It’s not wood…

Our most dramatic home improvement (other than crazy paint colors) would be our bamboo flooring.Our beige 90s carpet was pretty gross, so we knew it had to go. Jeremy and I knew we wanted a low-VOC option. Teragren bamboo flooring uses no formaldehyde in their adhesives, and is pretreated with polyurethane before it is installed. This means that your house doesn’t smell, and the floor isn’t shiny. In addition to reduced air pollution, bamboo is super renewable. It is a fast growing grass, not a wood.

We found a dealer in our area, and went to look at the boards in person. Instead of going with the natural, bright bamboo color, we chose caramelized. You can see in the pictures that the boards are a nice warm color, but there is still a mix of light and dark shades.

Sad DIY truth – we had the floor installed by professionals. The bamboo flooring is in the dining room, living room, the hall, stairs and foyer. The boards are nail-down. It took the installers a full day, and a few hours the next day (to finish the stairs).
I took this picture right after the installers left, so you can still see the dust. I love how long the hallway looks. To clean the floor, we use a micro-fiber “sweeper”. We also spot clean with a spray bottle of water and a micro-fiber cloth. Jeremy has some really nice micro-fiber cleaning cloths from the car care website Griot’s. I will also use the brush attachment on the vacuum hose to clean along the baseboards and under the couch.

I think the most amazing part of the transformation is the stairs:
We have a split foyer – I took this picture looking over the railing in the living room. Look at those filthy stairs! My poor sister Merideth spent hours cleaning that carpet  – both with a scrub brush and the shampooer. In the picture above you can also see the “wood” laminate of the foyer. That stuff was super ugly, and did not like getting wet.

That’s hot! What’s great is that the colors of the bamboo go well with our existing railings and dining set. The range of colors also compliments the darker shades of wood in the living room (see the first picture of this post) (Except maybe the record player – I didn’t realize how red it was!). Overall, we are really pleased with the transformation.

Have you ever considered bamboo flooring? What are your requirements for new floors? What projects did you leave to the professionals?

  • Pamp81

    Hi Monica. The floor looks wonderful.  We are considering Teragren bamboo flooring also, and I just brought home some samples today. It is the naildown type also, and one of them is the Craftsman II line (5 1/2 inch wide planks) and one is the Signature Naturals (3 5/8 inch wide planks).  We are very chemically sensitive, so I’m a little concerned that it might have a smell.  Did you notice any odor at all?  (I have heard that the nail down type does not have as much smell as the locking type–not sure if this is true.)  Thanks!

    • Monica

      I do not recall a smell at all. There was a fine layer of dust on the floor once the install was finished – from cutting the boards to size. Our locking (floating) cork floor does have an odor, even months after the install. I hope you find the bamboo to your liking – we love it!

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  • jjthethird

    Hi Monica! Your floors look beautiful. I was wondering how your Teragren floors held up these past few years? Thanks!