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Help With Bamboo Floors With Aluminum Oxide Urethane Finish

Q. I just had bamboo floors installed into my new home. The product came with an aluminum oxide urethane finish. The flooring industry has been touting bamboo floors and this coating as the hardest wood available with a coating just about impervious to anything. Wow, were they wrong! It's brittle and scratches more than oak. Has anyone out there had similar problems? And if so, what can I do? I've asked my installer to ask a manufacturer's rep to pay a visit. Outside of that, I fear I'm stuck putting booties on my dogs paws!

Sue J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
home owner - Severna Park, Maryland

Q. I wondering what the company and product you guys have? I see that some grains and color have a harder hardness.

Grain/Color Hardness (lbs.)
Flat Grain Natural 2156
Vertical Grain Natural 1846
Flat Grain Caramelized 1926
Vertical Grain Caramelized 1417

Joe N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Toledo, Ohio

"Wood Flooring"

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

(affil links)

thumbs down signI had bamboo installed throughout my home in March and the very next day after installation, we had multiple scratches - even gouges in the floor. Every thing has scratched this floor, dogs, my vacuum cleaner, even a plastic hamper my husband pushed to the side to clean under. We have been fighting with the manufacturer ever since. Today, we are sending a sample of the bamboo to a forensic lab for testing. I cannot believe the coatings they say it came with are actually on it. I'm not giving up.

Donna B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida

thumbs down signWe just had a natural bamboo floor installed and selected for the very reason that it was advertised as very hard. The very day installation was complete I found an extraordinary number of shiny scratches and also many deep gouges. Needless to say, I am very unhappy and in dispute with the installer about the installation and waiting to hear from the manufacturer's rep about this finish and what can be done to 1) repair it, and 2) make the finish hold up to normal wear and tear. We had planned to get a small dog, and now I don't think any dog could live on it without causing extreme damage. I never intended to have a floor I had to tiptoe on in booties.

Sarah S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Cary, North Carolina

thumbs down signJust had a black bamboo floor installed. It was totaled within a week. Deep scratches even with a finger nail. Manufacturer is replacing but I'm not confident the new floor will be better. The samples of the new floor certainly were not.

William H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Melbourne Beach, Florida

thumbs down signMy wife and I had the caramelized bamboo flooring installed throughout a 2400 square ft house. indentions and scratches result by the least amount of friction or weight upon the floor. We had the dealer visit our house and he offered a bucket of commercial grade finish which the installing company agreed to apply. Now we have shiny scratches and indentions. I may seek legal counsel.

Keith [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Q. Thank you. I would like to hear both more about any other bad or GOOD experiences with bamboo flooring.

AND, what is the consensus of what is the most durable, safe, as in falling on it, unscratchable, unstainable, and lovely flooring?

Again, thank you!

Dee A [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Palmdale, California

Q. I'm sorry to read about everyone's bad experience with bamboo flooring and an aluminum oxide finish. I have just installed it myself and it looks beautiful, but unfortunately I inadvertently scratched it with a razor knife to the wood. does anyone know if I can buy this finish, sand out the scratch, and re-apply the finish?


David K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Francisco, California

thumbs down signI installed bamboo throughout my home this past year. And as many others are saying, all of the advertising, research and phone conversations were misleading. I asked about dogs & scratches & was assured my two beagles wouldn't do damage. I some parts of the floor there are more scratches than not. I am at the point I have to replace my whole house. The manufacturer recommends I refinish it in a commercial grade finish, even though when I ordered it they told me the finish was the hardest out there. I am wondering if anyone else out there is interested in participating in a Class Action Lawsuit. My old maple floors held up better than this!

Mona C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
architectural designer - Royal Oak, Michigan

thumbs down signI would like to join a class action law suit. I experienced the same problems. I can't wear my shoes in my unit because the wood scratches and dents so easily. In addition, at least half of my boards are cracked. I feel I was mislead as well. I was also told that the product is extremely hard. Any pressure results in dents and scratches as well as cracks.

Jen D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Winchester, Massachusetts

thumbs down signJust installed 2200 sq/ft of carbonized Bamboo and the finish can be scratched off by my finger nail. Dents and scratches everywhere! Class action let's go!

