Bamboo Flooring Reviews – Best Brands & Types of Bamboo Flooring

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If you’ve been keeping a close eye on flooring trends in recent years, you’ll have noticed a distinct rise in the popularity of bamboo flooring. Once a little known, somewhat bijou, alternative to hardwood flooring, bamboo floors are now available from several major retailers including Home Depot, Costco, BuildDirect and Wayfair and offer an affordable and chic option for most homeowners. In this Home Flooring Pros blog post we take a look at the different types of bamboo flooring available and offer up our bamboo flooring review of the best brands, manufacturers and retailers for you to consider.

For more information on bamboo flooring please consult our buying, prices, installation and cleaning guides.

Different Types of Bamboo Flooring

Despite its increased popularity, there still seems to be a fair bit of confusion about the different types of bamboo flooring, so here is everything you need to know to make the best decision about which kind will suit your project. For free installation estimates in you area CLICK HERE.

Solid Bamboo Flooring

First of all, there is solid bamboo flooring. However this does not mean a single sheet of bamboo cut into planks – that would be impossible as bamboo does not grow that wide – in fact the manufacturing of all solid bamboo flooring involves pieces (strands, stalks or strips) of bamboo that are fused together using pressurization and adhesives.

The main advantage of solid bamboo flooring is that it is eco-friendly, natural and characterful looking flooring product, and it is possible to sand down and refinish solid bamboo planks in order to refresh them or repair damage.

The main disadvantages of solid bamboo, is that like hardwood planks, it is advisable to have it professionally installed and the general rule of thumb is to avoid installing it in “wet” areas – particularly bathrooms and basements. This is because, even with good waterproof finishes, solid bamboo flooring is prone to swelling in areas that have heavy moisture levels.

Within the solid bamboo floor category, there are in fact three sub-categories: horizontal, vertical and strand woven. Each of these sub-categories refers to the way the plank is created and this gives different attributes to the plank, both in looks and hardness.

Horizontal and Vertical

With horizontal bamboo flooring, the strips of bamboo are set out horizontally to make a plank and this results in giving the plank a more authentic look, with the “knuckles” that you would instantly associate with bamboo being clearly visible.

With vertical bamboo flooring, the bamboo stalks are laid out vertically and the result is a plank that does not have “knuckles” but rather is more uniform in nature with a striped aspect to it. The picture below demonstrates this well.

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Aside from the differences aesthetically, there is little else that differentiates horizontal and vertical bamboo: they both have a similar level of hardness and tend to be similar in price.

Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

With strand woven bamboo flooring, rather than gluing the strips of bamboo together in one direction or the other, strands of bamboo fiber are actually woven together. The process results in a look that is a little less “busy” than the stripy vertical bamboo and, unlike horizontal bamboo, no “knuckles” are visible.

The major advantage of strand woven bamboo is that it is the hardest and most durable of all types, a fact that is reflected in its more costly price bracket.

Carbonized, Tiger and Stained Bamboo Flooring

Finally, “carbonized” is another term you may see when looking at bamboo flooring. As opposed to “natural” bamboo, which is very light in color, carbonized bamboo has undergone a process to darken the bamboo fibers; meanwhile “tiger” bamboo planks are made up from mixing natural and carbonized fibers; and of course stained bamboo is exactly that – stained with pigment to give it (usually) a very dark tone. Be aware that carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo, so less appropriate for high traffic areas like kitchens and entry halls.

Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Engineered bamboo flooring is a clever alternative to solid bamboo: only the top wear layer is made from solid bamboo while the remaining layers are made from a mix of other wood materials, glued together to provide a much more stable product. Whether it comes in tongue and groove or click and lock planks bamboo engineered flooring offers a more versatile option.

The main advantage is that engineered bamboo is super hard, less prone to scratches or dents; also it is very easy to maintain and install. Plus because it is much more water-resistant than solid bamboo, you can use engineered bamboo flooring in bathrooms.

However, because the bamboo layer is very thin, when the wear layer eventually erodes you cannot simply refinish engineered flooring – it will have to be replaced entirely. To this end, choose planks that have the thickest wear layer you can find to maximize the shelf life of your floor.

Laminate and Vinyl Bamboo Flooring

Need something even more durable and/or cheaper than solid or engineered bamboo? If you’re looking for a bamboo floor look, but real bamboo is either too expensive or simply impractical, then you can turn to laminate or vinyl flooring as an alternative.

