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  • Bamboo Panel and Countertop Information

    General Bamboo Panel and Countertop Information PDF

    The following information is for a simple understanding of bamboo panel/countertop products coloring information, acclimation, cutting techniques, possible installation methods and finishing techniques which can be  accomplished for interior woodwork such as interior millwork, cabinetry, wainscotings/wall covering, countertops, furniture and/or other uses where hardwoods have been utilized in applications prior to bamboo paneling or countertops being available.

    Color- Bamboo Color variation is no different from many other hardwoods as it is natural coloring for the carbonizing process and the natural process. There are no dyes or stains involved in the two standard colors offered, Carbonized bamboo coloring is achieved by steaming the bamboo slats, the heat cooks the sugars/fibers in the bamboo and turns them brown. The carbonized processed material will lighten with exposure to UV light. The natural color is truly natural bamboo, and this material will often darken with UV exposure. The amount of exposure will determine how fast this process will occur. Higuera Hardwoods works diligently to ensure our manufacturing process and hand selection of coloring ensure a consistent coloring in the panels/veneers and countertops.

    Adhesives- Higuera Hardwoods only uses high quality adhesives in its products, if this material used for food then we highly recommend that the material be sealed with food grade approved sealers. There are water-based adhesives available, but we do not recommend them as many have a lower adhesion rate on the raw materials and will develop problems overtime such as delamination and other potential product failures.

    Acclimation- Bamboo requires acclimation time like many other woods, material that has been cut before acclimation is complete may result in stress relief problems such as surface cracking and/or warping.

    In event of this occurrence then the material will require more time in its acclimation before cutting material any further. Always store the material in a flat dry location, do not store on concrete surfaces without being fully supported at least 4 inches above the concrete with material fully supported in middle and ends of the panels. Do not freeze material.

    Cutting techniques- Bamboo is very dense material , when cutting it will require fine tooth finish work carpenter blades to avoid splintering and edge fracturing. Always utilize carbide blades with a high tooth count for the best results. Chocolate bamboo is very prone to edge splintering due to its nature of the manufacturing process, always cut slow with sharp blades to avoid any problems.

    Due the nature of bamboo panel construction the cores can have some gapping or voids after cutting, we do try to keep this is tight as possible when we manufacture the paneling to avoid these issues. If you do encounter these areas, please fill and sand them prior to any coatings being applied.


    Chocolate bamboo is material that is prone to splintering or chipping with dull blades or machinery in poor shape, with this material you must take extra care when working cutting or shaping it to avoid these types of problems.

    Drilling- a high-speed carbide bit is advised to prevent chips or breakage of the bamboo material. In addition, always back the panel before drilling to avoid splintering on backside of panel as the drill exits.

    Routering- Bamboo will take to routers or edge shapers like many other hardwoods, there is one direction the grain will not tear. Always experiment to figure out which direction works best

     

    Expansion/contraction- Bamboo is no different from many hardwood products, it moves with different environment changes. The panel or part size will often dictate the amount of expansion or contraction in the material, the larger the panel  sizes the more movement you may encounter. Always plan for this type of expansion and contraction in your installations, do not make all the joints tight as this can cause problems over time with cracking. Please allow adequate room in your  expansion joints , standard installation involving panel clip systems or by floating the panels is always the best for large surface areas with joints. Using a soft flexible caulk on the sealed panel is always a great way to go also. If you do have a problem simply removing, the material and expanding the joint area between the contact areas will relieve this issue. Installing bamboo panels over moisture on concrete, drywall etc. can and will develop problems, please ensure all installations are over dry conditions and we recommend sealing the area behind the panels with an oil based paint or sealer to prevent moisture problem on the backside of the panel from developing.

    Staining bamboo- bamboo panels will stain as well as many other hardwoods, we do recommend a penetrating stain or as a high quality aniline dye. It is very important when working with stains that you keep the wet edge to avoid unsightly dark spot or lines in the material. Please test and follow staining guidelines from the manufacture of any material you chose and always test small area first to ensure good results.

    Finishing – Bamboo will take finish and stains similar to most other wood products, virtually all types of sealers and finish products used in commercial or household use will provide a beautiful  look on the products as well as increase the life of the material by sealing in the required humidity levels and sealing out the harmful  moisture exposure issues. Higuera Hardwoods bamboo countertops/Panels are sanded at the manufacturing facility with a 220 grit sandpaper on both sides to provide a finish ready material, we do advise giving all material a light pre-sand to remove any dirt/grit/oils etc. before applying the finish. Always inspect the material for natural wood flaws before applying any finish or sealers, if flaws are found a basic wood filler in the material color will work just fine to repair it. We also recommend that all surfaces should receive a finish application including edges, bottom etc., always apply equal coats to all sides to avoid material pull or a moisture unbalance in the material. Please also be aware that site condition material response is not a warranty issue or defect.

    Please note on strand countertops/panels they do have natural grainy pattern and this part of exotic look of the material and it is not advised to fill the material.

    Please note we do not recommend the use of most water based finishes, as they do not have effect long term results in most cases

    Proximity temperature issues- Bamboo like any other wood can be severely damaged by rapid temperature changes in the environment it is located in after fabrication. Any heating items should not be applied to the top surfaces as damage can result and even fire. If bamboo panels or countertops are utilized next to heat source or cold source, we highly recommend a thermal insulation material be applied to the bamboo to avoid expansion and contraction problems , and possible fire if it is heat source .

    Moisture sources- Extended exposure to a moisture source such as sinks/tubs/refrigeration condensation etc. can cause severe problems with bamboo if the material is not sealed properly.

    For possible damp areas, we recommend using marine grade sealers such as varnishes or resins, please ensure the entire area of the bamboo is fully sealed on all edges and underside as well. Moisture in bamboo for extended periods can cause warping, mold and delamination is possible.

    Cracking surface- The surface of bamboo can have cracking problem if the material is allowed to dry out excessively, this is no different then many types of woods or natural products. Sealing the material completely before installation will ensure this does not become a problem in certain environmental conditions. This problem if it does develop can be repaired by filling the areas with suitable wood filler , sanded, and then refinished to seal it. the possible cracking issue can also be seen in improperly installed items, this can be solved by allowing proper expansion joints, if there is cracking or splintering problem around screw hole areas, please remove the screw enlarge hole slightly and repair damage area as stated above. Then put sealer in the screw  hole and re insert the screw while the sealer is wet to get a complete wood seal in the screw area.

    Surface maintenance- Like all wood surfaces, Higuera Hardwoods bamboo countertops, and panels can be sanded and refinished many times. Bamboo countertop or panel material that is be fabricated and utilized as food handling surfaces should always be sealed or finished with food safe material, this can be as simple as using olive oil or mineral oil to commercial sealers that are FDA approved for use. ALWAYS, use FDA approved food safe sealers. Depending on the sealer used they must be re treated on regular bases to avoid wood issues, also the bamboo material over time if used as cutting surface will develop cuts, mars, scratches etc., these can be sanded out for the most part and the material must be refinished again after each sanding.

    Protecting the material prior to cutting on the surface will always help extend the life of the material..

    Do not settle for second best material, there are many levels of quality in bamboo and most we would not consider high quality, Higuera Hardwoods is a decade old company that has a proven record of accomplishment of success.

    The above guidelines should always be used as guidelines and do not make any guarantees- see panel product warranties, specifications and MSDS sheets  for further information and liability’s.

    Higuera Hardwoods LLC is not responsible for any additional costs for defective items other than material cost paid if the material is deemed defective.

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