Bamboo Flooring in the Real World

We received these photos from a woman who had bamboo flooring installed in her home.  The pictures speak for themselves:

How did this happen?  Bamboo flooring is supposed to be as durable as hardwood, right?  Clearly not.  Several posts have addressed the myth of bamboo’s durability, and these pictures are proof.

Comments

Diana

April 24, 2012

Within a few months of installing our Mohawk solid bamboo flooring, the boards began to “cup.” The dealer claims we did not have enough humidity in our home which is a lie. We filed a claim. After several weeks, a company representative came and did some tests. To date, it has been 2 months and we still do not have any satisfaction. I would never buy from Mohawk and certainly not this product! And our floor scratched too. So much for an extremely hard surface.

Bryan

July 21, 2012

horizonal bamboo is very soft. Next time buy stranded

    Andy

    September 10, 2012

    What is stranded bamboo and what is horizontal bamboo? I don’t know the difference.

    I look forward to finding out the difference and becoming a more knowldgable consumer

    Regards Andy

Janet Mura

October 26, 2012

NO ONE should buy stranded bamboo flooring from Mohawk. We have been trying for over a year to have Mohawk Industries accept responsibility for this flooring which the included instructions that stated it could be placed over radiant heat and then we were told by a MOHAWK INSPECTOR that this flooring should never have been sold to us for this application after which he brought forth another instruction manual which said it was not to be placed over radiant heat, but that is not what our installation booklet says. Mohawk is saying it is an installation issue but that is not what the Mohawk Inspector says. The floor is buckling, separating, cupping, splintering, and is a tripping hazard. We were in contact with Mohawk within weeks of installation (for that is how quickly the problems began) with our concerns about the flooring and Mohawk did nothing and in every correspondence they replied that it is not their responsibility. My husband is confined to a wheelchair and it is a problem for him. What a lousy and uncaring company; it is not at all what we expected from a noted company.

    Janet Mura

    January 1, 2013

    An update: Misty Young, paralegal at Mohawk, promised that her boss would get back to us
    by the end of December about resolving this situation. Well, it is January 2013 and we have not heard from him–guess he just could not be bothered. Jim’s wheelchair is having trouble turning in some areas because the flooring is degrading and this is a safety problem and unacceptable. We will be taking the next step to get this situation resolved. Never have I dealt with such an uncaring and insenstive “reputable” company.

Karen Dixon

March 4, 2013

doesn’t matter whether the Mohawk Strand Bamboo is installed over radiant heat or not. the product is junk and Mohawk DOES NOT honor their warranty on it. we had 2000sf installed in our new construction home, within 1 month the floor was showing strange splits in boards, raised edges, and gaps. Mohawks’s flooring inspector blamed the installer. the floor has continued to split and gap with over 80 places across the floor, some splits as long as 5 inches. http://www.floorbymohawk.com
we had 2 separate certified flooring inspect the floor a few months apart. both agreed that the product is faulty. the surface scratches mentioned on ALL forums or review sites of this product are also everywhere on our floor, they are white lines, you can’t feel with your finger but apparently a flaw in the finish. you will get nowhere with Mohawk. they are a horrible company that does NOT stand behind their product at all. The internet is FULL of cases just like ours with no response from Mohawk.

Megan and Roberto Benevides

March 17, 2013

Awful…have had the same issues…wish I would have saved money…scratches, splinters, and separates. Such a waste of money.

    Patti

    April 11, 2013

    Thanks for the advice. I’m in the process of building a home. Was seriously considering bamboo throughout my home but now I’m not so sure. Thanks for your posts.

      Tracy

      May 12, 2013

      I was also thinking of bamboo flooring during renovating my home. I will look into it further but will definitely NOT be usong Mowhawk!

        Jeff

        August 6, 2013

        Same same same. So very glad my wife found this info. I was about to make a major purchase tomorrow for living room and kitchen. Thanks for saving me $$$$.

Mollie

May 27, 2013

Wow–very saddened to hear about so many problems with Mohawk. After a lot of research, we installed Mohawk (horizontal natural) in our new home in September of 2005. We did the family room, hallways and master bedroom. We chose the natural color for aesthetics as well as durability. At the time, research indicated that the carbonized was much softer because of the heat-treating involved in obtaining the color.

We had a panic a week or so after installation as I left a window open one night and it rained in and there was a puddle a few feet across in our our bedroom and I was sure that it would be completely ruined but I mopped it up and anxiously awaited a few days before realizing there was NO damage.

