Five essential questions about carbonized bamboo flooring

1. What is carbonized bamboo flooring?

Carbonization of bamboo is a technique using extreme heat through steaming or boiling that changes bamboo’s natural color. The temperature level and the length of time the bamboo receives heat determines how dark the bamboo will be. The process actually cooks the bamboo, changing it to a darker, more “caramelized” color. Carbonization can produce a vast spectrum of colors or shades ranging from a slightly darker shade than bamboo’s natural light-yellow color to a beautiful, deep, rich, brown coffee color. Because so many colors are possible, you can choose the perfect shade of Ambient’s carbonized bamboo flooring to match the existing decor in your home.

2. Why not just stain my bamboo flooring?

Carbonization heats the wood and changes the material’s color throughout the entire bamboo plank, not just the surface. Therefore, if you ever want to refinish your carbonized bamboo flooring, you will still have the same rich color after sanding as you did before. If you refinish stained strand bamboo flooring, you will not stain it back to the original color on-site.

3. Does carbonization make bamboo softer?

There is a popular myth going around the interwebs that carbonizing bamboo will produce a softer flooring material. Anyone with any current knowledge of bamboo flooring knows that this is completely untrue! In the early days of bamboo flooring, “classic” bamboo was the original style (like vertical bamboo flooring), and the carbonization process would soften that material about 10 percent. However, all Ambient’s bamboo flooring is now “strand woven.” During this process, the flooring undergoes compression to the same density regardless of whether it is carbonized or not. In other words, the carbonization process has a 0% effect on the hardness of the bamboo flooring.

4. How durable is carbonized bamboo flooring?

Ambient’s strand woven bamboo flooring is one of the most durable flooring choices in the flooring industry, and the carbonization process has no weakening effect on its strength. The strand woven process first heats strips of bamboo. Next, it separates them into strands and weaves them together. Finally, the bamboo weavings undergo fusion via extremely high heat and pressure. The strand woven process reinforces the bamboo flooring and increases its strength. This makes it incredibly tough, with long-lasting durability and structural integrity. Strand woven bamboo’s strength, along with its natural beauty, is why bamboo has become such a popular decorating trend in high-end luxury apartments and rental properties. To give you a better idea of our strand woven floors’ strength, bamboo’s “tensile strength” is 28,000 psi versus steel (24,000 psi).

5. How hard is carbonized bamboo flooring?

To find out exactly how hard Ambient’s carbonized bamboo flooring is, look no further than the Janka Hardness Scale. This scale is named after Austrian wood researcher Gabrielle Janka. It’s used to measure the amount of force required to embed a 0.444″ steel ball into the piece of wood to half of its diameter. Higher rated woods are stronger than lower-rated ones. Janka Ratings Infographic

An example of softwood with a low Janka hardness rating is Douglas Fir, rated at 660. Its low hardness rating is too soft of a wood to use for flooring purposes. At the other extreme, Australian Buloke, considered one of the hardest woods, has a rating of 5,060. This is solid wood but doesn’t hold a finish because the finish can’t permeate the surface. Popular flooring options that are very hard include Brazilian Cherry (2,350) and Brazilian Walnut (3,000). While these are good flooring choices, they are costly. Strand woven bamboo’s hardness ratings range from 3,500 to 4,500 on average. This is 2-3 X harder than Oak! They’re also considerably less expensive than other popular flooring choices.

At Ambient Bamboo Flooring, we only want to supply you with the strongest and longest-lasting bamboo flooring options possible. Therefore, all of our carbonized bamboo floors undergo our patented AccuSeal Ultra® finish system. This system provides a smooth 10-coat protective finish that comes with a lifetime warranty. Additionally, it gives you a future of hassle-free cleaning. (Take a look at How Do I Clean Bamboo Flooring?)

Bamboo Flooring In Conclusion

Of course, why not see for yourself how durable and beautiful Ambient’s bamboo flooring really is? Click on the box bellow, and you’ll receive free samples you can put your hands on. Or you can call one of our flooring professionals at (866) 710-7070. For more information, read about the advantages of bamboo flooring.

Flooring Samples


2 thoughts on “Five essential questions about carbonized bamboo flooring”

  1. Hi, I need to sand and refinish my dark carbonized strand woven bamboo floors which are about 15 years old after some flooding damage. When I tried to put a duraseal “black” stain on the sanded sample, the stain did not really take and came out a medium to light brown color (I was trying to get a rich dark brown color). Before I go ahead and sand and refinish all my floors, what are some considerations and/or questions I should be asking to pick the right flooring contractor? Thank you!

    • Hi Lenny,

      I would read this short guide we have on sanding and refinishing bamboo floors first. You want to let the contractors know that the bamboo floors are very dense and may be resistant to traditional staining methods. Ask them if they have experience staining a bamboo floor before and show them how dark you want the stain to be. Good luck with your project!


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