Laminate flooring with it’s tough, clear resin wear layer and easy click and lock installation uses a printed image, much like a photograph, of bamboo flooring to imitate the real thing and offers one of the most durable flooring options around.

Vinyl flooring is also becoming popular again too thanks to the emergence of luxury vinyl tile and plank. Although not to everyone’s taste bamboo vinyl plank flooring is a practical and hard wearing option especially in high traffic and wet areas of the home.

Best Bamboo Flooring Brands

Plyboo – We start our bamboo flooring reviews at the top end of the market, Plyboo was established in 1989 (one of the first US bamboo floor specialist companies), have impeccable environmental standards and now use a ground-breaking soy-based, formaldehyde-free adhesive system to produce their bamboo products. This rigor is enough alone to justify the higher price bracket of their products (from $4.30 up to $6 per square feet), but added to that is the sheer gorgeousness of their bamboo flooring! Aside from their beautiful strand woven floors, they also have a couple of quite different floors that you won’t find anywhere else such as the Plyboo Squared where the bamboo has been laid out in an end grain orientation which makes it look like mosaic squares, and the specialist Plyboo Sport bamboo flooring specifically designed for high impact sports courts. Plyboo also offer a superb collection of carved and textured bamboo panels that are fixed to walls to great effect.

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Teragren – Established in 1994, Teragren was also among the first US companies to promote bamboo as a sustainable construction material, offering not just flooring but also plywood panels and worktops. Teragren have an impressive track record of not only delivering high quality products, but also ensuring fair trading practices with their Chinese farmers and factory workers and being committed to “environmentally sensitive specifications… that has no negative impact on human health”. They currently have eight ranges of bamboo flooring, each offering several different colorways, finishes and coordinating flooring accessories, moldings etc. My personal favorite is the Visions range which offers nine different colorways including a couple of grey toned planks that are bang on trend for 2014. I also really like their excellent user-friendly website that gives clear technical and easy to understand information; for example, alongside the Janka score for hardness, they explain it as a percentage difference to traditional oak!

teragren

Ambient Bamboo Floors – Established in 2005, Ambient bills itself as a one-stop shop for all your bamboo flooring needs; indeed they do have a comprehensive range of matching trims, moldings and installation materials for their floors and the fact that all their flooring is free from urea formaldehyde is a massive bonus too. Ambient’s range is mainly made from a large selection of strand bamboo flooring in different finishes, covering all shades from the nearly white Malaga Strand to the almost black Java Strand, and including striking options like the Tiger Strand and on-trend gray options too. They also have a smaller selection of horizontal and vertical bamboo floors; and an interesting line of eucalyptus flooring. All of Ambient’s strand bamboo floors can be installed over underfloor radiant heating and prices range from aas little as $2.89 per square meter.

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Cali Bamboo – This San Diego based company also promotes bamboo as a eco-friendly building material. As well as their flooring, they offer a range of other bamboo products including a seriously awesome composite decking product that is made from 60% reclaimed bamboo fibers and 40% recycled HDPE plastics. Cali Bamboo is clearly committed to green technology and even contributes a percentage of its revenue to environmental organizations, so if green credentials are important to you then this is a great choice. It’s also home to one of the hardest strand woven bamboo flooring in the market – with a Janka score of over 5000 – that comes in a comprehensive range of colors, styles and sizes; and they also have a click lock easy installation version and edgings, nosings and stair risers to match.

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EcoFusion – EcoFusion are developing excellent eco-alternatives which “blend renewable and recyclable products… and ‘fuse’ them into innovative flooring solutions”. In the case of their rather unique Color Fusion and Strand Woven bamboo floor ranges, that means blending bamboo strands and recycled hardwood sourced from furniture makers. And with their Color Fusion range they take their technology even further by dyeing the bamboo strands in plant-based pigments, resulting in some truly gorgeous deep toned bamboo floors that are quite different from much on the market; like the super chic slate grey toned Morning Mist bamboo floor pictured below right. Other great reasons to recommend EcoFusion are that their products contain no added urea formaldehyde and that they offer a 35-year warranty. Prices range between $4 and $8 per square foot.

