Bamboo flooring and sealant

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by brasilmom, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Jul 1, 2009 #1

    brasilmom

    brasilmom

    brasilmom

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    Hi all,

    We are on the final stretch of our sunroom project and have decided to go with bamboo flooring. Now, I would like to know what type of sealant shall we use. I am not very found of the sealant that is shinny like a basketball court, but I do not want something completely dull either. If all possible I want to seal the joints so to avoid dirty getting in between the planks. Any help mostly appreciated.

    Thanks. Be well

    Miriam
     
  2. Jul 1, 2009 #2

    Quattro

    Quattro

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    I have bamboo in my kitchen. The stock finish has been pretty durable...and I haven't considered sealing it with anything. The joints are so tight that just a normal sweeping and occasional mopping keeps 'em clean.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  3. Jul 6, 2009 #3

    fastfloors

    fastfloors

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    bamboo is fairly durable and stain resistant. I think the first response is right on, don't worry over it too much. Most bamboo wont give you an issue with stains.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2009 #4

    brasilmom

    brasilmom

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    Thanks for the replies. I am searching around and like the bamboo available at Lowe's. I also looked at other flooring stores, and, ouch, they go as high as $9.18/sq.ft. Compared to $2.38 at Lowe's it seems rather absurd that kind of price. Lumber's liquidators is a bit far from me and I do not know if it is worth the drive. Any other suggestions?
    Thanks again. Be well

    Miriam
     
  5. Jul 8, 2009 #5

    fastfloors

    fastfloors

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    we offer some competitive prices on our bamboo. Our stained options are similar to Lowe's prices, but we offer very high quality products. If you have any questions about the materials just let me know. :) Good luck and let us know what happens.

    you can find a link to my site in my profile :D
     
  6. Jul 9, 2009 #6

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    If it wuz me, I would put a drop of water on the top surface of the bamboo flooring you want to have installed. Let the drop sit for a while and then remove it with a sponge or paper towel to see if the bamboo under the drop got wet. If it did, the bamboo will be darker in the area under where the spot was.

    If you see that the bamboo is now darker where the water drop was, then the water penetrated into the bamboo, and if water can penetrate into the bamboo then any water based stain (like Kool-Aid, or Saniflush or red wine or Easter Egg dye) will as well. But, these other water based products will leave a stain in the bamboo once you remove them from the floor.

    If you see a dark spot, I'd open my yellow pages to "Janitorial Equipment & Supplies" to find out who sells "Johnson Professional" floor maintenance products in your area. Johnson Professional is the new name for the professional line of floor maintenance products from the S. C. Johnson Wax company. Ask that company for the name and phone number of the local S. C. Johnson Wax sales rep. If they don't want to give you his name and phone number, then ask them to ask him what would be the most appropriate sealer to use on a bamboo floor, that would also hopefully provide a "satin" gloss.

    The S. C. Johnson Wax Company is particularily well respected in the janitorial service sector of the economy because they make good products for hard surface floors and they train their sales reps particularily well. They have to. Some of the floors that S. C. Johnson Wax products go down on are so large that if someone screws up, it can take a judge to decide who's responsible for paying for the cost of stripping the wrong stuff off and putting the right stuff on. Think convention center, airport, shopping center, factory/warehouse, etc.

    Post again if you want to know why wet wood is darker than dry wood.

    Hint: It's exactly the same reason why your blue jeans are darker when they're wet. And, that in turn is exactly the same reason why a cotton t-shirt is more transparent when it's wet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  7. Jul 10, 2009 #7

    brasilmom

    brasilmom

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    Thanks for the replies and education. We are hopefully getting the floor this weekend, so at least now I have some more pointers.
    Nestor, any further info you can share will be greatly appreciated. So, share it on the wet wood x dry wood info.
    Thanks again. Be well

    Miriam
     
  8. Jul 10, 2009 #8

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Essentially, the reason why wood and your blue jeans are darker when they are wet is because the refractive index of a material depends largely on it's density and whether it's a solid, a liquid or a gas.

    Dry wood consists of hollow wood cells that are full of air. Since wood is a solid (consisting mostly of cellulose), there is reflection and refraction of light at the wood/air interfaces within the wood. The larger the difference in the refractive index of the two materials across an interface, the more light is reflected at that interface and the greater the angle the light that crosses the interface is refracted through.

