-finished floor.

What is the difference between the Bamboozle® lifetime warranty and other suppliers’ factory warranties?

Factory warranties from China are difficult to make a claim against if not impossible. The questions to ask are: What is a factory warranty and what does it cover? What happens when your supplier changes factories? The responsibility of the warranty should be held by the company that supplies the product to you and not a 3rd party that you are not able to contact. It is important to bear in mind the warranty is only as strong as the company that backs it. Bamboozle® does not rely on a factory warranty and so we don’t expect you to have to either.

When you buy your Bamboozle flooring, you automatically get our Forever Young Lifetime Warranty for peace of mind.

How much of your product is comprised of glue?

When holding the product, you may notice that it is quite heavy in comparison to timber, so it could be assumed there is a lot of glue in the board. In fact, it has just under 2% glue content in total. The increase in density is actually from the compressing process which uses a 2,000 tonne press to compact the raw bamboo fibres. That is what makes it so hard-wearing as a floor.

How does bamboo compare in strength to hardwood timber flooring?

Tests at Curtin University, commissioned by Bamboozle®, have shown that the different styles of bamboo flooring have differences in hardness. The earlier vertical and horizontal styles of bamboo are slightly softer than Jarrah whilst Bamwood® style is 73% harder than Jarrah. Additional tests have shown bamboo flooring to be more stable. This means it has a greater structural integrity, without expanding and contracting as much as solid timber flooring due to temperature change or humidity.

Do you organise the installation? What is the lead time from ordering the product to installation?

What is the lead time from ordering the product to installation? At Bamboozle® we have consistently achieved the highest standard of bamboo floor installation by only using professional craftsmen experienced in laying bamboo flooring. At present we have several full time installation teams working for us. This gives us the opportunity to install the floor when it suits you. It is a good idea to give us as much lead time as possible to arrange dates that best suit you.

Is the Bamboozle® floor easy to clean?

Our customers have remarked that Bamboozle® floors are very easy to keep clean. You can use many different cleaning products. After years of practice we now recommend the use of micro fibre brooms as one of the best products for keeping these floors looking great. They are a great investment if you want to save time and reduce the use of chemicals in your home. They also leave your floor free from streak marks.

How long have you been in business?

The director was involved in pioneering the introduction of bamboo flooring into WA in 1999 and has specialised in this product ever since. As the international bamboo flooring market developed, the focus became “how do we make the product cheaper”. Many companies wrongly assumed that if they could cut corners and sell at a cheaper price then they would be more successful. Bamboozle® was founded In February 2002 to raise the benchmark for bamboo flooring and installation, thus bucking the trend that cheaper is better and as they say; “the proof is in the pudding”. So while nearly all of the original bamboo flooring companies have disappeared Bamboozle® is going from strength to strength and has long been considered the industry leader for bamboo flooring.

The Bamboozle bamboo flooring range is distributed through Lifewood (www.lifewood.com.au), a sister company of Bamboozle.

How does the darker flooring differ from the lighter coloured flooring?

The honey colour is the natural unprocessed colour of premium bamboo. The brighter and cleaner the honey tone the better quality the manufacture process. Our darker product is created using a steam-heating process that caramelises the sugar and starch compounds in the bamboo. It is not stained and therefore will maintain this same colour range even when it is re-sanded in the future just like solid timber flooring.

How do you install Bamboozle® flooring?

Premium grade bamboo flooring can be installed by various methods depending on site conditions and the bamboo floor you choose. The boards can be glued directly onto the sub floor, fixed direct to battons or plywood, and we have even floated numerous floors.

Will my floor be varied in colour like solid timber or laminate flooring?

Bamboozle® floors are all hand selected for colour tones and packed to give a comparatively even coloured floor. However, a small variation is maintained to achieve a natural look. We can achieve varying degrees of bamboo flooring colour variation based on your preferences. Please understand this is a natural product, so colour matching is not a perfect science.

Can you tell me about the compressed or composite bamboo boards?

When you are doing your research you will find a number of companies in Perth selling a solid style of bamboo, it’s usually called compressed grain or strand-woven bamboo.

In fact, we were one of the companies that first introduced this product to Perth quite 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 unfortunately started to cup on the surface (where the edges of the boards raise up), and this was happening just a few short months after installation. These past experiences have shown us that this product is not suitable for Australian conditions.

The reason why is because the structure of the compressed grain board is fundamentally flawed. The grain only runs the length of the board – there is nothing to stop it distorting across the face of the board with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. There are some local importers of this style of board that are mistaken that this problem is only due to moisture in your slab – and they usually insist you put a moisture barrier down first in an attempt to solve the problem. It is our experience that this does not work. Although some slabs do require a moisture barrier, this was not why the floors were cupping. It comes back to the structure of the board. 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. The factories that produce compressed grain products are aware of this problem.

In most cases, the floors required sanding and polishing to flatten them again – not a nice process, quite dusty and smelly – and require you to move out of the house for a week or so – which is obviously a little distressing. In a couple of instances, the floors cupped so severely that they had to be ripped out and replaced – which was even worse for everyone living there. Of course, all these floors are covered by our lifetime warranty and were rectified at the time.

Obviously, relying on warranty repairs is something we all want to avoid.

The great thing for Bamboozle® customers is that you don’t have to worry about this problem anymore.

Bamboozle®, in conjunction with our partner factory, have developed a stronger product that has given our customers total peace of mind. Bamwood® flooring is something we developed specifically 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-engineered bamboo centre layer – this essentially helps stabilise the surface of the board and prevents the cupping from occurring. 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 produce, this is a much smarter choice and becomes a better value investment in the medium-to-long term, considering the flooring has to perform in your home for many years to come.

It is worth mentioning that having the 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 a floor cups you will always get a reduced sanding life). On any wooden or compressed bamboo floor you can only sand the surface down until you reach the tongue and groove. A Bamwood® floor can be sanded at least 4 times in its lifetime.

Since we started implementing this product several years ago, we have installed over 320,000 square metres without a repeat of the significant problems associated with compressed grain flooring.

Bamboozle bamboo flooring is exclusively available from Lifewood. Visit the Lifewood family in the award-winning timber flooring showroom in Perth, to experience and visualise how an amazing floor can transform your life. We aim to make buying bamboo and timber floors easy, enjoyable and convenient - all you have to do is choose something beautiful and Lifewood will do the rest.

Australia-wide, directly contact Morgane and Tony for this personalised Lifewood advice and service.
Morgane:  (08) 9445 0894
morgane@lifewood.com.au
Tony:  (08) 9445 8345
tony@lifewood.com.au

Phone   (08) 9445 9011
Email   info@lifewood.com.au
Showroom   18 Hector Street West
Osborne Park,  Western Australia 6017
Australia

© Copyright 2018