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US Floors – Another committed green company, US Floors’ company motto is: “Manufacturer of Unique and Sustainable Floors”. They specialize in bamboo and cork, but also have a range of natural oiled hardwood flooring. They have three bamboo floor ranges, the Traditions, Expressions and Corboo. It is the third range – the Corboo – that we find the most interesting, as it is a unique combination of strand woven bamboo and seams of natural cork – the result, we agree, does have a “certain rusticity and variegation for a look like no other floor”! The Corboo range comes in six colorways, including the really beautiful Glacier colorway that resembles whitewashed wood planks. Wayfair have a selection of bamboo floors from USFloors

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Yanchi (available at Buildirect.com) – Our next bamboo flooring review is this cost effective range manufactured by a Chinese corporation for over a decade and now exclusively retailed through the BuildDirect website. It may not seem wise to buy flooring via the Internet, but the great news is that BuildDirect are more than willing to send you free samples and their website also has a lot of information detailing things like installation and maintenance. The Yanchi product range is truly extensive with bamboo floors available in different thickness gauges and finishes, strand woven or horizontal, extra wide planks, and even 15 selections that can be installed over underfloor heating systems. Beware, however, that their budget selections under $2 per square foot tend to be the carbonized horizontal bamboo, which is softer than strand woven, and much more prone to dents and scratches.

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Home Legend (available at Home Depot) – The Home Depot company stock a very comprehensive range of bamboo floor planks from Home Legend, with over 300 different bamboo products listed, including hand scraped, strand woven, horizontal, click lock and tongue and groove options, as well as bamboo nosings and moldings too. As you would expect from a leading home improvement store, the prices at Home Depot are pretty competitive ranging between $2.30 – $4.50 per square foot and there’s a good range of colors and styles of bamboo flooring, although Home Legend does tend to err on the more conservative side of things (no greys or whitewashed options here). There have been some mixed reviews of Home Legend products, particularly when used in a floating floor system, so please do your research and ensure that you are matching the right product to the correct specifications of your project.

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Have we omitted a brand that you’ve installed and love? Please let us know about your bamboo flooring project by leaving a comment below or contacting us via email. And take a look at our Bamboo Pinterest Board for more design ideas. And if a sustainable product is one of your main flooring criteria the take a look at our cork flooring reviews by clicking here.

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26 thoughts on “Bamboo Flooring Reviews – Best Brands & Types of Bamboo Flooring

  • August 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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    What about “Premium Green Bamboo”?

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    • August 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm
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      This is great information on Bamboo….we saw some carbonized strand woven that looked nice? We have heard that Mayfield was one of the companies recommended for Bamboo?
      We were ready to put it in our kitchen, but read all these reviews about it scratching…so have held off…might rethink that!

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      • August 29, 2014 at 3:26 am
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        Thank you for the kind words Kathy. I’ve not heard of the company you mention…is it really a brand of bamboo flooring? As we mention in the article, strand woven bamboo offers great durability but the process of carbonizing bamboo can soften the floor making it less durable…the kitchen is definitely a high traffic area so you need to be careful, but all high quality (often high priced) products should stand up well and should come with a long life guarantee.

        Reply
  • December 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm
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    We have looked at Java Fossilized Bamboo floor from Cali Bamboo for our main floor…except for kitchen where we are planning to put tile. We have heard many conflicting views regarding bamboo and even Cali as a supplier…so now I am confused whether we should go with bamboo or stick with the traditional oak wood floors instead? Can u please advise…thanks.

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    • December 10, 2014 at 3:48 am
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      Hi Shah, thanks for your comment. The internet can be a confusing place, especially when it comes to reviews, you can always find negative reviews whatever the product. My view has always been to take any concerns direct to the manufacturer/retailer before you make your purchase. The guys at Cali Bamboo are very friendly so why not get in touch and describe your project in full?

      Reply
  • January 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm
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    Looking in a big box store (can’t remember its name) that carries 20-30 different bamboo flooring choices almost all of the Eco forest label.they sell individual planks as samples from open, dedicated boxes for this purpose. So, it is good to also see the product acclimating and this is the bizarre part!

    All of the engineered bamboo products were warping and cupping! None of the solid bamboo products were doing this. Didn’t matter if the product was natural, carmelized, stranded, board width, or thickness.

