One of the most popular flooring product in Melbourne is bamboo flooring. There are many factors that influence this popularity and we will explore them below. When you start looking to buy any new flooring, it can be an overwhelming process. So this guide will list everything that you need to know before buying bamboo flooring in Melbourne. So before we get into the specific details of bamboo flooring products, let’s take a quick look at what it is and where it comes from.
As the name suggests, bamboo is a product of bamboo shoots. Bamboo is the largest grass on Earth. It is also one of the fastest growing plants, some species of bamboo can grow at 93 centimetres per day. Bamboo flooring in Melbourne started to become popular around the mid-1990’s, but bamboo has been used in construction in Asia for centuries. It has been claimed that bamboo was used as a construction material from as long ago as 9,000 years. So this grass has earned the respect of human builders over the centuries. Bamboo is one of the most versatile materials on the planet. Other uses for this wonder grass include clothing fabric, medicine, food and writing materials.
Table of Contents
- How Bamboo Flooring is Made
- Different Styles of Bamboo
- Bamboo Flooring Cost Melbourne
- Cheapest Melbourne Bamboo Flooring Brands
- Melbourne Bamboo Floors Installation Guide and Methods
- Tips for Buying Cheap Bamboo Flooring in Melbourne
- Looking After Your New Bamboo Floor
- 6 Reasons to Choose Bamboo Flooring for Your Melbourne Home
- Melbourne Bamboo Flooring FAQ
How Bamboo Flooring is Made
The bamboo plants are harvested by cutting the stem of the bamboo just above the base. This allows the bamboo to be harvested while leaving enough of the shoot so that the plant can continue to grow. One huge benefit when you choose to install a bamboo floor over another material, is that bamboo is an incredibly eco-friendly material. It grows so much faster than hardwoods that the process of cutting down and replanting bamboo plants can be easily managed. Due to this, the world’s supply of bamboo is easily maintained and can be relied on for generations to come.
The hardness of wood or plants is measured by something called the Janka Rating. The Janka Rating is measured by how much force is required to push a small metal ball (the size and weight of the ball are standardised) into the wooden material until half of the ball is embedded. Below you can see a chart showing the hardness ratings of major solid timber flooring materials. Bamboo is much stronger than traditionally used timber such as Oak and Maple.
Different Styles of Bamboo Flooring
There are different production techniques for bamboo flooring. These processes leave your bamboo planks with varying degrees of hardness. The hardest style of bamboo floor is made through a process called strand weaving. This process makes use of thin strands of harvested bamboo, which would normally be disposed of as they are essentially leftovers from the manufacturing process. These strands are boiled then left to dry. After the drying process, they are dipped into an adhesive, left to dry once more and then packed into a mould. The strips are then pressed using an incredible amount of force along with either great heat or freezing temperatures. It is advisable to use a hot press as the finished product is more aesthetically pleasing, structurally stronger and more resilient.
Another style of bamboo flooring is named either vertical or horizontal. These names relate to which specific technique is taken when these boards are produced. Essentially these techniques are the same, but the sliced bamboo is stuck together either with the grain facing upwards or the sides of the sliced bamboo facing upwards. These styles only differ aesthetically. The process of producing these bamboo boards starts when the bamboo is sliced into even strips. The offcuts that don’t match the length or width of these strips are discarded and used in strand-woven bamboo floors. These strips are then boiled and laid out to dry naturally. When dry, they are then stuck together either horizontally or vertically. After being stuck together, a lamination process begins where the boards are evened and smoothed out.
Do you wish to have a solid or engineered bamboo floor? The difference is simple. A solid bamboo floor consists purely of bamboo strips that are glued together. An engineered bamboo floor has a top layer of bamboo and beneath that lies a variety of other timber layers. An engineered floor is easier to attach to a subfloor as it gives you more flexibility as to how you complete this. A solid bamboo floor has to be attached via adhesive or nails.
Most Popular Colours of Bamboo Flooring in Melbourne
While there is much choice when it comes to your options for bamboo flooring, one of the most important choices you will make is what colour bamboo floor you will have.
Your choice will be directly influenced by the specific environment that your room is under. Taking sunlight and space into account will have a major impact on your decision. One top tip for choosing a colour for you new bamboo floor in Melbourne is to take as many free samples as you can so will be able to see accurately what your new floor will look like in your chosen room.
There are two main categories of bamboo floor colours. Natural and stained. Natural bamboo is either only lightly treated so it has a completely natural colour, or heat is applied to it to make the natural sugars within the bamboo carbonise. This carbonisation process turns the bamboo a darker shade. The three shades that natural bamboo can have are natural, champagne and coffee. Natural bamboo has had as little treatment as possible. It maintains its naturally yellow colour tone. This is the most common bamboo floor colour in Melbourne. Next, you have champagne coloured bamboo, this has had a slight carbonation process carried out on it. Champagne is halfway between natural and coffee regarding shading. Finally Coffee is the darkest colour of the three, it has undergone a longer carbonisation process, and most of the sugar has caramelised.