Not quite a year ago we had the other two bedrooms and our master closet done with the same product (obviously several years newer production) to complete the house. While the new is lighter (it darkens a bit with age) and the edge bevel is slightly different, it seems to be wearing the same as the original.

It does dent (if you drop objects on it–we try to be careful) and scratch (we have four cats who are not declawed) but we usually remove our shoes, put felt on the bottoms of our furniture and keep rugs at entryways. Hardwood dents and scratches, too, but it can be re-finished–bamboo can not. Bamboo is also a fraction of the cost. Laminate rarely dents (heavy sharp objects can do damage) and it is less expensive than bamboo, but not as attractive to us (we had Pergo in our first two homes). If money were no object I’d put solid hardwoods in, but money IS an object so we chose bamboo instead.

We did have good, professional installers–who had experience and training installing bamboo. That probably made a difference. We paid more, I’m sure, but I had read that the cupping is most often a sign poor installation (not always). Moisture control is an issue. We live in Central Texas and have the a/c on 9 months of the year–it stays pretty even.

My only complaint is where the cats upchuck hairballs. If they are not wiped up right away, the seams at the ends of the planks darken a bit where the liquid sits and is absorbed. given that the bamboo already has streaks and dark spots where the knuckles are, it’s hardly noticeable except for a critical eye.

I can only imagine how horribly frustrated others must be with the nightmare of their floors. I’m just glad I was able to find a product that has served us well for almost 8 years and counting.

Sarah

June 28, 2013

The pictures above look EXACTLY like my bamboo floor. i have tried every product out there to clean it–nothing works. I would never use bamboo on a floor again.

eddie

December 20, 2013

I installed bamboo in my whole house by myself. I did research before hand so I knew what I was buying. I also know from experience that bamboo is very soft and flexible. I did not have some salesman sell me on the product I bought. I glued my bamboo down to concrete using yhe recommended glue for bamboo and I trowled the glue down on every square inch of concrete under each plank. It took me two months to install this flooring but I am very happy with it. My joints are tight and perfect and I acclimated my material before hand also. I have kids and pets and I occasionally get a scratch that I can’t stand to look at. What I do is clean the area where the scratch is and fill it with eurathane. I don’t sand it until I know that I’m sanding eurayhane and not the bamboo. Unless you have a heavy dog that scratches the floor wverytime they move, you really shouldn’t have a problem with scratches. Also, wood floors, in my opinion, look better when they look aged. If I wanted a perfect looking floor forever, I wouldn’t choose any kind of wood at all. I’m happy with my bamboo flooring because I know I installed it properly and I know how to maintain it as well.

tamra hayes

January 8, 2014

I would NEVER recommend Bamboo flooring to anyone. And we bought the most expensive floors. 5″x 3/4 natural strand bamboo. While the salesmans biggest pitch was how durable the floor was and how it was 30 times harder than oak, I wanted something that also looked nice. My husband and I have no children to worry about scratching, and have 3 declawed cats. Our biggest problem is NOISE. The floor CRACKLES every place you step on it, and with every step you take. My 7# cat wakes me in the middle of the night walking on the floor from the crackling.
We have an April Air humidifier on our furnace, so our humidity levels are consistent at all times. The flooring acclimated for close to a month before being installed due to a shortage of 2 boxes that had to be ordered, and installation being pushed back. So they can’t blame that. We were told it would go away once it settled in. That was 6 months ago.
The more research I do, the more I am finding that this is a common problem with these floors. And the brand we used is Morning Star bamboo from Lumber Liquidators.
We have called the installer and he told us there was a one year warranty on installation and he would make sure we were happy. Waiting for him to come look at them now that the holidays are over. Wonder if he’s willing to make me happy and rip all this crap out.

    Tamra Hayes

    January 11, 2014

    After reading some of the above reviews, I do know from research and from when we bought ours, that the horizontal bamboo is the softer of the two types. It is more apt to scratch and dent. With the natural strand that we have , the first day of installation, I dropped a very hard candle on it when I was putting my house back in order and it never dented the floor. I did put felt on the bottom of all furniture which does make it easier to move around. But I have been so disgusted with the floor that I really don’t care anymore. I run my heavy Hoover vacuum cleaner over it. I use it to vacuum the floors on the wood floor setting, and it does not even dent or scratch the floor. Other than the crackling, it seems to be a durable floor, although I still think it has a plastic look to it compared to actual wood, and even if it didn’t crackle, I would never install it again as I think it is cheap looking and very hard to keep clean. My 100 yr old house that I had moved from had original wood floors that were much classier looking even tho they were pine and wore wonderfully.

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