    So, simplest interpretation is that engineered flooring isn’t as good as advertised at least in the drier climate where this was. Or is it that solid bamboo is known to have superior dimensional stability than engineered flooring? Anybody help make sense of this?

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  • March 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm
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    Hi
    We are looking at new flooring for our entire home. We have older kids and dogs. Would like a great option that holds up and is priced reasonably. Sales guy today told us we “have to go with Bamboo”. They sell Morning Star Bamboo advertised as one of the best bamboos out there. Any opinion on this company and their bamboo? Looking at their Hand scraped honey strand click..
    Thanks

    Reply
  • March 28, 2015 at 7:51 pm
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    Pete- Don’t go with Morning Star- see complaints with Lumber Liquidators on Consumeraffairs.com. 1). Product scratches easily. 2). People are experiencing shrinking within the suggested humidity range. 3). If using their installation services, make sure YOU VERIFY their installer- they claim they authorizing “Professional Installation Specialists”, whom they referred to me was nothing more than a handy man- disregarded acclimation, tried to do the repair without proper acclimation, and HSS wanted to make me allow him to fix it- even though he was exposed to not be a professional. He used improper perimeter spacing, didn’t use expansion strips….and HSS assured me they were professional installation specialists. Made excuses for him! They’ve been using him since 2013- how many other people’s floors are failing- boards ruined- and probably being told it’s their fault because of site related issues- or blaming them because their house had moisture problems a REAL installation specialist would have diagnosed. The warranty only gives you replacement boards IF there are so many of them (defective by a standing and looking down) standard, that they total 16-20% (it’s dense and exotic of the installed floor. See the truth in advertising lawsuit in North Carolina online- Reference LL statement to the SEC regarding quality control of boards and labor. I warned LL to let them know HSS wasn’t authorizing installers to fit their advertisements- they said it was “between the customer and the installer”. The HSS contract that sounds like boiler plate language applying to unforeseen circumstances- more like a warning of what you can expect from installers that make mistakes that they will allow to remain authorized- as long as the agree to fix what they mess up—WITHIN ONE YEAR. After that- too bad. Again- my “installer”, has been with them for OVER A YEAR. Also appears to have multiple felony records. Registered his business in late 2012. Btw, a Local New York news crew Did a consumer piece on Lumber Liquidators and their bamboo flooring, Lumber Liquidators Corporate (owns Morning Star), stated were they went “wrong” was they “used a general contracted and not a floor installer”. They know HSS is referring General contractors but doesn’t change their advertising to reflect this or the risks posed by using a G.C. Sad to see so many people be led to believe it’s an “easy” install when installation is more than cutting and clicking boards.

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    • March 1, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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      We unfortunately purchased morning star bamboo for our entire first floor. We should have researched more about Bamboo. EVERYTHING scratches it. It looks beautiful at first glance until you notice all the gouges and scratches. I would hate to see this floor if we had kids or pets.

      Reply
  • June 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm
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    This is good information. My wife and I are replacing the floors throughout the main level, including the kitchen, and are looking into bamboo as an option. I understand that all bamboo is not created equal and “you get what you pay for…” I’m a fairly handy guy and want to install it myself, so I’m thinking engineered is the way to go. How is the quality of the Home Decorators Collection bamboo flooring (available at Home Depot)? I’m looking at things like warranty, layers of protective finish, etc. I certainly don’t want to buy a bad product but can’t afford a $6/sq ft product, either. I need a good solid product that will install easily, last for years, and not break the bank. I’m wondering if such a product exists!

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    • July 24, 2015 at 10:14 am
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      Hi Tim,

      I was curious if you made a decision on your flooring yet? I was also looking at the Home Decorators brand offered at Home Depot and was curious if you have any feedback.

      Thanks!

      Reply
  • July 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    I absolutely hate my teregren bamboo floor. It is in the kitchen and we have no kids or pets yet anything dropped on the floor and then wiped up leaves streaks. And don’t drop anything with any weight or it will leave a dent. Forget what you hear about it being a hard wood. It is actually very delicate. I have tried all kinds of cleaners and microfiber cloths even the famed Bono but everything leaves streaks. I hate it. Did I say I hate it?
    Absolutely NOT recommended for homes with kids or pets!!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm
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    Anyone used product from Cali Bamboo? I’m looking at wide click Mocha for living, dinning rooms and study. Any advice?