Stained bamboo is treated with various chemicals to change its colour. Often stained bamboo flooring is preferred to natural flooring as the colour is far more consistent throughout the room. Whereas with natural bamboo floors, the knots and blemishes that occur naturally are on full display. This decision will ultimately come down to personal preference, but do not rush into a decision as it will be expensive to undo once your decision has been made.
Browse CQ Flooring’s range of bamboo flooring in Melbourne here for some inspiration.
Bamboo Flooring Cost Melbourne
Nature of Your Job
When you ask a flooring company for a quote to install bamboo flooring, you will be asked a series of questions. First of all, have you already purchased the bamboo flooring? If you have already bought the material, then your installers will need to know what kind of bamboo they will be installing. The style of flooring you have paid for will directly influence the cost of installing your new bamboo floor.
On top of the choices you have already made on your bamboo floor, there is another option to consider. There are two styles of finish that can be applied to your floor, unfinished or finished. Unfinished Bamboo flooring is simply natural and untreated bamboo that has a lacquer applied to it after installation. This process can take some time and will cost you more money than having a prefinished floor. A prefinished bamboo floor has had a lacquer applied to it during the production process. This is the cheapest option. If however, you have not already paid for your new floor, then you will arrange with the flooring company to choose the bamboo floor that you want to be installed. This will usually mean that you will go to the company’s showroom and browse the products which they have on offer. Some companies do offer mobile showrooms where you arrange a time for a mobile showroom to come to your door, and you can browse the stock without taking too much time out of your day. Once you have chosen your new bamboo floor, then you can arrange a time and place for the installation to take place.
The cost of actually installing bamboo flooring in Melbourne relies on the company that you choose to do the installation itself. As a rough guide, you should expect to pay around $25-$35 per square meter for the installation itself. This price usually includes any extras such as the installation of quads and trims, and the material itself.
If you have old flooring that requires removal before the installation can begin, this will usually cost you more. To save money and make the overall installation cheaper then you can remove the flooring yourself. Carpet is very easy to remove yourself, but other floors can take more time and effort to remove.
Cost of Materials
Often companies claim the title “Cheapest Bamboo Flooring Melbourne” this claim may be true, but be wary. You do not want to end up with a substandard floor that will have to be reinstalled at a higher price later. When you are looking for discount bamboo flooring, be sure actually to look at the discounted bamboo floor in question. Many times this cheap bamboo is simply clearance stock, which is generally fine, but there is a chance that the bamboo is discounted for a reason. Typical reasons for clearance bamboo floors include a flawed tongue & groove system or blemishes in the material itself.
Another factor that influences the cost of bamboo flooring is the quality of the bamboo itself. Often, the cheapest bamboo floors in Melbourne are so discounted because the bamboo was harvested too young. When companies want to produce discounted bamboo, it cuts down on their costs to harvest bamboo when it is about three years old. While the bamboo at this age is almost mature, it is not best suited to be made into flooring as it is not yet firm enough and has too much moisture content. So making sure that any cheap bamboo floor you consider purchasing is made by a respected manufacturer can save you a major headache later.
A great way to cut the cost of bamboo flooring is to buy the bamboo direct from the manufacturer. You can save money on bamboo flooring as you are dealing directly with the manufacturer. Buying bamboo flooring wholesale is one of the cheapest ways to purchase a bamboo floor. A potential downside to buying bamboo directly from the manufacturer is that these companies are usually local rather than national. So you may struggle to find the true value of the product.
The most well-known bamboo flooring brand is undoubtedly CQ. Our name is synonymous with quality and is considered the world’s premier bamboo flooring brand. If you choose to buy your new floor from CQ, then you will be treated to a lifetime structural warranty and a 25-year residential warranty; this should give you some extra peace of mind as you work out the cost of your new bamboo floor. The lifetime structural warranty means that should your bamboo floor warp or twist; we will replace it free of charge. And the 25-year residential warranty covers general wear, so if over 5% of the floor space is worn through to the bamboo itself, then CQ will replace the damaged flooring.
CQ has another popular feature with their products called Uniclic. This technology was originally designed for CQ products and works wonders with their own bamboo floors. To connect your bamboo planks, simply connect them and push down until you hear a click. There is no need for adhesives when installing via Uniclic. This technology makes it very easy to install, and you will be able to DIY the project if you wanted a lower installation price. CQ Bamboo is best suited for those who want a full quality floor.
Bamboo Floors Installation Guide and Methods
When you choose a new bamboo floor there are many choices that you can make. Similarly, when it comes to installing your new floor there are further options to consider and factors that must be taken into account. Let’s go through these now.