    When wood gets wet, then those hollow wood cells become filled with water, and there is less of a difference between the refractive indices of wood and water than there is between wood and air. As a result, less light gets reflected from wet wood (so more light goes into the wood). AND, because of the smaller difference in refractive indices, light travelling through wet wood travels in a straight-ER path than light travelling through dry wood. That means that the light tends to penetrate deeper into the wood and more of it is absorbed by the wood and water, and less of it gets refracted through a total of 180 degrees so that it's redirected out of the wood to an external observer. That observer sees less light coming from the wood, which our eyes see as the colour "darker".

    You can prove this to yourself with a piece of paper and a drop of water. Place the drop of water on the paper and watch as the paper absorbs the water and turns darker. This is because as the water surrounds the wood fibers, more and more of the light is penetrating through the wet paper rather than being reflected from it. Now, hold the paper up to a light and you will see that the wet spot is the brightest area of the paper. This is because this similarity in refractive indices between wood and water result in the light taking a straight-ER path through the wet paper, and that in turn means that light behaves in wet paper more like it would in air (or if the paper weren't even there). And, that in turn means that wet paper is more transparent than dry paper.

    Now you have a conversation starter for the next wet t-shirt contest you go to. Cotton, by the way, is nearly 100% cellulose whereas wood is typically only about 75 percent cellulose with the remaining 25% consisting of something called "hemi-cellulose" and lignin, which is the "glue" between the wood cells that holds them together.

    So, place a drop of water on the bamboo flooring. If it turns dark at the spot where the water was, then there can be no other reason than water penetrating through any factory applied sealer or finish and filling the empty plant cells of the bamboo flooring, resulting in less reflection of light from the wet bamboo.

    And if water can penetrate through that factory applied finish, then I would be concerned that other water based liquids, like Saniflush or Easter Egg dye or Kool-Aid could penetrating through that finish and be absorbed into the bamboo. The water in those liquids will evaporate back out through the factory applied finish, but the dye molecules that give the liquid it's colour would remain behind to leave a stain in the bamboo.

    (By the same token, you MIGHT be able to leave a drop of bleach on the stained bamboo so that it would penetrate in as well and break up the molecules causing the stain.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  9. Jul 12, 2009 #9

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I'm amazed.

    I'm amazed that I got no response from/to that last post.

    I always thought that the question of why blue jeans are darker when they're wet was one of life's great mysteries, right up there with "Why does my car run better when it's clean?", "How do they get the Caramilk in the Caramilk bar?" and "Who was behind that grassy knoll, and was there a conspiracy to kill JFK?"

    I answered one of the great mysteries of life here people! That deserves at least a "Hey, man, that's really cool, want another toke?"

    To sit there and say "Yeah, I knew that." is to throw pearls before swine, it's runs contrary to the very reason for the existance of this forum, which is to help newbies understand the world around them, which is mostly the walls of their house. Might I remind people that those walls are made of wood?
     
  10. Jul 12, 2009 #10

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Good job Nestor.;)
    I was not thinking as a newbie when I read your article, sometimes I forget how I started or why I am here.:D
     
  11. Jul 12, 2009 #11

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I was just joking around InspectorD.

    But, I did think that people would be entertained by knowing the reason why blue jeans are darker when they're wet or why a wet t-shirt is more transparent than a dry t-shirt. This is the kind of thing you can have fun with. Next time you walk into a bar and notice someone you'd like to talk to, ask them why the head on their beer is white even though nothing inside that foam is white in colour. (It's exactly the same reason why clouds, snowbanks and waterfalls are white in colour. Post again if you still can't figure it out.)

    Anyhow, a good way to entertain kids for a day or two is by making test tubes disappear. I turns out that Pyrex glass (from which test tubes are made) and ordinary corn oil from the grocery store have refractive indices that are nearly identical. Pyrex glass has a refractive index of 1.470 whereas corn oil's refractive index varies from 1.455 to 1.467. (you may have to try different brands of oils for best results) That's close enough to 1.470 to make for very little reflection and refraction at the glass/oil interfaces. That is, light passing through the submerged test tube will behave very much like it would if the test tube weren't even there. And, what does that mean in practical terms? It means that the test tube will seem to disappear from sight as you immerse it in the corn oil.

    Your kids will spend hours running around the neighborhood showing this "magic" trick to their friends. It's a novelty to see something you don't expect to see (or, in this case, not see something you expect to).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009

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