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    • August 28, 2015 at 8:17 am
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      I was looking ate the same product from Lowes and I am having a hard time deciding if I should go with hardwood or bamboo. The Cali Mocha Fossilized looks great and the finish looks like it holds up to spills but it’s very absorbent on the cut edges. I am not convinced yet.

      Reply
      • November 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm
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        I was given a large sample of the Cali bamboo fossilized woods from Lowes. I took one end and put about 3″ of it in a bucket of water for 24 hours. Result was swollen and dark but as it dried the swelling went away and the normal coloring came back, only a very small Crack opened but very difficult to see. More of a very thin straight line.
        This was a extreme test, I would more than trust this floor for the normal spills and splashes.

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  • September 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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    I absolutely loved my Cali Bamboo floors. They exceeded my expectations and will buy them for our next home. I never had problems with scratches or cleaning. I can’t say enough about the product. They will send you some samples and you will see the quality.

    Great customer service too!

    Reply
  • January 31, 2016 at 7:29 am
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    i am looking at natural floors antique bamboo flooring from lowes and would like any feedback pros and cons people may have experienced with this product….thanks.

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  • February 11, 2016 at 9:35 pm
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    As an installation specialist with over 20 years in the industry let me start by saying Bamboo is not a DO it yourself and expect to pay as much if not more than you paid for the product for a true professional to install it according to industry standards and manufacturers warranty guidelines..Acclimating your bamboo is not the first step of installation in fact do not even bring into your home until moisture content and relative humidity have tested within specs.Then bring in and open all boxes crosstacking planks in center of room so air can move between them. The moisture content of several planks should be tested at this time and compared to subfloors reading. acclimating has occurred once these readings have come within 3 % of eachother usually I go 5-7 days and longer in extremely humid areas. If you have hired an installation company that does not start your install this way I would kindly ask them to leave before they cut one board

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    • May 30, 2016 at 8:06 am
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      Hi Floor Pro – how do you measure moisture content of the planks?

      Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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    As an after thought to my above comment beware of any salesman trying to say you have to get this floor especially if you are in one of the big box stores. Most of their Sales associates wouldn’t know a piece of oak from a piece of plastic (was going to say pine but even that didn’t seam to stress my point)Bamboo is in a class of its own and must be thought of more like grass than a tree. All manufactures put selected reviews on their sites so don’t waste time reading them..Check the BBB for filed complaints but keep in mind even the best most consumer friendly companies in the world cant please every customer but were they able to resolve the issue in a timely manner? Good Luck and to answer Traceys question Natural Floors from US Floors makes a decent product but in my opinion if at Lowes the strand woven Cali Bamboos would be a better choice provided you have a real installer and I push the glue down method on my installs for several reasons most important one being ive never had an issue with Glue down Bamboo and if you could walk a glued down along side a nail or floating floor you would clearly hear the second reason

    Reply
  • February 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm
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    About 2 years ago I purchased the Home Legend Bamboo flooring for my 850 sqft condo. The installer came in and did the installation and it looked great – until it started coming apart. Home Depot sent him out to check it and he glued those areas that were separating. It’s still coming apart and an independent installer came out to see it. He said that this particular flooring installation calls for transition strips to be installed in each doorway. Honestly, I’m really surprised by that since neither Home Depot nor the initial installer said this when it was first purchased. I may have gone with a different product because the transition strips look stupid and for 850 sqft there’s no real reason for it. I mean, it’s not like a lot of open space. Regardless, I don’t recommend the Home Legends product line.

    Reply
  • May 27, 2016 at 11:08 pm
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    Hi I am looking at a product by USfloors It is called Expressions bamboo. Has anyone had it installed in their home? If so do you like it and would you recommend it? I live in Minn. Thanks please let me know opinions. I am going to be remodeling in a month or 2 The color I am looking at is cotton. Thanks

    Reply
  • July 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm
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    I thought I ordered the solid bamboo from the Floor Store.
    When it was delivered the bamboo was 6year premium moso strand woven bamboo. I was told it is superior to the solid.
    Is this true
    Thank you

    Reply
    • August 2, 2017 at 10:27 am
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      Strand woven bamboo is typically stronger and more durable than other types so in that sense yes it is often seen as superior.

      Reply

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