Jason J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- North Berwick, Maine

thumbs up signSorry to hear all of the problems with bamboo flooring. I installed bamboo a little over a year ago. It was the vertical spice from Lowes. Other than furniture movers dropping a few things and my dog, the floors are doing pretty good. If you want to protect your floors from animals I would recommend soft paws. I wish I had started using them before I had scratches from my very hyper dog.

Tonya L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Muscle Shoals, Alabama

thumbs up signI am sorry to hear so many people having problems. We installed natural (horizontal) bamboo (with Husky brand aluminum oxide finish) in 3 rooms over 5 years ago. NOT A SINGLE SCRATCH OR DENT! We wear our shoes and use rolling chairs daily on the floor. Even my 12 year old son's room is still perfect despite friends with shoes, 2 rolling chairs without pads, and toys. Now we want to install it in our office but I cannot find the Husky finish and after reading the bad experiences I am getting nervous.

Linda T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Pompano Beach, Florida

Q. I'm installing horizontal carbonized extra color bamboo flooring. Have not experienced any scratches or dents in any of the boxes My problem is with my installer they are leaving smudges and stain marks from the glue (using Blostik) and they are taping the seams. We are at a standstill because they are saying that they are following manufacture recommended installation instructions. The floor looks awful, dirty and unprofessional. I have stopped the work because using the recommended adhesive remover has not worked to remove the smudges and stains. The installer's suggestion is that I clean the surface and refinish the flooring and live with the gaps. I don't have any scratches but I have what looks like sloppy work. Any advice?

Maggie T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Austin, Texas

A. Hello, my company supplies and installs all natural flooring mediums. We have found the best adhesive for bamboo flooring is SIKA T53 & T55. The T53 is applied to the board where the T55 is trowelled to the floor. The advantage of this adhesive is it has an adhesive remover than will not harm the coating on the floor. Smudges or hand prints are not the normal trait of a careful installer but if they happens they can remove quickly and efficiently

David New Zealand

David Buckley
- Christchurch New Zealand
November 16, 2010

thumbs down signMy husband and I just built a brand new 4200 sq ft house and installed natural bamboo throughout the entire downstairs. We were told it was the toughest wood flooring out - commercial grade - the first week we had several large scratches. If there is any dirt, sand, etc. on floor - watch out - major scratches. We moved a rug from our entry which has been down 2 weeks and already major bleaching of the non covered wood. What a disappointment! What a waste of money - beautiful yes - worthless yes - it's only good if you don't walk on it, live on it, breath on it. Water leaves marks - horrible floor!

Stacy H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Little Rock, Arkansas

Q. Hello, I am only a consumer at this point, but have found this thread via Google search on Bamboo flooring. I would like to ask two specific questions regarding this flooring.

First, my fiance and I have purchased carbonized finish bamboo flooring for a 1300 sq' log cabin we've built up in Lake Tahoe. The flooring has come out of the box looking as though it's the natural finish. We were told by one of the salespeople that it will turn color with time. Unfortunately, I can't get a hold of ANYONE at the three California stores I've called to find out just how long it will take. I have found nothing mentioning the flooring NOT being the color chosen when the box was opened, only that it should acclimate to its environment for a while before installing. Has anyone else had this experience? It hasn't been installed yet, and if it's supposed to be the color chosen, we have to act fast.

We were also told that it's 25% harder than oak. I have no idea how this is quantified, but again we're concerned because the fellow renting our place has a very large dog. Needless to say, we're all concerned about scratching.

We are further concerned because we're buying a home currently under construction here in the Sierras and we want hardwood floors instead of the contractor's initial choice of laminate. We had decided we were going to stick with the bamboo, same color and finish. I am also becoming concerned because NOW that I'm Googling to learn more about this product I am not finding such good results. So far their customer service could not be described as "exemplary", or really, even "adequate", but I do hope that's not indicative of the quality of flooring they sell.

Marina H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Pioneer, California

!! I finally got a check to refinish my carbonized bamboo floors. It took 8 weeks for the claim. Keep on them!

Jason J [returning]
- North Berwick, Maine

Q. I just installed 500 sf of medium carbonized horizontal, which I bought online. My dog is already ruining it. I knew it would get scratched and was willing to live with that, but the real problem is that the scratches turn WHITE. This is definitely a problem with the aluminum oxide finish, since the bamboo is uniform in color all the way through.

