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What Is Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring?

Originally published on Thespruce.com on February 15 2019 By Lee Wallender

Fully-grown bamboo in gardens can be quite imposing, overtaking yards, creeping into neighbors’ properties, and resisting machetes and shovels. Cut and expose the core of this grass to sun and rain for only a short time and it will quickly start to flatten, shred, and break up. Paradoxically, bamboo has also become a highly popular interior floor covering material known for its toughness.

Bamboo flooring imbues your living space with a depth and richness normally associated with highly expensive exotic hardwood. With the right surface treatment, this chameleon-like material is able to adopt the look of walnut, oak, or pine flooring. Bamboo’s structural weakness means that flooring manufacturers must invent ways to turn grass into a material that behaves and looks similar to wood. Not only that, a browning treatment for bamboo flooring called carbonizing, or carmelizing, can further weaken the bamboo by up to 30-percent, increasing the need for strengthening measures.

Producers subject the material to tens of thousands of pounds of force and bathe the bamboo in resins. These production processes create a floor covering that is durable enough to withstand human and pet traffic for years to come. Strand woven bamboo flooring is a sharp departure from traditional horizontal and vertical bamboo floors. It is far more durable and offers greater structural integrity than conventional bamboo flooring.

What Is Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring?

Ordinary horizontal bamboo flooring looks like pressed bamboo, despite any staining or other surface treatments. The coloration might say walnut or oak, but the patterning definitely says bamboo since the bamboo’s culm (stalk) and distinctive nodes are visible.

Yet anyone purchasing strand woven bamboo flooring and expecting that their floor will look like bamboo might be disappointed. Early in the production process, the bamboo loses its iconic look.

Bamboo is used as a source product much in the same way that wood pulp makes particle board or crushed minerals make quartz countertops. The bamboo is not stripped in recognizable form and laminated. Instead, it is machine-shredded to pull out and isolate its strong fibers. These fibers are then pressed by steel hydraulic presses and subjected to heat until they form extremely dense logs. Once these logs are cured, they can be milled and fabricated.

San Francisco-based Smith & Fong introduced Chinese bamboo flooring to the U.S. market in 1991. A decade later, the company introduced strand woven bamboo flooring. They call strand woven bamboo flooring “an entirely new bamboo aesthetic” because it moves beyond that traditional bamboo look that attracted so many buyers in the 1990s and 2000s. Strand woven bamboo can be turned not just into floorboards but other building materials such as plywood.

Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring’s Durability

Unlike oak, hickory, maple, or other hardwoods, bamboo is not inherently wear-resistant. Even without treatment, many hardwoods wear quite well. Even a softwood such as cedar is known for its longevity due to its natural oils that help the wood resist weathering.

By contrast, bamboo flooring relies almost entirely on manufacturing methods such as the strand weaving process, binding materials, and tough surface aluminum oxide finishes for its strength and durability. Strand woven bamboo flooring is far more durable than vertical or horizontal bamboo flooring because the cross-hatched strands act in concert to hold the material together.

Testing of many exotic hardwoods with the Janka hardness testing system shows that a majority have around a 4,500 rating. According to major bamboo flooring supplier Cali Bamboo, third-party testing “typically find(s) Janka hardness ratings for most strand woven bamboo floors test closer to 3,000 pounds.” Strand woven bamboo flooring is roughly three times more durable than conventional horizontal or vertical bamboo flooring, making it an excellent floor covering for high impact areas. If you have young children or large pets, bamboo flooring might be the highly durable material that you need.

Sources of Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

Smith & Fong Plyboo

The originator of the bamboo flooring movement in the U.S. has moved well past producing only residential interior flooring and now they produce underlayment, gym flooring, trim and molding, and a host of other bamboo-based products. But Smith & Fong is still a reliable source for strand woven bamboo flooring with its Stiletto Strand and PlyBoo Strand flooring lines.