Before laying any bamboo or timber floor, the direction the boards are facing must be decided upon. The first way in which this can be decided is where the largest light source is. If there is a large window or large doors present in the room in which you are laying down the new floor, then aim the new boards towards this light source. It is recommended that you do this so your floor will look more aesthetically pleasing. The reason being, that if your boards are laid across from the window, the light will make the joints between your newly laid floorboards stand out.
The other directional option you have (that should only be taken into account should you not have a light source) is to lay your new boards perpendicular to the longest wall. The main reason for this is that there is less work in cutting down boards and is generally considered to look more pleasant.
Another choice you must make before installation is, what kind of underlay to install below your new floor. Underlay should be chosen based on what your need is. If you need some insulation then a felt underlay is your best choice. If sound reduction is a major factor in your decision then choose a thick foam underlay. A thick foam underlay is also good if you want your bamboo floor to be more springy when you walk on it. Polythene is the best underlay choice if you need a moisture barrier. If you live above other people it may be wise to consider installing a foam sound-absorption underlay to reduce the noise from your home.
Something else to consider when it comes to installing bamboo flooring in Melbourne is, will you install bamboo on your stairs? There is no denying that steps with bamboo on them look classy, and if your hallway has had bamboo installed, then they will compliment each other very well. When it comes to installing bamboo flooring on your stairs then it is highly advisible to install bamboo stair noses also. These are bamboo planks with a rounded “nose” at the front. The purpose is to beautify your stairs whilst also extending each stair for that added bit of safety. If you do choose to add stair noses then be sure to let your installation team know as soon as you can so they can make sure they have it ready for you when the job begins.
There are 3 main installation techniques for bamboo flooring; direct stick, floated flooring and lock systems. Each has its own advantages, but deciding which is right for you takes research and careful planning. Below, we will outline the basics of each form of bamboo flooring installation so you can have all the information you need in one place.
As the name suggests, direct stick involves sticking the bamboo flooring planks to the concrete found below. It is key to remember that when using this technique that the subfloor is perfectly smooth and level. Otherwise your new bamboo floor will not stand the test of time and will leave you disappointed. This option is often cheap and does not leave a mess. The benefits of a direct stick are that your floor is unlikely to squeaky and is considered a great installation technique if you want a long-lasting bamboo floor. One major downside is that to eventually remove the floor, it will take you much time and effort.
Floating floors are an ever popular style of bamboo floors as they are very versatile. Floating floors are installed above an underlay, this makes both installation and removal fairly straightforward. However, with bamboo and indeed any type of timber floor, expansion is a factor that must be taken into account. Floating floors are more prone to expanding upwards, so you may see unsightly bulges in some areas of your floor. Keep this in mind as you consider your flooring choices.
Locking bamboo floors are by far the easiest way to install your new floor. There are a few locking systems that you can find on bamboo floors but they all follow a very similar installation technique. This installation process requires no glue or nails, or many tools. The basic principle of locking bamboo floors is that you push two planks together and their interlocking sides combine with some gentle pressure. Whilst installation and removal are both easy with this type of system, unless you have the experience it is still advisable to seek professional help during installation.
No one likes wasting money, so when you buy expensive bamboo flooring, don’t ruin it by having an inexperienced installation team install if for you cheaply. Paying to have a good job done first time will save you much money later on.
For a more detailed guide to installing bamboo flooring in Melbourne, read this guide.
Looking After Your New Bamboo Floor
After you have spent so much money and effort choosing the ideal new floor for your home, you want to be able to look after it efficiently. The following information will help you to look after your new bamboo floor and keep it looking great for decades to come.
- Brush your bamboo floor as often as you can. Cleaning debris from your floor prevents them from potentially damaging the bamboo. Even the smallest scrap can end up denting the veneer of any bamboo floor. Dirt can also stain your floor if left there too long
- Even though bamboo is much better than hardwoods at avoiding water damage, it is still susceptible to some water damage. So soak up any spilt liquids as soon as possible. Failure to do so will lead to discolouration and can make the bamboo swell and bulge.
- If you have large furniture in an area where you have installed bamboo flooring, then consider laying rugs or furniture pads so as to not dent your floor. Never slide your furniture across the floor, always lift it to avoid damaging the flooring.
- Dogs and cats can scratch bamboo flooring if they are not regularly groomed, make sure their nails are kept short to prevent this.
- Rugs or carpets should be placed in areas where you expect many people to walk. This prevents too much wear over specific areas.
- Small scratches or scuffed veneer can be buffed out using a micro fibre cloth and a little polish or wood cleaner.
- If your veneer has chipped or has been scarred, then you can buy Waxstix, these are specialist flooring wax pencils that can easily repair the damage, they are an inexpensive and very useful tool in your arsenal to protect your bamboo floor.