I took a scrap board and have tested a number of ways to repair the scratches, including stains, polyurethane, acrylic, and scratch sticks. Nothing is working. If I make a scratch deep enough to get past the finish, I can stain it, but the typical scratch isn't that deep.

Can anyone provide a link to additional information about this?

Dan H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Lake Arrowhead, California

Q. We are halfway through installing carbonized flooring and are already seeing problems with the finish. What steps do we take to get the supplier to pay for refinishing?

Shawna S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Phoenix, Arizona


thumbs down signAn update:

The cabin in Lake Tahoe finally has the bamboo floors installed. It's beautiful, but TOTAL CRAP. Rolling the refrigerator into place has GOUGED it horribly. The act of stumbling in hard shoes has also gouged and scratched it. The contractor cannot walk through with anything on his feet, and literally, a plastic cup dropped onto the floor has also gouged it. I cannot believe that this stuff is actually 25% harder than oak, as we'd been told by staff at the store.

I also want to let folks on the west coast know about [person's name deleted by editor], the regional manager. He is THE WORST I have encountered, especially considering that these folks were paid in full up front for the whole package. He does NOT return calls, he does NOT follow up, he does NOT deliver as promised.

First, the flooring in the package, which was marked "Carbonized" was actually natural finish. We needed it replaced ASAP so we could get our C of O and funding.
We called, "Yes, the whole pallet's wrong. Yes, we'll replace it."
"Ok, when?"
"Well, it'll take a week for it to get down here."
(The location is about 8 hours away, how it needs a week I don't know. )

"A week? We ordered this stuff months ago, and we paid for it when we ordered it. Then, when we called to see if our order was in we were told yes, we get down there and you can't find our whole order, so we had to make a second trip, and then you didn't have the installation materials we'd also ordered, so that was a THIRD trip. You folks have already been paid in full, the check passed, so we know you've been paid. We want our whole order, and we need to have it now!"
"We can try to find it closer and get it to Sacramento sooner."
"Ok, but we want *you* to ship it to Tahoe at your expense, we don't have the time to continue making trips into your store only to stand around for hours before anyone can help us."

Many, MANY phone calls and promises later, including a promise for a flooring upgrade that never materialized (thank you!), we got the initial flooring order delivered in full (they hadn't even completed the original order, you see) TWO WEEKS LATER. Now, we're supposed to be getting $450 back for all our trouble, but I am now ready to sue not only for the incredibly poor quality of the flooring, but for the delays their ineptitude has caused and cost us (we've ended up almost a month behind schedule).

So, not only did the refrigerator being moved into place seriously gouge the floor (NO refinishing is possible with this sort of damage), but I can gouge into it with my FINGERNAIL! I don't have acrylic nails, I have plain old natural nails, and I can gouge this stuff like it's dough.

Now, I've been doing some searching on this stuff, and found that there are those who argue that it's the finish that's bad. I call BS, because I cannot see how the finish would make something that is apparently inherently soft, hard enough to live on. I want the entire floor replaced, but we can't do it before our tenant moves in. I plan to sue for the flooring and cost of this installation, as well as our tenants costs while the new flooring is installed. Only this will make us whole.

I will also comment that the CS reps at headquarters are great to work with, but they seem to be unable to get others to follow through on their end (namely regional manager). They have failed miserably between product offered for sale, product information (truth in advertising is a real issue here) and customer service.

Marina H [returning]
- Pioneer, California

Ed. note: Hi, Marina, we sympathize with your hardship! We printed your comments, but people have a right to privacy even when we are very angry with them ... we cannot trash them by name on the public internet. Sorry, but this site is for technical information exchange, not brand comparisons; we have no resources to test the products nor to verify that the "people" who post are real (several times a product "slam" has been proffered here by a competitor using a fictitious name pretending to be a customer). To the extent that general information pertaining to bamboo flooring is interesting to readers, we are very happy to help. But brand comparisons are for organizations like Consumer Reports that have testing capability and that are not anonymous; and inquiries into the business practices of companies are for Better Business Bureaus and Attorney Generals. Apologies!

Q. I installed carbonized bamboo flooring about a year ago- it looked beautiful and continues to stand up to kitchen traffic without scratching- but- it is now beginning to warp and bow- creating gaps. Anyone else have this problem? I'm now thinking of tearing it all out!

Mike C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
handyman - Temecula, California

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