Cali Bamboo

All of Cali Bamboo’s Fossilized Bamboo Flooring products are strand woven and exceed the 5,000 Janka point rating. Cali Bamboo’s Fossilized strand woven bamboo flooring compacts 30-percent more bamboo into each plank than horizontal bamboo flooring.


Based in Bainbridge Island, Washington, Teragren keeps track of and controls the entire manufacturing process for its strand woven bamboo flooring.

Build Direct

This online-only home improvement materials retailer offers inexpensive strand woven bamboo flooring, though you do need to meet certain order volume minimums to secure those lower prices.

6 Things to Do After a House Flood

Originally Published on Thespruce.com on By Lauren Abrams

Your home is flooded, and you don’t know what to do—especially in the wake of a natural disaster when your first priority is the safety of your family. It may be days before you can arrange for your insurance to come out, or to start repairs. Here’s what you can do and focus on while you wait for professionals to repair your home.

Avoid Further Damage

First and foremost, you need to cut power. Take extra care before going in to grab items or take pictures. Flood water could:

  • Carry an electrical current to shock you or spark a fire
  • Introduce bacteria and microbes into your home
  • Make it harder to walk safely
  • Weaken the structure of your home

Locate your circuit panel. Shut off all power circuits, even if the power to the house is currently off.

Make a visual inspection of the exterior of your property. Look for signs of potential danger, like a collapsed roof. If you are not sure that the home is safe to enter, do not go inside.

Gather Important Papers

The cost of repairing minor water damage averages about $2,500 according to HomeAdvisor. You may be able to use insurance to cover some or all of it. Few homeowners anticipate this level of trouble, so it is wise to keep your papers organized and easy to find. The documents you might need include:

  • Homeowners’ policy records
  • Documentation of flood insurance, if applicable
  • Personal identification
  • Proof of ownership

If you are confident that you can get through the house safely, locate this information. Take it to a secure place away from the site. If you’re not confident or the flooding is severe or long-lasting, do not risk your safety by re-entering the house since it could be structurally unsound.

Choose Your Insurance Policy

Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage each year, with a typical claim per home ranging from $45,000 to $115,000. The type of flooding your home sustained affects the kind of insurance you will use to make repairs. Your regular coverage usually does not have a provision for water damage due to weather.

This type of disaster requires flood insurance, a special policy that you might carry through the federal government or a private insurer. If your basement is soaked due to a burst pipe in your plumbing, you should start with your homeowner’s insurance.

File a Claim

The average claim for house flooding not related to weather hovers around $8,000. The claim process could take days or weeks, so you should begin as quickly as you can. Even a small amount of water left to sit for hours in your basement could cause significant damage. Here’s what you may need to pay for:

  • Determining the extent of the water damage
  • Flooring removal and replacement
  • Drying walls and foundation
  • Replacing damaged electrical and plumbing systems

Keep in mind that your insurance may not pay for a full replacement of all destroyed possessions or equipment. Most policies make a distinction between fair market value and replacement value. Ask your insurer about the details of your coverage before you start shopping.

Document Everything

Since you do not know how long it will take before a claims adjuster arrives, you want to start building a record immediately. Take pictures, video, and write down any information you have about the condition of the home. If the property deteriorates after the initial damage (e.g. due to fire caused by flooding), update your record to reflect it.

Your claims adjuster will likely conduct a thorough investigation when they get to your property. The more information you can provide at the start, the more informed they can be during their inspection.

Begin the Repair Process

At your earliest opportunity, remove the water from the home. You can use a sump pump if you have one, or hire a professional to do it. Be careful about paying for equipment or services until your claims adjuster is done categorizing the extent of the damage. Keep receipts for everything you buy, no matter how small. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a bill that you thought would be covered.

If the government declares your region a disaster area, you may have to wait longer for access to repair services. Protect yourself from fraud by asking anyone who comes to your home for identification and evidence that they are sent from your insurance company. Do not trust contractors demanding payment in advance, as this is a common scam technique.